Jewish Minority Rights in Lithuania, Latvia, Roumania Got Set-back in Year of 1932

The position of Jewish minorities in Lithuania, Latvia and Roumania are dealt with in the annual report for 1932, issued by the European Minorities Congress, which contains a review of the position of minorities in various European States.

The restrictions in the autonomous rights of municipalities in Lithuania, came as a hard blow to the rights of the Jewish minority, the report points out. The Jewish language rights were practically abolished by a law issued in March, 1932, and affected particularly the position of the Jewish Cooperative Banks.

This refers to the Government Order which comes into force in 1933, providing that the Jewish Banks in Lithuania must in future keep their accounts in the Lithuanian language and not in Yiddish. Negotiations are still going on between the representatives of the Jewish Community and the Government authorities with a view to bringing about a modification of this law. A memorandum on this subject was submitted to the Government by a Jewish delegation, and further consideration of the problem was promised.

The Jewish Teachers’ Seminary in Latvia maintained by the Government was closed down, the report further points out, which means that it will be impossible for the Jewish minority to train Jewish teachers for their schools. At the same time the Government made it compulsory for the immediate introduction of Hebrew or Yiddish as the language of instruction in the Jewish schools, eliminating the use of Russian and German, which is possible only by a gradual process, or, alternatively, that Latvian should be the language of instruction, which is really the intention of the Government.

Dealing with Roumania, the report records that the Roumanian Cabinet under the leadership of Professor Jorga was a great disappointment to the Jewish population. Professor Jorga identified himself completely with the anti-Semitic camp. Not one of the hooligans responsible for the pogrom in Jassy was punished, the report adds, The murder of five Jews in Soroca was passed over even without a trial of the guilty. The moratorium of peasants’ debts resulted in the break-down of the middle-class and the smaller banks, and the entire Jewish middle-class was particularly affected by this moratorium.

The Jewish position in other East European countries is not more satisfactory, the report states.

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