How the “Baccalaureate,” Roumania’s Own Brand of Numerus Clausus, Works By Our Bucharest Correspondent
That the numerus clausus against Jewish students can be applied just as effectively through indirect methods under another name has been demonstrated again by Roumania through the application of the so-called “baccalaureate” system of tests for admission to universities. These tests are so arranged that the fate of the applicants is placed entirely in the hands of the professors in such a way that they can easily discriminate against students of the national minorities, the Jews, Germans and Ukrainians. The principal aim of course is to weed out the Jews.
The deliberate injustice of this system which has been put into practice in a number of cities, as Clausenburg. Timisoara, etc. was glaringly demonstrated the other day in Czernowitz. The man who was placed in charge of the admissions at the Czernowitz university was brought over from Jassy because it was he who was responsible for the rejection of 70% of the students there who had taken the “baccalaureate” test, these 70% being of course composed of Jews, Germans and Ukrainians. Of the 68 Jewish students of the Jewish government High School who took the test in Czernowitz but 16 were admitted to the university. The German and Ukrainian applicants fared no better.
The incident in Czernowitz has caused a great deal of excitement among the population of the national minorities. The feeling ran so high, following the report of the results of the “baccalaureate” fest that a demonstration by the students of the national minorities was staged in protest against the university administration. The demonstration was a peaceful one, expressing itself merely through shouting and whistling, until groups of anti-Semitic students appeared on the scene and assaulted the participants in the demonstration. There was a clash and rioting during the course of which one of the anti-Semitic professors was beaten.
The anti-Semites are now making much capital out of this incident, although the professor received but a mild thrashing which did not incapacitate him for work.
It is not known whether it was Jews, Germans or Ukrainians that beat him, but the anti-Semites are making an awful row against the Jews. They have telegraphed to Bucharest informing the Cabinet of a “revolution” In the meantime, the local police has arrested some of the minority students who took part in the demonstration. The arrested, some of whom are but fifteen years of age, are kept in prison, until an investigation will be made.
The effort on the part of the police and the university administration to confuse the main issue by exploiting an unimportant incident, is obvious. The administration of a mild beating to a professor is considered more important than the practice of a most cruel injustice against the minorities. Here are hundreds of students who have spent years at school in preparation for the university, in many cases the education requring tremendous sacrifices on the part of the parents. Now these young men find the doors of the university barred to them. The labor and hopes of years are thus shattered at one blow by a “baccelaurcate” test invented by an evil spirit which blinds Roumania’s vision not only to justice but to its own interests as well.
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.