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Between the Lines

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Encouraged by the decision of the Rumanian Ministry of Education to drastically cut the admittance of Jewish and other non-Roumanian students into the universities, the anti-Semitic forces in Rumania have now gone a step further in insisting that Jews be ousted from employment.

The present law in Rumania provides that eighty per cent of all employes in any enterprise in the country must be Rumanian citizens. Led by Dr. Vaida-Voevod, the anti-Semitic elements in Rumania are now demanding that this percentage be increased.


There are today a million Jews in Rumania, but a great proportion of them are still not Rumanian citizens. Tens of thousands of Jews in the territories annexed by Rumania after the war are still in the status of aliens. As such, therefore, they come under the category of those who belong to the twenty per cent non-Rumanians to whom employment is restricted.

In Bessarabia, which was formerly a part of Russia, there are today about 12,000 Jews to whom the Rumanian government refuses naturalization, despite the fact that they were born on Bessarabian soil, and notwithstanding the fact that they have been under the Rumanina regime ever since Bessarabia became a part of Rumania.

The same is true also of thousands of Jews in Transylvania, which was formerly a part of Hungary, and in Bukowina, which was formerly a part of Austria. Thousands of Jews there have been struggling for years to obtain Rumanian citizenship, but to no avail.


Now these Jews in Bessarabia, Transylvania and Bukowina, though living under Rumanian rule for the last seventeen years, are practically deprived of the right to work under the new law which secures eighty per cent of the nation’s employment only for those who are privileged to be considered Rumanian citizens. Their future is exposed to even greater danger if the present attempt to introduce further restrictions against non-citizens in employment succeeds.

Only a few weeks ago assurance was given to Jewish leaders in Rumania that the demands of Dr. Vaida-Voevod to oust Jews from education and from commerce would not be taken seriously by the government. Judging by the strict measures which the authorities took against the anti-Jewish disturbances in the Bucharest University, one was inclined to believe in this assurance.


With the decision adopted last week, to introduce a “numerus valachius” for students of national minorities, confidence in the government’s assurances to the Jews was greatly shaken. This confidence will altogether disappear if further restrictions are introduced against Jews in employment.

With all the grievances which the Jews have had for years against Rumania, they have never brought any complaints against the government to the League of Nations. The restriction in the employment of Jews, simply because the government is not inclined to grant them full citizenship to which they are entitled, will necessitate the lodging of an appeal with the League of Nations for intervention. Only such an appeal may perhaps bring relief to the Jews of Bessarabia, Transylvania and Bukowina—territories which Rumania would never have obtained if it were not for the powers vested in the League of Nations.

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