Bucharest (Sep. 6)
We are living on a volcano of peasant disaffection which has found expression in Codreanu’s election to Parliament in Piatra Neamtz, Deputy Landau writes in an editorial in his daily “Unzer Zeit” of Kishineff.
The conditions of misery under which the people are living, he says, and the unscrupulousness of certain politicians are driving the peaceful peasant into the most dangerous experiments, which may cost us dear. The Government must realise now that it is not only we Jews who stand on the brink of a terrible catastrophe, but that the whole country is on the verge of a tremendous upheaval, due to the success which has been attending the extremist propaganda conducted all over the country, with the benevolent neutrality of the gendarme and the Prefect.
The Neamtz result is a warning, he proceeds. The Government and the political parties must heed that warning. Codreanu’s election is not a fluke. There was a violent electoral campaign, and all the older parties fought desperately to prevent Codreanu being returned, and yet he secured over 11,000 votes, and emerged at the top of the poll. Nor was it an election which the older Parties treated as of no importance. The vacancy was created by a leading Minister engaging in a new activity directly bound up with the Government’s stabilisation policy, and the Government Party, the Liberals, the National Peasants, the Averescuites, and the rest looked to this by-election as an index of the feeling of the country. They were compelled to fight Codreanu if they were to save themselves. Yet with all their propaganda, with all their political machinery behind them, and with all the arguments with which they tried to convince the peasants that the Iron Guard, of which Codreanu is the leader, is a swindle, and can offer them no real solution of their difficulties, 11,176 peasants went to the polling booth and cast their votes for Codreanu.
It shows the political parties, Deputy Landau says, how they have been governing the country for the last ten years. They have all, the Averescuites, Liberals and National Peasants, tolerated, encouraged and supported the antisemitic propaganda. The former Minister of the Interior, M. Vayda-Voyvod, encouraged it most of all, and now the defeat of his party, the National Peasants, will lie heavy on his conscience. If you sow wind, you reap storm, and that is what has happened to the political parties in Piatra Neamtz. The peasants have no longer any faith in the older parties. They have fallen under the spell of the extremists, and they are ready to follow Godreanu as the Germans are following Hitler. The road is the same in both countries. The fate of Roumania cannot be a matter of indifference to us Roumanian Jews, for at the end of the extremist road is the precipice, and if Roumania goes, we go with it.