BUCHAREST (Dec. 19)
Minister of Justice Lucretiu Patrascanu today struck back at Dr. William Filderman, Rumanian Jewish leader, over the latter’s criticism of the new decree abolishing anti-Jewish legislation in Rumania. In a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the minister said.
“The new Rumania intends to fight racialism. The decrease just issued invalidates all the racial laws and establishes equal rights for Jews. The Jews should understand that we are not only defending their interests, but also attempting to establish a basis for mutual understanding between all Rumanian citizens without regard to ethnic origin.”
Pointing out that the section of the new decree most objected to by Dr. Filderman deals with certain categories of Rumanians who moved into Jewish homes when the Jews were ejected from their apartments, the minister continued. “It must be borne in mind that we want to establish justice based not upon revenge. We refuse to imitate the fascists in using their methods. The state cannot take measures against its own interests. Had the decree been issued in September, the clearing out of all Rumanian tenants from Jewish houses would have then perhaps been feasible, but not today.”
Minister Patrascanu also emphasized that indemnities to Jews who were ousted from employment under the anti-Jewish laws cannot be paid at present in view of the fact that “a difficult war must be carried on against Hitlerism and no country can at present afford to indulge in measures which might weaken its war effort.”