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Lithuania’s New Jewish Minister Announces His Policy

July 24, 1923
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The appointment of Dr. S. Rosenbaum as Minister for Jewish Affairs is a source of gratification to Lithuanian Jewry, especially as there were sinister rumors in circulation recently that the Ministry for Jewish Affairs would be abolished and a ministry of all National Minorities established under a German minister.

The Jewish deputies and the Jewish National Council made vigororous representations to the Government against such a policy and on the establishment of the Coalition Government, M. Galvanowsky invited Dr. Rosenbaum and asked him to take over the Ministry for Jewish Affairs.

In conversation with representatives of the Jewish Press, Dr. Rosenbaum said: “The relations between the Lithuanian people and the Jews of the country have recently been strained. My view is that there must be an improvement in this regard. This will be one of my principal aims as a member of the Government. I hope that the Government will strive to make possible the peaceful cooperation of all the nationalities in Lithuania.

“I have never” he proceeded “had a personal policy. I have always been and will remain subject to the Jewish National Council and the group of Jewish deputies. But I hold firmly that the highest national organ is the conference of Jewish communities, and between the conferences the Jewish National Council elected by them and its Executive.

“Our aim must be to safeguard our national rights guaranteed in the Constitution and for that purpose legalize the National Council as the highest organ of our autonomy, and to realize our citizenship rights in the economic shere.”

The new government is a coalition of the Christian Democratic Party and the People’s Socialist Party, under the Premiership of M. Galvanowski, the former Premier. The People’s Socialist Party holds the portfolios of the Interior and of Communications. The rest of the portfolios are held by the Christian Democrats.

The Premier is also Minister of Foreign Affairs and for White Russian Affairs.

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