Czernowitz (Dec. 8)
(By Our Czernowitz Correspondent)
While cables have been arriving in this country daily telling of the triumphant tour of the Roumanian Queen in America, where she issued the assurance that the Jews were being treated in Roumania exactly as all other parts of the population, a series of events have taken place that are so startling in their frank-manifestation of anti-Semitism on the part of the government that it may sound unbelievable to civilized people. These events, resulting upon the now well known Roumanian “baccalaureat” tests, a device for keeping the Jews and other minorities out of the universities, started with the developments in Czernowitz recently, which led to the arrest of twelve Jewish students, then to the murder of the Jewish student David Falik and have culminated in the renewed anti-Jewish excesses in a number of cities.
The trial of the twelve Jewish students who participated in the demonstration against the professors who deliberately “flunked” them in the Czernowitz “baccalaureat” tests, began on Nov. 10. At the very outset it was obvious that all the forces of Roumanian anti-Semitism had gathered in the court room to war on the Jews. At the head of the Cuzist group of lawyers who came to defend the anti-Semitic professor who alleged he was beaten by the Jewish students, was none other than the notorious Lieutenent Morarescu, who last year confessed in court to the cold-blooded murder of 33 Jews on the Dniester border and was nevertheless acquitted. Morarescu hurled abuses at Dr. Allerhand, the attorney for the Jewish students. “Go to Palestine!” he shouted at one part of the court proceedings. To which Dr. Allerhand at once retorted: “Go back to the Dniester to your murderous work!” What happened at the end of that court session was a natural consequence of this atmosphere. As the public was leaving the courtroom, there was the sound of a shot and when the panic was over, the Jewish student, David Falik, one of the accused, was lying in a pool of blood and over him stood the anti-Semitic student, Teteu, with a smoking revolver in his hand. Teteu later stated that he had come from Jassy expressly for the purpose of carrying out the murder. He was led to the act by a Cuzist pamphlet he had read.
The manner in which the police behaved was demonstrated following the death of Falik. The entire Jewish population was in mourning, black flags were displayed and stores and shops closed. Some fifty thousand persons, including representatives of the other minorities, the Germans and Ukrainians, participated in the funeral procession. The police engaged themselves in ripping down the black flags from the Jewish houses and mocking the Jews. Even more striking and significant was the following incident. Morarescu wrote a letter to the police headquarters, declaring that if the Jewish lawyer, Dr. Allerhand, would “insult” him again, he would shoot Allerhand. Instead of disciplining Morarescu, the police turned the letter over to Dr. Allerhand, asking him to express his attitude on the matter!
The attitude of the government in Bucharest could not have been stated any more clearly than it was by the Minister of Interior, Goga. who replied to the interpellation of Senator Rabbi Ebner. He stated that the Roumanian government was for order and equal treatment for everybody. He made no mention at all of the Falik murder but spoke of the necessity of calming the violent feelings that had been aroused in the population. To that effect he advised the Jewish leaders to use their influence with the Jews, especially in Czernowitz! Not a word about the injustices of the “baccalaureat,” not a syllable about the activities of the anti-Semites, no promise of suppressing anti-Jewish excesses. Moreover, while the “Curierul Israelit,” organ of the Federation of Roumanian Jews, was confiscated on the day when it carried a report of the murder of Falik, the Cuzists have all the time been allowed without interference to publish and distribute inflammatory literature gainst the Jews.
So outrageous has been the attitude in official quarters on the question of the Czernowitz developments and the Falik murder that a number of Roumanian papers, including government organs, have lifted their voices in protest. Thus “Dreptatea” and “Glasul Bucovinei” have not hesitated to charge that the murder of Falik is to be laid at the doors of the Roumanian teachers who conduct a murderous anti-Jewish propaganda in the schools and that the government is doing nothing to check the activities of the Cuza gang.