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Roumanian Jewry Looks to America and England

February 21, 1928
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(By Our Bucharest Correspondent)

The question that confronts Roumanian Jews today is: How and with whose aid can they combat the onslaughts of the anti-Semitic forces?

While it is difficult to forget such humiliations and injuries, nevertheless Roumanian Jewry would be more than willing to forgive and forget if only there seemed to be a prospect for a better future, a possibility of the outrages coming to an end. It does not matter whether the anti-Semitic students were given light sentences or heavy ones, or went scot free altogether. These things are not essential.

The question is what about the future? Will Roumanian Jewry be given an opportunity from now on to live in peace without the eternal menace of anti-Semitic outbursts that have made its life for the past ten years so difficult? Is there a possibility of coming to an understanding with the political, spiritual and cultural leaders of Roumania regarding the safety of Jewish life and property and the enforcing of Jewish rights? Or have the anti-Semitic leaders determined that the Jews must be expelled from the country through the indirect method of making their existence here unbearable?

These are the questions that every Roumanian Jew today is asking himself. Yet under the present conditions not one of the Jewish leaders in this country has put these questions frankly and openly. The policy of the Jewish leaders has developed along lines where all intervention on the part of Jewish leaders with the government is directed at some particular problem, some individual incident, rather than toward the problem in its entirety. And it seems that there is little hope that this policy will be altered in the near future, owing to various political and psychological reasons.

THE POLICY OF ROUMANIA

It is not so much a question of whether this element or that is more favorably or less favorably disposed toward the Jews, whether this government or that government of Roumania gives Jews a little better or worse protection against the anti-Semitic excesses. It is a question of very definite tendencies in the internal policy of the Roumanian governmental circles and all the various organs that are under the government auspices, which control the students, the teachers, the officials, and the various national and cultural organizations according to certain political principles and methods which are calculated to create the anti-Semitic atmosphere throughout the land. It is tragic when Jews have to appeal for a few extra gendarmes to protect their life where excesses are expected. These are acts of despair.

In this situation the Jews of Roumania look to their brothers in America and England. What is required is not political pressure or financial influence but a wise, practical, energetic and friendly pressure on the part of the Jewish leaders of America and England directed at a special group of responsible Roumanian politicians, statesmen and popular leaders. What is needed is not political or parliamentary oratorical effects, which, while justified and understandable in view of the terrible incidents that took place in Transylvania, lead to no effective results, but a solid, purposeful and objective campaign with the one purpose in view: Peace and understanding.

In connection with important questions of Roumanian foreign policy, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Titulescu, is now on a tour of the leading cities of the world. It is necessary for the Jewish leaders in England and America to know that Titulescu is perhaps the only sincere and determined opponent of the anti-Semitic movement in Roumania, and moreover, that he is today the most influential cabinet member and a very likely premier in the near future. It will be very easy to discuss frankly and openly the various problems of Roumanian Jewry with Titulescu.

URGES AMERICAN JEWISH DELEGATION TO BUCHAREST

The Roumanian Government has sent out special representatives to other countries in connection with the loan it is seeking to obtain, and the Jewish leaders should make an effort to approach these representatives who are outstanding personalities in Roumania, and negotiate with them regarding the Jewish situation in their country. It might even be advisable for American Jewry to send a special delegation to Bucharest in order to present concrete demands and definite propositions to the Government in accordance with the wishes of the Jewish groups in Roumania proper. The psychological conditions for such a move are now ripe.

The key to bettering the situation of Roumanian Jewry, it is felt here, lies in the hands of the American and English Jews.

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