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Numerus Clausus Policy Will Not Encourage Baptism, Klebelsberg Says

October 15, 1926
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

The exemption of baptized Jews from the numerus clausus in Hungary is not intended to set on foot a movement for baptism among the Jews, Minister of Education Count Klebelsberg, declared in an interview given to the press on the question of the Numerus Clausus. “Nothing is further from my mind,” he said, “than by means of the Numerus Clausus to conduct a campaign among the Jews for a change in their religion. I have specially fixed a period of a year as a preliminary condition in order to prevent conversion purely for the purpose of obtaining admission to the University.

“My instructions issued to the High Schools with the beginning of the new term on the subject of the Numerus Clausus are being very much over-estimated,” he said, “both by the Right and by the Left. I have made two new orders. The first contains nothing new. I have repeatedly declared in the National Assembly and have also said so in Geneva, that according to the unambiguous provisions of the law for the free exercise of religion the Jews are a religious community and not a race or a nationality. If that is so, it is obvious that in accepting students at the High Schools the certificate of baptism alone can be decisive. The High Schools have known my attitude on this matter and have acted accordingly. It is only at the Medical Faculty of Budapest University that there have been difficulties. With the beginning of the new term I have again drawn the attention of the Rectors to my point of view.

“With regard to the second order, I want to say that the difference between the number of students fixed to be admitted to the Faculties and the actual number of students enrolling is a very small one and the whole question is of significance only from the moral point of view. I have fixed the Numerus Clausus in such a way that in most cases my intention has been attained. That has been the case at three of the four Faculties at Budapest University. The figure I have fixed and the actual number of students enrolling agree. It is only at the Medical Faculty of Budapest University that the Numerus Clausus fined has proved to be too high, having been fixed for 400 students while only 260 applied for admission. Sixteen Jewish students ought to have been admitted according to the real proportion of students at the University. According to the numbers of the religious community and according to my figure 24 Jewish students are to be admitted, so the difference is only 8 Jewish students above the figure. I have not had in mind too big a figure for the Jewish students but the fact that the Jews felt themselves injured by the point that one Jewish student was to be admitted for every 18 Christian students and that the number of Jewish students was not definitely fixed.

“I am not one of those who want to annoy other people overmuch. The Numerus Clausus must be retained for social-political reasons. Retaining that fact such arrangements are to be made which will hurt no one, while having no special importance in themselves,” he declared.

The United Palestine Appeal in Providence, R. I. launched its campaign for $50,000 at a banquet held at the Hotel Narragansett last week. Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Honorary Chairman of the Appeal, delivered the inaugural address. Archibald Silverman, chairman of the local campaign, made the appeal. Mrs. Archibald Silverman and Rabbis David G. Light, Samuel M. Grip, Morris Schussheim and Israel M. Goldman of Temple Emanuel also addressed the gathering.

Following the banquet a mass-meeting took place at the Elks Auditorium, which was addressed by Abraham Goldberg. More than 200 workers were organized into 20 teams.

The city of Providence this year is called upon to raise a much larger sum than the entire state of Rhode Island raised last year. The Rhode Island quota of the United Palestine Appeal last year was $40,000 although this amount was oversubscribed by $5,000.

The officers of the campaign are: Archibald Silverman, Chairman; Morris W. Bliss, Dr. Illie Berger and Charles Silverman, Associate Chairmen; Samuel M. Magid, Treasurer: Henry Burst, Secretary; and Bernard M. Goldowsky, Campaign Director. Charles Brown is Chairman of the Executive Board and Dr. Louis I. Goldberg is the Regional Director.

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