Writer Sees Bukowinian Jews in Greatest Need
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Writer Sees Bukowinian Jews in Greatest Need

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The need of Bukowinian Jewry today cries to heaven, according to an article appearing in a recent issue of the Bukowinaer Volkszeitung, published in this city. The province of Bukowina, of which Czernowitz is the capital, was formerly a part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, but since the war it has become a part of Roumania. A large Jewish population lives there.

The worst of it is that the Bukowinian Jews have no prospects for the future, says the writer, who declares that being too proud themselves to beg for aid they have not published their woes to the rest of the Jewish world, which is therefore unaware of the impoverishment of Bukowinian Jewry.

Since the war Bukowinian Jewish merchants have lost all their trade as a result of the closing of foreign markets, the Jewish intelligentsia has been gradually dismissed from government positions, and even Jewish small traders, market vendors and others have been losing every means of livelihood, according to the article. Market vendors have even been driven away from the market places when they tried to earn a meagre livelihood.

As an example of the dire poverty among the Jewish intellectual classes, the writer cites an instance of a doctor who was tried in court for charging medical fees below the fee required by law. This Jewish doctor pleaded that he had to charge such a low fee because he was starving.

Before the war, Jewish merchants were well-to-do, doing a big business with neighboring countries. Today most of them are ruined and are not even hoping for better times. If a customer comes into a Jewish store in Bukowina he buys things on credit and never pays his debt. Government officials, pensioners and wage earners must wait many months for their salaries and are therefore not in a position to pay their debts to the Jewish merchant.

The writer criticizes the Bukowinian Jewish relief organizations, whose main purpose he says is publicity seeking. The Kehillah organizations, in Bukowina are bankrupt. Internal Jewish relief has been denied Bukowinian Jews because of the bad management of local institutions.

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