Paris (Mar. 19)
There is neither xenophobia nor antisemitism in Paris University, Professor Balthazard, the Dean of the Medical Faculty at Paris University, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to-day, when it approached him with regard to his letter published in the Bucharest press recently announcing that Paris University is about to enforce a numerus clausus against Roumanian students of Jewish origin (given in the J.T.A. Bulletin of the 17th. inst.).
I authorise you formally to deny the authenticity of the passages in the Letter which speak of the numbers and status of the Roumanian Jewish students in Paris Professor Balthazard said. No such passages occurred in my letter, and they are pure inventions.
The position is as follows: A bill is being introduced in the Senate to place Roumanian students who wish to practise in France under the same conditions as any other foreign physicians, namely, that they must pass the final secondary examination under French regulations, but there will be no discriminations against Jewish students, nor will Roumanian students be placed under worse conditions than students of other nationalities. Nor is there any intention to make the general conditions governing the admission of foreign students any more difficult than at present.
Jewish circles in Paris, which were greatly excited by the J.T.A. publication of Professor Balthazard’s letter as it appeared in the Roumaniah press, have now been somewhat pacified by Professor Balthazard’s declaration. Professor Balthazard is said to be himself of Jewish origin, though no definite confirmation of this is available, and he has rendered considerable services to Jewish interests. He has in general been known as a man of extremely liberal views, and Jews here were therefore astounded by the Kind of remarks attributed to him in the letter as published in Bucharest.
The Roumanian Legation here declares officially that it has no knowledge of any enquiry having been addressed to it with regard to the number of Roumain students in Paris of Jewish origin, and adds that it knows nothing of Professor Balthazard’s letter.
It is incredible, the Yiddish daily “Pariser Hajnt” writes, that Paris University, known for its hospitality and tolerance should put such a question, and go into the antecedents of the Roumaniah students to find out which are Jewish and which are Cuzists. It is incredible that there should be any official in the French Republic to pose in an official letter the question “Jew or non-Jew?”. It is impossible to believe it of free, generous France, that the numerus clausus question could be raised here officially and that Roumanian professors, colleagues of Cuza’s should be asked to come here in a mixed commission to say which Roumanian students are to attend Paris University. Professor Balthazard is well know for his friendliness to foreign Jews, and he is himself of Jewish origin, and such an attitude on his part seems altogether out of the question.