Budapest Again Excited over Issue of Numerus Clausus

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The Hungarian capital was again thrown into excitement over the numerus clausus issue as the matter was taken up in the House of Parliament and a wave of restlessness among the Hungarian students interfered with regular university attendance.

Strong police and military detachments guarded the university campus today, because of the fear of an outbreak of new anti-Jewish excesses. The small number of Jewish students who were permitted to enroll this semester were absent from their classes in view of the fact that mammoth placards were posted in the streets last night threatening that the Hungarian students will eject the Jewish students from the classrooms.

The issue was raised in Parliament yesterday by the Jewish deputy, Pakots, a member of the Liberal party, who introduced an interpellation charging Minister of Education Count Klebelsberg with failure to carry out energetically the program he considered fair. The interpellation referred to the policy pursued by the colleges during the enrollment period and to the astounding fact of the University Senate’s refusal to carry out the order of the Minister of Education that thirty additional Jewish students, who had graduated with high honors from the secondary schools, he admitted.

Jewish students, although they had the highest marks of distinction, were rejected and instead, “race pure” members of the nationalistic student organization, though ranking low in the entrance examinations, were admitted. In some cases the examining commission admitted students who must submit to additional examinations, having failed to pass the first. In this manner the college quotas were filled, leaving out those students who had the highest marks, just because they were Jews.

The intervention of the Minister to secure their admission will in all probability remain without result, in view of the threatening attitude of the Hungarian students who called protest meetings against Count Klebelsberg, threatening excesses at the university and declaring that the student body will refuse to sit together with those Jewish students who were previously rejected by the examining commission.

Count Klebelsberg, answering the interpellation promised to exert every effort for the admission of the limited number of Jewish students. He confirmed that the university authorities rejected Jewish students with high marks and even such applicants who were the sons of war invalids and of war heroes. The university authorities pursued an unpermissible policy along religious lines. The numerus clausus question is undoubtedly one of a political nature, but the policy is within the province of the Minister of Education and not of the subordinate authorities. The rejection of the Jewish students must be therefore be withdrawn, he declared.

The explanation of the Minister of Education was accepted by the parliamentary majority. The interpellants, however, remained dissatisfied with Count Klebelsberg’s reply, because he declined to discipline the professors who are now ready to comply with the Minister’s order. The interpellants charged that the professors are now inciting the student body, causing danger of new disorders.

One of the speakers disclosed that the diplomatic representative of the Italian government in Hungary, Romanelli, intervened in favor of the Jewish students whose admission was denied over the Minister’s order. One of the deputies exclaimed, “Now Chamberlain and Kellogg will have to intervene for the admission of these Jewish students to Hungarian colleges.”

NEXT STORY