Deep regrets and apologies for the assault on Wilfred N. Keller, an American, a non-Jew, who was one of the victims at Grosswardcin during the anti-Jewish pogrom, were offered by Roumanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Titulescu in an oral statement replying to the note of protest of the American Minister in Bucharest, William S. Culbertson.
Contradicting the reports that Keller was assaulted because he urged the students to cease their Jew-baiting activities. Titulescu stated that an investigation made by the Roumanian government in Gradeamre disclosed that Keller was a partner in a printing establishment which published a newspaper attacking the Roumanian government and the student movenment. It was because of these attacks. resented by the students, that they raided the establishment. Keller, the Roumanian investigators allage, threatened the student mob with “the power of America” and that should he be hurt the American fleet would be called. Claiming that even the United States Minister had admited that Keller provoked the attack on him, Titulescu evaded the question of why the Roumanian authorities failed to offer him protection and refused to forward his message for help to the American minister.
Titulescu in his verbal statement did not minimize the seriousness of the injuries inflicted upon Keller or the guilt of the police in failing to protect him, nor did he hesitate to condemn the anti-Semitic movement which is a discredit to Roumania, he said. He asked the American Minister not to press the case too strongly in the present situation while he is ill and while the political situation is full of international complications.
In an interview with newspaper representatives, Minister Culbertson declared that he is confident the Roumanian government will find a satisfactory adjustment of the case.
Appeals to Roumanian military guards by Wilfred N. Keller of Linden Hall, Pa. to save him from the student mob in the Oradeamare riots were ignored, a witness of the scene told the representative of the Associated Press in Oradeamare.
This witness declares that Keller was walking through a public square on the way to his home, ten blocks away, when he noticed that he was being followed by a group of students with a menacing attitude. He remonstrated, telling them that he was an American citizen. “They ignored his plea, declaring he must go to the police station with them.
“They took him by force back to the public square, passing a Roumanian officer who knew him and who was aware that he was an American. Keller pleaded with the officer to save him. said the witness, but the officer ignored the appeal. En route to the square the students and their American captive passed three military guards, who did not raise a hand to save him despite his repeated pleas that he was not a Jew and not a Roumanian.
“When Keller and his captors reached the Anglo-Roumanian Bank they turned into a side street, where they attacked him with canes and stones. Keller received gashes in his head, a deep wound in the side of his face, and bruises all over his body. Keller attempted to escape by running away, but when he reached the main street he was knocked unconscious by another group of students.
A contribution og $10,000 to the Jewish Community Center of Yonkers, N.Y. by Alexander Smith Cochran, Samuel Untermeyer announnced.
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.