Bucharest (Oct. 28)
For the last few weeks there has been a fierce antisemitic pogrom agitation carried on in the township of Polien-Risciva, which is only a few kilometres away from the town of Borsha, the scene of the pogrom which occurred in the summer of 1929, the Yiddish daily “Unzer Zeit” writes. The agitation is headed by two Bessarabian teachers and several local ringleaders, it says, and every Monday and Thursday big Cuzist demonstrations are held just outside the town, at which the Bessarabian teachers incite the crowd of peasants to do what the Borsha peasants did, setting fire to the houses of the Jews and driving them out of the town.
The peasants have started to threaten the Jews that if they do not leave the town they will be driven out, and the red cockerel will crow over the ruins of all the Jewish houses. All the peasants are refusing to pay their debts to the Jews, telling them that soon there will be a different day of reckoning coming for them. Peasants who have been living in houses near those occupied by Jews have left their homes and gone elsewhere. The Jews are afraid to stop in the town.
A delegation of leading Jewish inhabitants, headed by the Rabbi of Polien-Risciva, has gone to Sziget-Marmorosz, to present the facts to the District Prefect, and to appeal to him to take steps to put down the pogromist agitation, pointing out that it was in that way that the Borsha pogrom broke out. The Prefect, M. Jurka, promised the delegation that he would take steps to prevent any excesses occurring, and he immediately despatched five members of the security police force to the town, with instructions to enquire into the situation and to report to him by telephone, adding that if they found things as alarming as the Jews feared, he would send down a regiment of military and gendarmerie to keep order.
RINGLEADERS OF BORSHA OUTBREAK RECANT: ADDRESS PEASANT DEMONSTRATION UNDER AUSPICES OF NATIONAL PEASANT PARTY DENOUNCING ANTISEMITISM AS HARMFUL TO ENTIRE COMMUNITY: JEWS SUSPICIOUS OF VOLTE FACE FEARING TO ACCEPT NEW ATTITUDE AS GENUINE
At the same time, there was a big demonstration held this week at Sziget, convoked by the National Peasant Party, the same paper states, at which the chief speakers were the priest Berendei and Constantin Danila, two of the ringleaders of the Borsha pogrom of 1930, who this time, however, instead of agitating against the Jews as they did in 1930, denounced the spirit of antisemitism among the young peasants and the students, declaring that antisemitism is harmful both to the peasants and to the entire country, and demanding that there should be an end of antisemitism.
Our Jewish brethren believe, the priest Berendei said, that we organised the Borsha pogrom. That is a mistake. I was never an antisemite, he declared, and I hope I shall never be one.
Danila spoke in a similar tone, concluding with the words: “Long live the Roumanian and the Jewish population of Marmorosz”.
Deputy Dr. Elie Lazar, the National Peasant Deputy for the Marmorosz District, who closed the meeting, appealed to the peasants to live in amity and fraternity with the Jewish population, because only by common work could the country as a whole prosper.
The Jewish population is puzzled by the sudden conversion of these notorious antisemites, and is inclined to treat their professions of friendship with considerable reserve for the present, their memories of the Borsha troubles being too fresh to allow them to accept the change as genuine.