U.S. Has Eye on Rumanian Situation, Goga Told; 11,700 Jewish Bars Face Ban
Menu JTA Search

U.S. Has Eye on Rumanian Situation, Goga Told; 11,700 Jewish Bars Face Ban

Download PDF for this date

United States Minister Franklin Gunther, acting under instructions from Washington, today called upon Premier Octavian Goga and informed him that the United States Government, which is a signatory to the 1919 minorities treaty, is closely watching developments in Rumania.

Mr. Gunther is understood to have asked the Premier whether any of the projected measures affect Jews of American citizenship or having property here. It was learned that while Prof. Goga assured Mr. Gunther that American Jews will not be affected, he nevertheless pointed out that it was his Cabinet’s policy to divide Jews into two categories — those of Rumanian and those of foreign citizenship.

With regard to Jews in the first category, the Premier is understood to have explained that Jews who were naturalized after the War will have to prove they obtained their naturalization legally. Jews in the second category, Goga bluntly declared, will be expelled as soon as possible.

Asked by Mr. Gunther where the expelled persons could go, Goga is understood to have replied that the Rumanian Government was not worrying about that question.

Following the friendly representations by the British and French ministers here, the diplomats of those Governments as well as of the United States are closely watching developments and are reporting them fully to their home offices.

The Goga Cabinet, it was learned, is divided on the question of the anti-Jewish program. Prof. Alexander Cuza, Minister Without Portfolio and known as the “father of Rumanian anti-Semitism,” is demanding immediate realization of the program while Goga and four National Peasant ministers oppose drastic action, fearing international complications.

No incidents of anti-Jewish violence are reported from the provinces, quiet generally prevailing. The administration is trying to maintain a reputation of “respectable anti-Semitism” and is warning rowdies that violence will be checked and punished.

Newspapers report that the Cabinet will meet again soon to consider drafts of anti-Semitic ordinances and to introduce an official numbers clauses for Jews in universities. An unofficial numerous clauses has long been maintained in the country’s institutions of higher learning.

Some 11,700 Jewish-owned public houses face liquidation as a result of the Goga Cabinet’s decision to withdraw liquor licenses from Jews, it was estimated today on the basis of official figures. According to Government statistics there are 52,796 licensed public houses in Rumania. Of this number, 41,096 are owned by Christians.

An official communique, issued following a Cabinet meeting last night at which it was decided to appoint commissions to enforce anti-Semitic measures, declares withdrawal of Jewish-held liquor licenses is necessary on the ground that “Jewish spirit merchants have poisoned the Rumanian population.”

The Cabinet provided for commissions to withdraw liquor licenses held by Jews, revise naturalizations obtained “fraudulently” after the war, appoint Government inspectors to enforce compliance with labor regulations in Jewish and foreign-owned enterprises, and to reduce prices of cotton yarn, kerosene and salt. Another Cabinet decision provided that Rumanian language and history must be taught by pure-blooded Rumanians in all schools, including those of minorities.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund