The views held by the statesmen and leaders of present-day Roumania on the Jewish question in the country and the various phases of the general situation as it affects the Jews, were presented in interviews and audiences granted to Jacob Landau, Managing Director of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, during his stay here.
That the Jews of Roumania enjoy full equality before the law, accompanied by equal economic opportunities, was the opinion of Georghe Buzdugan, jurist and a member of the Roumanian Regency Council, which governs the country during the minority of King Mihai. In an audience granted to Mr. Landau, the member of the Regency Council described the situation of the Jews of Roumania and their relation to the other parts of the population.
“There are of course, many Jews in the country who have to carry on a difficult fight for their existence. I value the Jews as capable and industrious people. They are doubtless a valuable part of the population. The Roumanian people are tolerant and good natured folk. The incidents at the universities are of an inconsequential nature and do not deserve the attention given them. Such incidents occur in Hungary, in Austria and in Poland. IN general, however, the Jews fare very well in our country and a number of the most important commercial and industrial enterprises are in their hands,” Buzduga stated.
“The best proof of this is the fact that following the world war tens of thousands of Jews from Russia and partly from Galicia came to Roumania and remained here,” he continued. “I have many friends among the Jews. I have particular high esteem for Aristide Blank, the banker who is a remarkable personality, a man with a big heart and a philanthopist. The beneficence of his late father and his love for humanity are well known. I likewise am acquainted with a number of outstanding jurists, such as Filderman, Rosenthal and Valerian Birnberg, who are a credit to our bar and courts. The same may be said of other members of the Jewish community such as Oscar Kaufmann and the Berkovitz brothers,” he stated. The member of the Regency Council also expressed his warm sympathy for the Zionist movement and his sincere appreciation of it.
In addition to the member of the Regency Council and Prime Minister Maniu, Mr. Landau visited a number of Roumanian political leaders, including representatives of the Liberal and Peasant parties.
Vintila Bratianu in an interview with Mr. Landau dealt specifically with the (Continued on Page 4)
“I cannot conceive why Roumanian Jews do not prefer, as do western European Jews, to regard themselves as Roumanians of the Jewish faith,” the former Prime Minister continued. “The Jewish leaders in Old Roumania are in agreement with this view, while the Zionists are erecting unnecessary walls between themselves and the Roumanian citizenry, making their position more difficult and reducing their possibilities for an equal political and economic participation in the life of the country. I respect the talents, the diligence and the practicality of the Jews and I regret to see them pursue a policy which increases the field of disagreement with their environment. This prevents their adaptation as the Roumanian people will see in them not citizens of Roumania but of other countries,” he said.
Former Government Member Duca stated in an interview with Mr. Landau that all Roumanian parties are against anti-Semitism as a policy and resent the occurrence of anti-Jewish excesses. The result of the Oradeo Mare excesses brought about a sound reaction on the part of the Roumanian public which has definitely turned against those who organized the excesses. Cuza and his party have lost their influence considerably. Virtually they are no longer important, having no following to speak of, he said.
Duca further inquired of Mr. Landau concerning Palestine, displaying a lively interest in Palestine and Zionism.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mironescu, in an interview with Mr. Landau, stated that he was satisfied that the position of the Jew in Roumania is stabilizing. “Our government will prevent any anti-Semitic disturbances in the universities or on the railways. The Jewish population will not be exposed to mistreatment in the future since the government is determined to energetically continue the present policy.
Mr. Landau was the guest of honor at a banquet given by Roumanian journalists before his departure. Among those present were Mr. Stoika, editor of the Roumanian telegraphic agency, Rador; the president of the Journalists’ Syndicate, Jonescu, and representatives of the newspaers, “Cuventul, “Adeverul” and “Dimineatza.” There were also present representatives of the Jewish press, including the newspapers “Egalitatea,” “Curierul Israelite” and others.
The entire Roumanian press devoted front page space to Mr. Landau’s interview with Prime Minister Maniu. The statement contained in the interview that the Jewish population of Roumania will be recognized as a Jewish minority enjoying equal rights with the majority population attracted wide and favorable comment. Similar interest was displayed by the minority organs. The correspondents of the Austrian, Hungarian and Polish newspapers telegraphed lengthy accounts of the interview which was the talk of the day in Roumania.
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.