Bucharest (May. 29)
(By our Bucharest Correspond cut)
“Good issues out of evil.” When the riots at Oradeamare and Cluj broke out and students of Roumania destroyed synagogues and made mock of holy property, the Christian population was stirred, and in rage at the vileness of the vandals it berated them with startling epithets. The Jews, however, accustomed, hardened to these outbreaks, were silently bitter against the authorities, but they sensed the nature of the riot: they felt the devastation’s were great enough to reverberate, to have the necessary repercussions abroad, and they repeated, as they have always done, but with probably a little more assurance, their consoling phrase. “Good issues out of evil.”
In parliament at Bucharest following the wreckage, Dr. Filderman, Senator and Vice-President of the Jewish Community, severely criticized the government for leniency toward the students, for its refusal to take immediate measures to quell the rioters, and courageously demanded a reply. He got one, and an apology too, from Mr. Duce, Minister of the Interior.
What little prestige the Liberal Government had abroad was shattered by this unexpected disastrous finality of the students’ congress. The stilted aristocracy of Duca came down a peg and he excused himself in the name of the government. It was a victory for the Jews; the first time in fifty years that a Minister had publicly made an apology for a Jewish outbreadk.
Unbelievable things were happening. Mr. Lapadatu, the Minister of Religions, came back from a visit to Oradeamare and Cluj, and he was touched sufficiently to have voted in Parliament the sum of $150,000 as a first compensation to rebuild the destroyed synagogues. Such a consideration was never expected. The state to date has paid about $200,000 to synagogues and individuals. More is to be paid.
The students returning to Bucharest from Oradeamare and Cluj were preparing to hold a celebration. Four days after they had scandalized the world with their gruesome behavior and their mad devastation’s, they dared to foist upon the memory of the citizens of Roumaia, most of whom are too indifferent to be anti-Semitic or anti-anything, the fact that five years ago they initiated their utterly idiotic demands for numerous clausus, that Jewish students ? Jewish cadavers, that scholarships be withdrawn from Jewsih students studying abroad, etc.
The hope of a loan abroad for the stabilization of its currency, which it had been seeking so many years and which was then just faintly glimmering, quickly aided one again. Titulesco. Mister for Foreign Affairs, who had so ably and so faithfully represented his country abroad and at Geneva, threatened to resign if steps were not taken to punish the offenders and to make amends, openly asserting that all his good work to make a place for Roumania among the great nations of the world had been destroyed.
The heel of the government crushes so lightly whatever is disagreeable are detrimental to its welfare. It began by making who lesale arrests of students and civilians, by discharging police officials and removing prefects, by holding meetings of the university authorities, and by issuing new instructions and age-old promises to stamp down rioting. “The Government can keep the peace,” reminded her political enemies.
The Jews were no mere predictors. They know their people abroad, and in spite of what the Roumanian Government or its mouthpiece said. it did the Jews in Roumania no harm that the foreign press protested in their behalf. The Government did see fit to begin a severe campaign to set the Christian students in their proper place: but the students refused to be set; they protested and demonstrated, on their own behalf and on behalf of their fellow students who were lingering in prison longer than they had enthusiastically and heroically expected. The authorities, tired of cuddling an unruly and misguided youth, proceeded further and dissolved their organizations. The students protested again, with a masked and not very sturdy display of bravado as they were wont, and they were forthwith reminded that it were better to withdraw silently, for some of the authorities of the State are anxious to do away with scholarships and canteens and boarding houses: “Students eager to learn a profession should pay for their studies,” one of them said.
And now the Jews are legally recognized by the State, with definite privileges to function and be supported. So it looks as if some good has issued out of that evil at Oradeamare on December 6. 1927.