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Now-editorial Notes

The reports that Octavian Goga, the notorious reactionary and anti-Semite, is to be invited by King Carol to join the Rumanian Cabinet, indicate an ominous situation in the affairs of Rumania. Goga, a former member of the government, is one of Rumania’s foremost poets and Jew-baiters. Now he is also identified with the Nazi movement in Rumania. During his period of office as a member of the Rumanian government he published a book full of the most venomous and vicious attacks on the Jewish people.

In 1927, when I had a lengthy interview with Queen Marie, of Rumania, and referred to Goga’s anti-Semitic outbursts in his new book just published at the time, Queen Marie remarked:

“Goga is a great poet, but a poor diplomat.”

To which I replied:

“He is a member of your government not as a poet but as a diplomat.”

It so happened that several weeks later Octavian Goga was dropped as a member of the Cabinet.

If it is true that Goga is now coming back to the Cabinet at the request of King Carol, it means that the Iron Guards and Nazified Rumanians are to determine and direct the major policies of the Rumanian government. Such a change at this time would lead to intensified anti-Semitism. It would also discredit and weaken the King Carol regime. In recent years the wiser counsel of Foreign Minister Titulescu has helped to avert serious internal trouble in Rumania and to fashion a peaceful policy among her neighbors as a member of the Little Entente and of the Federation of Balkan States.

A “GOD-GIVEN” CONSTITUTION

The new Austrian Constitution is a remarkable document full of “ifs” and “buts” which make it practically meaningless. Thus Section Two, Article XVI, reads in part as follows:

“All citizens are equal before the law. They can be treated in law as not equal only when practical considerations justify it.

“All patriotic citizens who conform with the necessary conditions are equally eligible for public employment.”…

Article XXVI reads:

1. “Every citizen has a right to express his opinion by word of mouth, writing, picture or any other manner within the limits fixed by law.

2. “Laws may decree a preliminary censorship of the press, theatre, radio, cinema and similar representations.”…

Article XXVII reads:

1. “All inhabitants of Austria who have attained the age for deciding their religion (the age is 16) will enjoy full freedom of religion and conscience in so far as this does not conflict with government order or morality.

2. “Religious belief must not interfere with the citizens’ duty. Public employment is independent of religious belief. For employment in educational institutions the law will establish exceptions to this.”…

The preamble to this latest “Constitution” reads thus: “In the name of God Almighty, from whom all laws emanate, the Austrian people have been given this Constitution for a Christian German Federal State on a corporative basis.”

Under the reservations embodied in the new “Constitution,” any interpretation may be given to the laws, which emanate not from God Almighty, but from the present makeshift rulers of Austria. To suit the political purposes and chauvinistic or religious or racial prejudices of the small men dominating Austria today, the new constitution could easily fit into any Fascist or Nazi scheme. Citizens could be declared as not equal before the law “when practical considerations justify it.” Citizens are equally eligible for public employment, if they establish their patriotism. This opens a wide field for graft and prejudice. Who is to determine the “patriotism” of a citizen applying for public employment?

Citizens have a right to express their opinions by word of mouth, writing, picture or any other manner “within the limits fixed by law.” And the laws may decree a preliminary censorship of the press, the theatre, the radio, the cinema, and so forth.

Public employment is declared “independent of religious belief, but for employment in educational institutions” the law will establish exceptions to this clause.

Is there anything in this “God-given” Constitution that could not cover any of the measures of bigotry and discrimination introduced by Hitler Naziland?

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