Condemnation of the anti-Semitic excesses in Roumania and a demand that the Maniu government afford full and complete protection of Jewish life and safeguards for Jewish property were voiced at a meeting of the United Roumanian Jews of America, Sunday, by Leo Wolfson, the president of the Union.
After recalling that when the Maniu government had come into power it had promised fair treatment to the Jews, Mr. Wolfson pointed out that this promise had not been kept. Declaring that he still wished the Maniu government well but that if the present excesses continued there was apparently no hope for a change for the better under the present regime, Mr. Wolfson demanded that the Roumanian government adopt the most effective measures to prevent a recurrence of the outrages.
ROUMANIAN MINISTER DOUBTS REPORTS
Mr. Wolfson also told the meeting that during a recent discussion with Carol Davila, Roumanian minister to the United States, Mr. Davila had expressed some doubt as to the reports of anti-Semitic excesses in Roumania simply because only the Jewish press reported them. Mr. Davila asked, according to Mr. Wolfson, “if what you say is so how is it that the ‘New York Times,’ the ‘New York World’ and other American newspapers who have Roumanian correspondents, do not report the excesses?”
LEGATION DENIES ANTI-SEMITISM
A strong denial that the Roumanian government has pursued an anti-Semitic policy and an appeal to American Jews not to “lend an ear to the exaggerated reports which are being circulated so freely abroad,” was contained in a statement issued by the Roumanian Legation here. The statement when read at the meeting of the United Roumanian Jews of America was criticized.
The full text of the statement issued by the Roumanian Legation follows:
STATEMENT OF LEGATION
“The Government of Roumania has never pursued an anti-Semitic policy. The Constitution has placed the Jews on a footing complete equality with the Roumanians, both politically and economically. Some governments, in the past, although in no way pursuing an anti-Semitic policy, may have had, at times, a too lenient attitude towards the anti-Semites, either because they wanted to avoid antagonizing a part of the student body or for reasons of internal politics. The present government has made considerable progress in this respect, as it is firmly opposed to any anti-Semitic agitation.
“It should be remembered that the Jews of Transylvania and of the Old Kingdom reached an understanding to vote with the Government in the last elections, with the exception of the Union of Roumanian Jews which supported the Liberal Party. There are today in Parliament more Jews than in the previous Chambers. A considerable number of Jews are members of the new municipal councils, proportionately to the Jewish population, especially in Moldavia, Bessarabia, Bukowina and Transylvania where the Jews live in greater numbers.
ANTI-SEMITES IN PARLIAMENT
“There were eleven anti-Semitic members of the Chamber of Deputies under the Averescu Cabinet. Not one was elected in the General Elections of 1928. In the recent partial elections only one, Professor Cuza, was successful with the help of the Opposition at Roman. All that happened during the last year and a half can no longer be described as due to a policy of tolerance towards anti-Semitic elements. They were more in the nature of sporadic incidents which the Government punishes severely when they occur.
“For instance, at the end of December 1929, the Government closed the University and the student-homes at Jassy, expelled by armed forces and committed for trial those of the students who were found guilty of causing disturbances. Similar action was taken at Cluj and Bucharest. At Cluj and Timisoara the police intervened every time disorders occurred.
TAKING DISCIPLINARY MEASURES
“Hand in hand with legal action, the authorities have taken disciplinary measures in every case. The last incidents at Targul Frumos were of an electoral character and were provoked by the presence of Mr. Cuza. The judicial inquiry is now proceedings and those found guilty will be punished. In Bucharest special patrols have been detailed to prevent any aggressions by students.
“The attitude which the president of the Chamber, Ciceo Pop, and all the members of the Chamber took against Mr. Cuza at a recent session when the anti-Semitic deputy uttered disparaging words against the Mosaic religion, is worthy of notice. In the midst of general applause, Ciceo Pop said that such language could not be tolerated in the Roumanian Parliament. The authorities have taken energetic steps in connection with the incidents of Maramures and the Government has ordered an inquiry.
“No one can state in good faith that the Government does not take all necessary measures for the punishment of those guilty of violence, the responsibility for which falls on a few agitators. The large mass of the population and the peasantry have never associated themselves with such violence. American Jews should not lend an ear to the exaggerated stories which are being circulated so freely abroad. There is no cause for alarm on their part.”