The Bronstein case and the attitude of the Roumanian Legation in the United States as well as the central Roumanian authorities, continue to be the topic of editorial comment in the Anglo-Jewish press.
Editorials in leading organs commend the stand of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in persisting in its reports despite the denials issued by the Roumanian Legation and score the latter for its short-sighted policy.
The “Jewish Transcript” of Seattle writes:
“Just how much pressure an unfettered, unshackled press, aggressive and progressive, can bring to bear upon even an august and awe-impelling authority as the kingdom of Roumania was illustrated last week when the curtain of governmental denials was forced upward to reveal how the cruelty and barbarism of a medieval torture rack was wreaked upon an innocent Jew in that haven of Jew-baiters, Roumania, the land of Cuza and Jorga.
“‘Baseless!’ said the Roumanian legation at Washington, D.C., when the first report filtered through. Up went the official shoulder in the customary shrug…what can one expect of a Jewish press agency that persists in reporting atrocities and attacks on Jews?
“Who ever heard of such crude sadism as pouring salt and lime on a manacled man’s raw wounds?
“Impossible on the face of it, said the swivel-chair chiefs of the legation.
“And, so saying, they turned to more important things than baseless stories of the torturing of a Jew.
“But in their New York offices, the editors of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, that far-flung news organization which reaches into every important Jewish community in the world seeking the latest Jewish news, thought differently.
“Correspondents don’t cable stories made up out of whole cloth. Get the facts and get them straight is the paramount reportorial credo, the editorial tradition.
“And so, when the official denial came through from the Roumanian legation, the New York editors realized that here was a test of their news machine-a government was challenging the accuracy, even the good-faith, of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“It was a showdown…. Either the Jewish Telegraphic Agency must carry the brand of inaccuracy or the Roumanian officialdom must be shown to have been wrong. Either Bronstein lay in a hospital cot in the throes of feverish agony, or a world-girdling news agency must admit it sent out untrue despatches.
“So the wires hummed. Sputtering tappings sped under the Atlantic. ‘Query,’ said the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to its Roumanian correspondent, ‘is Bronstein torture story correct?’
“And the answer came back-this answer upon which the good name of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and the authenticity of its reports hung-it came back to the New York editors over the buzzing cable: ‘Story authentic. Photostats of local papers carrying full accounts to follow.’
“Quickly came the Roumanian turn-about-face. In the face of undeniable photostatic copies of front pages of Roumanian papers that proclaimed in flaring headlines the full bestialities of the Bronstein torture, the Roumanian legation took back all it had said about ‘baseless reports’ and ‘incredible’ news accounts. Took it all back and was sorry.
“And so Jewry the world over sees another instance where the true power of the press is demonstrated. Again is made forcibly evident the fact that a strong Jewish press, carrying the news of an energetic, fact-gathering news agency like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, exerts a pressure, even upon a nation like Roumania, that can not be gainsaid.
“Without the Jewish publications throughout the world, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency would be powerless to appeal to the general sense of fairness before which even the most autocratic of governments must bow. Without a world-girdling organization such as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Jews would be left helpless in the face of such denials as first came from the Roumanian legation.
“Thus is clearly demonstrated the efficacy of the press and its agencies as a factor in ameliorating Jewish ills. In such instances as the Bronstein affair lies the proof of the need and value of America’s Jewish press as a champion of Jewish rights and a bulwark in Israel.”