BUCHAREST (Jan. 1)
The policy of the present Rumanian government with regard to the Jewish population is encouraging many Jews to remain in the country, according to a survey by a special correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
It is estimated that more than one-half of the approximately 350,000 Jews in Rumania intend to remain here. Many of them feel sufficiently secure to make longrange plans, believing that there is no chance of an anti-Semitic regime coming to power in the forseeable future.
However, traditional anti-Semitic propaganda has not ceased. But the agitation is not fostered by the government, as was the case for many years befores the war, but by the pre-war political parties which are no longer in power, particularly the National Peasant Party and the Liberal Party.
Nearly all the leaders of these parties to whom this correspondent spoke voiced anti-Jewish sentiments. Even a statement by Juliu Maniu, head of the Peasant Party, which appeared in the party’s official organ two days ago and which casued suspension of the paper for three days, is already being used by his cohorts as an anti-Semitic rallying point.
JEWS RESIGN FROM PEASANT PARTY TO PROTEST ANTI-SEMITIC ACTIVITIES
These activities have caused the resignation of a number of Jews from the Peasant Party, and in the past year some twenty Jewish newspapermen have quit their jobs on the Peasant Party newspaper, not only because of the party’s overt anti-Semitism, but also because the atmosphere around the paper was openly anti-Jewish. Maniu’s secretary is Prince Serban Ghika, a notorious member of the pro-Nazi anti-Semitic Iron Guard. He is known to have taken part in the violent anti-Jewish outbreaks in January 1941.
The present government’s attitude toward anti-Semitism and its constant struggle against it is to its credit. If the enforcement of new laws providing for the restitution of Jewish property has not been as effective as it might be, it is chiefly due to the fact that the historical parties are utilizing these laws to encourage anti-Semitism. The only effective weapon in their opposition to the government is anti-Jewish incitement.
The older Jewish community leaders are of the conservative type. They whine as they reject any idea of fighting the anti-Semitic actions of the old parties.
But the Committee of Democratic Jews, led by M.A Saraceanu, former secretary-general of the Federation of Rumanian Jews, has openly charged the Liberal and the National Peasant parties with fostering anti-Semitism, and has addressed a letter to this effect to President Truman, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Joseph Stalin.
The Committee of Democratic Jews reported that it had come 80,000 signatures to the letter which it sent to the Big Three heads. That about represents its strength, but the overwhelming majority of Jews unquestionably voted for the Government Bloc in the recent elections. They had no other alternative, since the older leaders of the Jewish community, who shun the Committee of Democratic Jews, take the attitude that the opposition parties would not call the present regime “a Jewish Government” if Jews refused to take official positions.
The statement sent by the Committee of Democratic Jews is considered in some circles to be an obvious political maneuver engineered by the government to discredit the Liberal and National Peasant parties abroad. However, the fact remains that all charges made by the Committee against the two old parties are true, notwithstanding that the statement originates from a pro-Government body.