A plea for the Jews in Transylvania, the former Hungarian province incorporated into Roumanian territory, was presented to Queen Marie by the Federation of Hungarian Jews in America, of which Samuel Buchler is president.
Expressing regret at the necessity of disturbing the Queen on her sojourn here, the petition goes on to say:
“We as loyal American citizens join the American people in bestowing honors upon you. You ought to be happy Fair Queen, that an opportunity is given you to feel that you are in America, the greatest democracy on God’s earth. where the Jews can express their feelings and are in a position to protest against an injustice perpetrated upon their brethren in another country. This is not a land of Knee-bending and self denial. This is that wonderful land, which you dreamed about prior to your entry and which you realize now while reading this humble memorandum.
“That you are familiar with the conditions as they exist in Transylvania we have no doubt. But, we pray, do you know that our Jewish brethren in Transylvania today are not better off than they were at the time Transylvania belonged to Hungary? Do you know, that to get rid of Horthy, the cruel and inhuman Regent of unfortunate Hungary, and to be treated with Horthyism in Transylvania is one and the same thing? Do you know that 90% of the Jews in Transylvania are of the Orthodox Jewish faith and yet their children are compelled by Government decrees to publicly violate the Sabbath in the schools? Do you realize that the schools of each denomination in Roumania receive a subvention from the Government, (of which his Majesty and you are the head) save the Jewish schools, which are left to their destiny, although the economic conditions prevailing in your dominion strike all inhabitants with equal force? Are you aware of the fact that Jewish students in Roumania are driven to despair and suicide because of a quota placed upon the number of Jewish scholars admitted to colleges, high schools and universities?
“Does your Majesty know that the government refused permission to the Jews of Transylvania to build and to maintain their own Teachers’ Seminary, where young men could be trained to disseminate knowledge? Do you know that all priests and churches receive certain parcels of land from your Majesty’s government, while rabbis and synagogues are excluded from being recipients of these benefits?
Do you know that by depriving your Jews from drinking from the fountain of science you are striking at the very heart of Roumania, of which our brethren are loyal citizens? History can not decree a harder fate for the Jew than to take from him that which made him survive generations of torture: The Book.
“Will you remedy these evils? Will you save our Jewish brethren in Transylvania from scorn? We are firm in the hope that you will, and this will be the greatest achievement of your visit to the land where all are considered to be born equal. May God bless you!” the petition concludes.
The petition was addressed to the Queen through the Roumanian Consulate General in New York.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.