BUDAPEST (May. 13)
Government supporters weighed today a warning of ex-Prime Minister Stephen Bethlen that introduction of “Nazi methods” of treating Jews might result in Hungary’s economic collapse.
“As a consequence of a policy of aping Hitler the nation would be exposed to a world boycott which might bring about the collapse of the whole country in a very short time by bringing the whole industrial life to a standstill,” Count Bethlen declared.
He addressed the House of Deputies yesterday on what he called the disproportionately large number of Jews in Hungary’s industrial life. While urging the Government to work out a program to correct this disparity, he counseled it to suppress anti-Semitic agitation with a strong hand for the Jewish problem will never be solved by disorders.” (Briefly reported in JTA NEWS of May 13).
Praising Jewish contributions to economic life of Hungary, he said the predominance of Jews in industry in this country was caused by the fact that for centuries they have been barred in many countries from any occupation but commerce and industry.
He cautioned against extra-legal discrimination against Jews and said that all Hungarian economic and social evils were “sometimes erroneously ascribed to Jews.”
Count Bethlen recalled that Jewish immigrants from Galicia had arrived here 60 or 70 years ago and had established important industrial and commercial enterprises by perseverance, intelligence and industry.
“There is nothing strange about that,” he said, “since the Jews are a people with a culture going back 5,000 years who were not allowed
in most countries to pursue other professions than trade. Hungary must be grateful to the Jews for creating a new industrial life.”
“But the fact remains,” declared the former Prime Minister, “that Jews and Jewish youth occupy most of the positions in Hungarian industries. This is provoking dissatisfaction among the Christian population, which considers its position insecure, while to Christian youth particularly industrial life is practically terra incognita (an unexplored field).
“Nazi methods, however, will not bring any advantages to Hungary, which has only 2,000,000 people, seeing that a nation of 70,000,000 is unable to afford such a policy without serious consequences. As a consequence of a policy of aping Hitler the nation would be exposed to a world boycott which might bring about the collapse of the whole country in a very short time by bringing the whole internal industrial life to a standstill.”