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Atrocity Tales Disproved; 30,000 Jews Fled Bessarabia

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From every quarter today facts were emerging to give the lie to tales in recent days of “Jewish atrocities,” apparently spread with the intention of making the Jews a scapegoat for the population’s feelings over the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and North Bukowina.

Nicu Flondor, Royal Resident in Bukowina, who was reported assassinated in Cernauti by “Jewish terrorists,” yesterday turned up alive and in good health in Vatra Dornei, where he is remaining to direct evacuation of refugees, according to an official announcement. Likewise, M. Cazacliu, Royal Resident in Bessarabia, who also was alleged to have been killed by Jews, is now in Jassy, where he is directing evacuation of Bessarabians.

That Jews welcomed the Soviet occupation is belied by the fact that three times as many Jews fled to Rumania from the occupied region as emigrated there from the Old Kingdom.

Refugees from the occupied regions are now reported to exceed 200,000, of whom at least 30,000 are Bessarabian Jews. On the other hand, the number of Jews who returned to Bessarabia from Rumania totals 9,500, according to an official announcement.

The authorities, it was stated, are organizing further return of Bessarabian Jews. The Jewish population of Bessarabia is now put at 290,000, and of North Bukowina, 80,000. As a result of the annexations, Rumania’s Jewish population has been reduced from 4 to 2.6 per cent of the total pre-annexation population of 19,535,000.

As to the refugees arriving here, although the authorities are attempting to divert them to other points, in order to avoid overcrowding Bucharest, they continue to stream into the capital. Of the multitude of pitiful scenes this correspondent observed, the most memorable was two old, bearded Jews arriving in an ancient, battered ambulance at a station for aged Jewish invalids.

Bucharest’s population yesterday remained entirely calm. A special police watch was kept on every street corner Tuesday night to forestall possible demonstrations and acts of violence, but despite the activities of rumor-mongers and the circulation of at least one inflammatory manifesto blaming the English and the Jews for Rumania’s plight, nothing extraordinary occurred.

Certainly there were no demonstrations in front of the Royal palace, as some quarters assert. A correspondent whose hotel window overlooks the palace square was unable to detect unusual crowds or activities there in the past 36 hours.

(The Associated Press reported widespread anti-Semitic rioting in Rumania. However, a New York Times dispatch said careful check-up revealed that most reports of anti-Jewish rioting were ”gross exaggeration or sheer fantasy.” The Times said “it is so far indicated the Rumanian Government will continue to clamp down firmly to prevent mass outbreaks” which “almost inevitably would be accompanied by Russian demands on this country.” A Times dispatch from Bucharest Wednesday said, regarding reports of anti-Semitic outbreaks: “It is understood the Soviet has stated its opposition to any such tendencies on the ground that it wishes no ‘trouble’ on its frontiers.” The Times also gives a description of the massacre of 300 dock workers by the army in Galati, which is apparently the same incident that was described by the German News Bureau as a massacre of Jews. The workers were among 2,000 Gagautzi or Mongol Christians who were being sent to Bessarabia.)

Nevertheless, anti-Jewish feeling is rife throughout Bucharest, even if controlled.

The manifesto charged that “British agents in the company of Jewish industrialists” banqueted in a well-known luxury restaurant on the night of June 28 to celebrate the Soviet occupation and the London radio on the same night “incited Hungarians to march against Rumania.” After listing other and similarly unsupported charges, the manifesto concluded with the slogan, in capital letters, “DOWN WITH ENGLAND! DOWN WITH THE JEWS!”

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