Bucharest (Jun. 27)
Prolonged applause from the Deputies of the majority Party greeted Professor Cuza, the antisemitic leader, when in speaking in the Chamber to-day in the debate on the King’s speech, he recalled the collaboration which years ago had existed between himself and the Prime Minister, Professor Jorga, when they had jointly led the antisemitic Party of that time.
Professor Cuza was moved to the recollection of those old days, when Deputy Theodore Fischer, the leader of the Jewish Party, rose in protest against his allegations that the Jews were a disloyal element, and his demand that they should therefore be excluded from the army. He hurled insults of a personal character against the Jewish Deputies and invoked Professor Jorga’s past to suggest that the Prime Minister’s views on the Jewish question are not dissimilar to his own.
The democratic general press is expressing alarm at the close friendship which it says is being displayed in Government quarters towards Professor Cuza. The “Adeverul”, for instance, asks why the Communists were not allowed to sit in Parliament, their seats being invalidated, while the Cuzists, who are just as much impossiblists and wreckers, have been allowed to retain their seven seats in Parliament. The Government announced that it would take drastic measures against all extremist movements, it says, but these measures are confined only to the extremists of the Left, while the Cuzists who are just as much out for the violent disruption of the State, are being honoured and their leader is given a high order and is applauded by the Government benches. When the elections took place for the President of the Chamber, the “Adeverul” adds, there were many Deputies who judged from Professor Jorga’s attitude towards Cuza that he would like Cuza to be elected, and consequently Cuza obtained no less than 40 votes, with the Government candidate, Deputy Pompei, who has been elected, securing 120 votes.
PROFESSOR JORGA AND THE JEWS.
In April, soon after Professor Jorga became Prime Minister, a Cuzist paper, the “Gazeta Maramuresulmi”, appearing in Marmorosz, in the Province of Transylvania, under the editorship of a priest named Barlea, reprinted an article which Professor Jorga had published in 1905 when he was associated with Professor Cuza in the leadership of the League of Christian National Defence, with the intention of showing that the Premier is in agreement with Cuza on the action to be taken against the Jews.
Since the war, Professor Jorga has dissociated himself repeatedly, however, from Professor Cuza and his views on the Jewish question, and in an interview with the London editor of the J.T.A. last summer in Bucharest, he dismissed Professor Cuza’s movement as a manifestation of indiscipline by a few students who were noticed only because they made a lot of noise, while thousands of other students who sat quietly doing their work were not noticed. Cuza, he said, is not an antisemite by conviction, and is only using antisemitism to get into Parliament and be the head of a Party. The trouble in Roumania, he said, is that the Governments are Party Governments and are therefore obliged to avoid harsh measures against these agitators.
When he was in New York in January 1930, Professor Jorga gave an interview to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in which he claimed that the Roumanian antisemitic movement was unimportant and said that the Jews enjoy under the Constitution equal rights and opportunities with the other citizens of Roumania, and their duty is to work together with the others in furthering the interests of the fatherland. As President of Bucharest University and leader of the National Party, he said, I condemn disturbances of any kind.
The Jewish Deputies and the leaders of the Union of Roumanian Jews have both expressed satisfaction with Professor Jorga’s present views on the place of the Jewish citizens in the Roumanian State, and a few days ago, when Parliament celebrated his 60th. birthday, the Jewish Party spokesman lauded him as a scholar and a wise statesman.
Professor Jorga has since the war repeatedly and emphatically declared that he is opposed to antisemitism, and when he took office as Prime Minister he reiterated this in his statement to the representatives of the press, Dr. Filderman, the President of the Union of Roumanian Jews, said in discussing the new Government with the J.T.A. Taken together with the presence of M. Constantin Argetoianu as a member of the new Cabinet, Dr. Filderman went on, this is an assurance that the present Government will safeguard the peaceful existence and the civil rights of the Jewish population. If any disturbances of the peace should, nevertheless, occur, I am hopeful and confident, he said, that the Government will not hesitate to suppress them, and I believe that it will be in a position to do this.
The “Bukowinaer Volkszeitung” recalled in the same connection an interview which Professor Jorga gave to a representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last October, in the course of which the present Premier said: One would have expected the Roumanian intellectuals to place themselves at the head of a movement against antisemitism, and to stand for a policy of far-reaching tolerance and humanity, which would allow the various nationalities to develop freely within the framework of the Roumanian State, and would secure for the Roumanian people its untramelled development and prosperity. I myself, unfortunately, cannot assume the leadership in the fight against antisemitism. Any initiative which I might take in this regard would only encounter the closed front of the professional politicians, and it would be either totally ignored, or it would be subjected to calumny.
Since then, the paper pointed out, Professor Jorga has become Prime Minister, and as such he can no longer decline the leadership in the fight against antisemitism.
Soon after his assumption of the Premiership, Professor Jorga, to the great satisfaction of the Jews, addressed a letter to the Patriarch of the Roumanian Church, urging him to take more drastic measures to prevent his priests engaging in un-Christian incitement against a section of the population, and not to shrink from dismissing them from their posts, if they are found engaging in such agitation.