Paris (Jun. 13)
Is it for this legion of Jews that the French Government has been affording facilities to Roumanian students? “Professor Balthazard, the Dean of the Medical Faculty of Paris University, asks in an article appearing in the “Echo de la Medecine” here.
Professor Balthazard, who recently denied the report from Bucharest that he had written a letter to the Dean of the Medical Faculty of Bucharest University attacking Jewish students, wants to know now “why it is that Roumanian Jews come to Paris. Are they being expelled from the Roumanian Universities, or are they threatened with pogroms?” No, he proceeds. The Roumanian Government instituted a numerus clausus in order to prevent over-crowding the medical profession in Roumania, but while the Orthodox students look about for some other profession the Jews come running over into France and utilise the privilege which was primarily instituted for the benefit of the Roumanian students.
Professor Balthazard again suggests the setting up of a mixed France-Roumanian committee which should decide whether any particular students should be admitted to enter the medical profession.
Professor Balthazard makes an insinuation in the course of his article that the Jews are benefiting by the establishment of the Soviet regime. “Before the war,” he writes, “we had a number of Russo-Jewish students here, but since the Soviet Government came into power in 1918 they have all disappeared”.
There is neither xenophobia nor antisemitism in Paris University, Professor Balthazard said to the J.T.A. when it approached him with regard to his letter published in the Bucharest press a few days previously, in which he was said to have written to the Bucharest University authorities to announce that Paris University is about to enforce a Numerus Clausus against Roumanian students of Jewish origin. I authorise you formally, he said, to deny the authenticity of the passages in the letter purporting to speak of the numbers and status of the Roumanian Jewish students in Paris. No such passages occurred in my letter and they are pure inventions. He insisted that all that was happening was that Roumanian students wishing to practise medicine in France would in future have to practise under the same conditions as other foreign physicians, but that there would be no discrimination against Roumanian students who were Jews.
Jewish circles in Paris which had been greatly excited over the Bucharest report regarding Professor Balthazard’s letter were pacified by this declaration, and it was suggested that there could have been nothing in the report since Professor Balthazard is known as a man of liberal views who has rendered considerable services to Jewish interests and is believed to be himself also of Jewish origin.