Travellers Differ on Present Situation of the Jews in Roumania

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Two travellers, arriving from Europe. one a distinguished Christian clergyman and the other an officer of the Roumanian Jewish organization in the United States. were divided in their opinions on the present-day condition of the Jews in Roumania.

The Rev. Dr. Charles S. Macfarland. General Secretary of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, and Mr. Leon Fischer, vice-president of the United Roumanian Jews of America, held contrary views about the conditions in Roumania.

According to Dr. Maciarland, ” the most difficult situation appears still to be in Roumania.” while Mr. Fischer asserted that since the last anti-Jewish riots in Oradea-Mare in December, the Roumanian government has changed its attitude and the Jewish population is treated with fairness.

“From conversations which I had with the leaders of the Liberal Government and the other political parties. I am convinced that in these circles an attitude of peace and brotherhood predominates, and the Roumanian Jews are collaborating in a patriotic way and with faith and patience to help cement the bonds for such relationship.” Mr. Fischer stated.

Dr. Maciarland declared, “Violent attacks on minority groups seem to have ceased, with the exception of anti-Sem##tic outbreaks. The most difficult situation appears still to be in Roumania where the Lutherans are declared to be unable to supply their pastorates because only those of Roumanian nationality are allowed to serve, and Roumanian citi##ship is hard to acquire. The law limiting existence of minority churches to those of a certain size deprives many small communities of any church life-Chidren cannot be supplied with catechisms, and are forced to perform Orthodox rites and ceremonies in State schools.

“Although the new Law of Cults has been passed it is not yet in operation. It does not apply with equality gires preference to the Orthodox. Church and allows too much State interference in religion. There is the same restlessness. though not so tonse in Czechoslovakia and Poland.

“The Jewish minorities,” Dr. Macfarland continued, “are everywhere. The sins of centuries are charged to them offhand eren to their being the c##ust of the last war. Even people whose own ##incrities are in trouble forget that when it is a question of the Jews and do what they condemn others for doing.“On every hand one meets the persistent prejudice, not only among common people and riotous students, but among intellectual leaders, political rulers, American tourists and the ever vigilant D. A. R. Henry Ford’s recantation has had some modifying influence, but is often regarded as diplomatic rather than as genuine, and his book is still circulated,’ Dr. Macfarland stated.

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