The banning of Jewish ritual slaughter (shechita) today leaves Rumania’s 600,000 Jews without kosher meant and poultry, making virtually 90 per cent of Europe’s Jewish population of 9,000,000 who live in countries where slaughter according to the Hebrew tradition is forbidden.
The Rumanian ban, announced yesterday by Agriculture Minister George Leon, had been pending several months and was advocated by the Orthodox Church. The measure was to have been issued last April by the Tatarescu Government, but was postponed after urgent appeals from rabbis and other Jewish leaders. The final step in promulgating the decree was taken by the recently-installed pro-Nazi Government of Ion Gigurtu.
Kosher slaughter is prohibited in most German-dominated countries–the Reich, Austria, Bohemia-Moravia, Nazi Poland, Danzig and Norway– and also in Italy and Hungary. Bans on ritual slaughter are also in effect in Sweden and Switzerland on humane grounds, although authorities have testified that there is nothing inhumane in the Jewish method of slaughter.
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.