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Queen Marie Embarrassed when Jewish Question is Raised During Interview

October 20, 1926
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The Jewish question in Roumania was brought to the attention of the American public interested in the visit here of Queen Marie by a representative of a New York Jewish newspaper when 200 press representatives met the Queen on the Leviathan.

“I am the representative of a Jewish paper. We would like to know your Government’s attitude toward the Jews in Roumania,” the reporter asked the Queen.

For a moment there was an oppressive silence. The reporters had been informed that the Queen would answer no questions on political subjects, and it seemed that one of her aides was about to step forward and interfere. But Queen Marie, apparently embarrassed, then replied:

“Everybody is treated in our country in the same way.”

“But the Jews are not permitted to study in the universities,” the reporter persisted.

“I know there have been difficulties, but I had nothing to do with that personally. The Jews have been most friendly to me, and I hope they will remain so. The King is very fond of the Jews and considers them his children just as his other subjects. Among the Roumanians here in the United States are very many Jews, and I shall look forward to meeting them. I shall be as glad to see them as any one else,” the Queen said.

Justice Jacob Panken, Socialist candidate for Governor of New York State, denounced officials of the city, State and Nation for what he termed their “undue zest in groveling before the Queen of the most corruptly governed country of Europe.”

“The citizens of this democratic Republic,” he said, “must stand aghast at the series of maudlin genuflections by our elected officials which must have made the good Queen Marie of Roumania wish she could spend the rest of her days basking in the adulation of ‘democratic’ America’s officials rather than with her own rebellious and dissatisfied peasants.

“It is a far cry from the days of Washington and Lincoln, who denounced Kings in no uncertain terms, to the days of ‘Jimmie’ Walker and ‘Al’ Smith, who boast of their rise from the ‘Sidewalks of New York,’ and yet ‘kow-tow’ to a representative of this royalty system. What would Washington and Jefferson say were they alive today?”

Norman Thomas, former Socialist candidate for Mayor and Governor, said: “If I were Mayor only for this day so I could have shown royalty what we think of them. What happened to the pride of the Jews in this city? After all the atrocious pogroms in Roumania why could not they raise at least a mild protest?”

A meeting of protest against the Queen’s reception as the Nation’s guest was held at Union Square Monday night under the auspices of the International Labor Defense. The meeting was attended by about 500 persons.

William Feder, an American Jew of Roumanian origin and an official of the immigration department at the New York harbor, headed the committee of immigration officials, who escorted Queen Marie and her suite when she disembarked from the Leviathan.

Mr. Feder greeted the Queen in Roumanian and in reply to her question declared that he is an American Jew of Roumanian origin.

The chief topic discussed in the bitter election campaign in Colorado is the Ku Klux Klan and the injection of the religious issue into the contest, which involves all State and Federal elective offices.

Among the candidates recommended for judicial office in New York City by the Citizen’s Union are Abram Ellenberger for Supreme Court, First District; Ely Rosenberg for City Court, New York County, and Israel M. Lerner, City Court, Kins County.

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