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Rumania Will Restore Minority Status to Jews if Unity is Achieved, Minister Says

The Rumanian Government today announced that it is ready to restore minority status to the Jews of Rumania providing that all the Jewish political parties in the country are united in demanding such a move.

The announcement was made by Ghita pop, Minister for Religious Affairs. At present, Jews in Rumania are not considered a minority, but Rumanians of the Mosaic Religion. Jewish groups, except the party led by Dr. William Filderman, president of the Union of Rumanian Jews, are opposed to the new status and are demanding that Jews be restored to the status of a national minority, which they had until the outbreak of the war under the pre-war international pacts.

Mr. Pop also announced that the Government would be ready to introduce a special tax upon Jews, the income of which would go for the maintenance of Jewish institutions, providing the Jewish communities in the country ask for the introduction of such a tax.

King Michael of Rumania today approved the decree for punishment of war criminals. The list of criminals to be tried includes Dr. M. Gingold, former head of the Central Jewish Council, which was established by the pro-Nazi Antonescu regime as a central Jewish body to act as liaison between the Jews and the German and Rumanian authorities. The functions of the Council were limited chiefly to carrying out anti-Jewish orders issued by the Germans and by the pro-Nazi Rumanian regime.

Others listed as war criminals include those who ordered and initiated the establishment of Jewish ghettos, internment camps, deportations of Jews and the extermination of the Jewish population.

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