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Jews Quit Villages in Rumania As Peasants Prepare to Seize Property

A survey today of the effects of the Goga Government’s threatened anti-Semitic measures revealed one of the greatest migratory movements in Rumanian history developing in the provinces of Bukowina, Bessarabia and Moldavia, territories annexed after the World War, which have large Jewish populations.

A wave of Jewish refugees from villages is flooding the larger towns in those provinces, where the peasants have literally accepted Premier Goga’s declaration that the Jews will no longer be permitted to live on the land. Although no such law has yet been passed, the peasants in numerous districts have already agreed on division of Jewish-owned property and are only awaiting promulgation of the law to take possession. in the face of such an attitude, it has become impossible for Jews to remain in those districts.

Jewish leaders here estimate that at least 20,000 families, totalling 100,000 souls, which have lived on the land and in villages for generations, will soon become a burden upon the community and will require relief assistance. The number includes Jewish innkeepers whose licenses will soon be revoked under the projected law forbidding Jews to sell liquor. (According to official estimates 11,700 of some 52,000 public houses are Jewish-owned.)

Free soup kitchens are being established in several of the provincial towns to feed the refugees and temporary shelter is being provided by private homes and Jewish institutions. Since the majority of the refugees are trained agricultural workers, Jewish leaders hope that central organizations will be able to secure their transfer to countries where skilled workers are admitted.

According to an estimate by leaders here, if no other measures are adopted but removal of Jews from the land, cancellation of liquor licenses and revocation of labor permits of those whose citizenship is annulled, a minimum of 200,000 Jews will be pauperized and made dependent on the community for elementary needs. The leaders see no solution but to appeal to Jewish-relief organizations abroad.

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