Rumanian Foreign Minister Pledges Return of Jewish Property, End of Anti-jewish Laws

Rumanian Foreign Minister Grigore Niculescu-Buzeste in an exclusive interview today with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent declared that his government will soon announce decrees eradicating all traces of racial legislation and restoring all property confiscated from Jews.

The foreign minister gave the JTA correspondent a detailed statement outlining the government’s policy on Jewish affairs, in which the following assurances were made.

The decree issued by the Rumanian Government on August 30, re-establishing the constitutions of 1866 and 1923, makes all Rumanian subjects equal before the law and eliminates all discrimination resulting from race or religion. As a result, Jews enjoy full political and economic rights. In fact, as a consequence of the reinstatement of the old constitutions, all racial legislation automatically becomes unconstitutional. However, the government feels that specific decrees abolishing all discriminatory legislation is necessary and they will be issued shortly.

The government is presently drafting legislation to establish machinery for restoring to Jews all property confiscated during the Antonescu regime. Decrees covering restitution of property will soon be issued.

All government departments have been instructed to reinstate Jewish employees dismissed by the Antonescu regime, if the employees wish to resume their former posts. The Foreign Ministry has already done so. Professional organizations have been ordered to readmit Jews in order that they may resumes practicing their professions. This applies to doctors, lawyers and other professional men. Reinstatement of Jewish state employees and professionals has been accomplished by administrative order, rather than by official decrees, in order to speed the process.

Discussing the question of Palestine, Mr. Niculescu-Buzesti said that although the Rumanian Government will exert no pressure on Jews to induce their emigration, persons wishing to go to Palestine will be assisted, wherever possible, in doing so. He expressed regret that transportation for such emigrants could not be furnished at present because all Rumanian shipping is being used in connection with the war effort. “The government,” the foreign minister added, “finds it natural that Jews wish to create a national home in Palestine and, therefore, has expressed an affirmative attitude towards Zionism.”

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