Bucharest (Mar. 21)
Prime Minister Groza of Rumania today received the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency and assured him that all possible measure would be taken by the Rumanian Government to bring back to their homes all the surviving Jews of Northern Transylvania who were deported to the notorious Oswiecim camp in Poland, as well as Transylvanian Jews who are now in Russia as war prisoners.
Of the 180,000 Jews who lived in Northern Transylvania in 1940 before it became part of Hungary, 140,000 were sent to forced labor, and of them only 60,000 returned, In 1944 about 100,000 Jews – practically the entire Jewish population of Northern Transylvania – were deported by the German-Hungarian authorities to Poland. So far only 80 Jews have returned to their homes.
The returning Jewish survivors reported that they were liberated from the Oswiecim camp by the advancing Russian troops. They stated that about 12,000 more Transylvanian Jews were liberated from Oswiecim and that these are at present in Cracow, capital of Western Galicia. The majority of them are sick and all are in need of clothing and food.
“I consider it one of my major duties to do everything possible in order to bring these Jews back to their home towns,” Prime Minister Groza told the JTA correspondent. “I may find among them many of my schoolmates and personal friends. The necessary orders for their immediate repartriation will be issued to the proper authorities and medical and other aid will be sent to them.”
It was estimated here today that there are about 8,000 Transylvanian Jews in Soviet Russia held as war prisoners. They were captured by the Red Army as part of the “Jewish Battalions” of forced laborers formed by the pro-Nazi Hungarian regime and sent to build fortifications on the front lines.
RUMANIAN GOVERNMENT ALLOCATES FUNDS FOR JEWISH RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS
The Ministry for Religious Affairs today announced that the sum of 120,000,000 lei – about $800,000 at the pre-war rate of exchange – was allocated this week by the government as a yearly subvention for Jewish religious institutions. In addition, the government opened a special one-time account of 200,000,000 lei for Jewish religious needs as compensation for the last four years of the previous pro-Nazi regime during which the Jewish community was deprived of government subventions.
The three-day conference of the Yihud Party, which is composed of the Poale-Zion and Zeire-Zion groups, opened today in Bucharest with 61 delegates from all parts of the country participating. The conference wired greetings to King Michael, Prime Minister Groza and to the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in Moscow.