Announcing that he will not adopt more vigorous measures against the anti-Semitic agitators for fear that such a policy may result in even greater anti-Semitic disturbances, Dr. Alexander Vayda Voevod, Roumanian minister of the interior, in a sensational interview published in the Roumanian press, declares that in the future he prefers to follow the tactics he has used hitherto, namely to influence the anti-Semitic leaders in a peaceful manner.
Frankly admitting that he has been associated with the recently acquitted anti-Semitic chieftain, Zelea Codreanu, as well as other anti-Semitic leaders ever since he entered the Maniu cabinet, Dr. Vayda Voevod explained that his anti-Semitic connections were the result of his being “a conscientious friend of the Jews” in which capacity he asked “Codreanu to dissolve the old anti-Semitic organization and to create a new association, the Iron Guard.”
Pointing out that Codreanu had “always been honest in keeping his promises that his meetings and demonstrations would be orderly” and that M. Tazladanu, the recently removed chief of cabinet in the ministry of the interior, “had also kept his word,” the minister of the interior said, “Everything changed when Professor Cuza was elected to parliament. My tactics did not succeed because of the arrests of Codreanu and Tazladanu.”
Turning to the Jewish complaints and protests, Dr. Vayda Voevod declared that “the Jews are making too much noise, especially with regard to the events in Borscha. The Roumanian peasants have reason to believe that the Jews themselves have committed arson in order to obtain the insurance. The Jews forget that their emancipation is only slightly rooted in Roumania and is only of recent date. It is therefore better not to make exaggerated demands. I appeal especially to the visitors from America not to exaggerate events as Mr. Smolar, the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, did. I should have had him arrested and deported because he insulted Roumania.”
Dr. Vayda Voevod then launched into a furious attack on the Jewish press, accusing it, and the Roumanian press as well, of a campaign to oust him from office. “In this connection,” he said, “their day of reckoning is coming.” He said that Mr. Smolar’s interview has damaged Roumania’s foreign credit position which is “essential for the improvement of economic conditions and also to ease the position of the Jews.”
“In other countries there is greater anti-Semitism,” he said, “than in Roumania, the barbaric anti-Semitism of Hungary for an example, yet they receive foreign credit and the Jewish press prints reports of Roumanian anti-Semitism from Hungarian sources.”
When the interviewers suggested that his statement sounded like a pogrom threat and an agreement “to continue the subsidies to the anti-Semitic organization from state funds,” Dr. Vayda Voevod made no reply.
Referring to the Jewish refugees from Russia now resident in the Roumanian cities in Bessarabia, Dr. Vayda Voevod said it would be better that they should not remain “because of the overcrowding in the cities, the result of which can easily be foreseen.”
At the same time the organ of Zelea Codreanu, the “Iron Guard,” is again making its appearance. The current issue contains an editorial manifesto outlining the program of the order for the “national salvation of Roumania.” The Roumanian press asks whether Dr. Vayda Voevod is still financing Codreanu’s activities.
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.