Bucharest (Dec. 4)
Professor Cuza, the Roumanian antisemitic leader, speaking in the Chamber to-day said that he welcomed the present crisis in the country, because it is smashing the banks through which the Jews exercise their domination over the Roumanian people.
Between Professor Jorga, the Prime Minister, and myself, he said, there is only a difference of methods, but in essentials we are at one, and by the spring there will be a Cuzist regime in Roumania.
Professor Jorga thereupon rose and amid much applause from the Government benches congratulated Professor Cuza.
Deputy Samuel Singer, one of the members of the Jewish Parliamentary Club, protested vehemently against Professor Cuza’s antisemitic speech.
He was followed by Deputy Zelea Codreanu, the leader of the antisemitic terrorist youth organisation, the Iron Guard, who in 1925 assassinated the Prefect of Jassy, M. Manciu, because he had taken measures to prevent an anti-Jewish outbreak, and who was recently elected to Parliament in a bye-election. This was his first speech in the Chamber, and he devoted it to a passionate demand for the expulsion of all Jews from Roumania. If our aims are not given effect by this Parliament, Codreanu warned the Chamber, it will have to be dissolved, and we shall appoint a National Constituent Assembly which will carry out the will of the people.
The relations between Professor Jorga and Professor Cuza have been the subject of frequent speculation in the Roumanian press since Professor Jorga’s accession to power. There was a good deal of pointed talk when last summer, in the debate on the King’s speech Professor Cuza was cheered loudly by the Government Deputies when he recalled the collaboration which had existed years ago between Professor Jorga and himself, when they had been joint leaders of the antisemitic party of the time.
Professor Cuza was moved to the recollection of those old days, when Deputy Theodore Fischor, 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 argue that the Prime Minister’s views on the Jewish question are not dissimilar to his own.
The democratic general press expressed alarm at the time at the close friendship which it said was being displayed in Government quarters towards Professor Cuza. The “Adeverul”, for instance, asked why 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 (with Codreanu’s bye-election seat eight) seats in Parliament. The Government has announced that it would take drastic measures against all extremist movements, it said, 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” added, 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.
In April, soon after Professor Jorga became Prime Minister, a Cuzist paper, the “Gazeta Maramuresului”, 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 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.
The Jewish National Party, as well as the leaders of the Union of Roumanian Jews have expressed satisfaction with Professor Jorga’s present views on the place of the Jewish citizens in the Roumanian State, and when Parliament celebrated his 60th, birthday last June, the Jewish Party spokesman lauded him as a scholar and a wise statesman.
In September, however, there was a storm in the Roumanian press over an alleged utterance by Professor Jorga to a deputation of peasants in which he complained that it was against his wish that the Minister of Finance had got the National Bank to help those “Jides” of the Berkovitch Bank, and told the peasants that if they had no money to pay their bills they should protest them. We can’t run the National Bank as we would like, he added, because the foreign expert in charge will not allow it, and if we act against his wishes he has threatened that he will leave the country and declare Roumania bankrupt.