Roumanians Divided, Government Inert in Attacks on Jews
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Roumanians Divided, Government Inert in Attacks on Jews

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The anti-Semitic outrages in Czernowitz, provincial capital of Bukowina and important garrison in Roumania, which were fostered by Hitlerite agitators in the German or Saxon minorities, are taking on important significance both from the point of view of Roumanian politics and of Jewish life in Roumania.

Roumania has long been the scene of anti-Semitic outbursts, especially at the universities. These outbursts have usually been officially frowned upon, but the government has not acted. However, in the recent incidents of Czernowitz, which consisted in boycotting Jewish shops, pillaging of Jewish homes and attacks on unoffending Jewish citizens, elements which are of national importance to Roumania and of primary importance for Roumanian Jewry were infused. Just as the Nazis in Germany have managed to fuse their anti-Semitism into their national program and philosophy, so have the Hitlerite agitators in Roumania fused anti-Semitism with their treaty revision policies, so that in the west a whole German nationalist group is ready to follow Hitler, seceding from Roumania, and in the East, a whole Ukrainian group wishes to set up a nationalist Ukrainian government.


And the war cry of both groups is:

“Brothers, you are in want although abundance is at your doors. The riches and properties of Jewish business men belong to you. Forward!”

The incidents of Czernowitz were repeated by Saxon, Swabian, and Ukrainian nationalists in Temeshvar, Brashov, Sibiu, and Cluj. At the University of Jassy the usual Roumanian outrages were renewed. Jewish students were excluded from courses in Political Economy, Civil Law, History of Law, International Law, Chemistry, Agriculture.

The Roumanian reaction to all this is significant. The government, as usual, is inert. Many private factions openly make common cause with the National Socialists and their anti-Semitism. But on the other hand, the Rector and Faculty of the University of Jassy have aggressively combatted anti-Semitism. The Senate of the University approved and prescribed for imitation the attitude of Professor Rascheano, who refused to continue his lectures as long as Jews were excluded. Many professors denounced Hitlerism and spoke of the contributions of the Jews to civilization.

In the newspapers, statesmen of every Roumanian party deplored the future if the National Socialists were to be allowed to sack three hundred shops in a city like Czernowitz and raise throughout the countryside the cry of “Long live Hitlerism! Long live greater Ukrainia! Death to the Jews!”


In the meantime the Hitlerite organization of Bukowina and the Iron Guard declared a ten-day boycott on Jewish stores and promised to set up a commercial mechanism which would exclude the Jews as an economic intermediary between Bukowina and Germany proper. The German newspapers of Roumania published as its program:

1. Let every German in Roumania buy only German goods and boycott Jewish firms.

2. Let only German gazettes be bought and read.

3. Let only German drugs be asked for in pharmacies, etc.

As for the Jewish body of citizens in Roumania, they have adopted a patriotic attitude which is reminiscent of the stubborn patriotism of so many German Jews. Dr. Fildermann, president of the Jewish Union of Roumania, stated: “We Jews, who have suffered more than any other group, declare ourselves at one on every question, with the highest interests of Greater Roumania. We are ready to fight every attack on the integrity of the kingdom. We take a formal oath to struggle within the country and outside the country, with all the means at our disposal, to have the Roumanian frontiers and rights as established by the treaties respected.”

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