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To Save Jewish Economic Position in Roumania: Congress {span}##ing{/span} Convoked by Union of Rouma

April 15, 1932
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Union of Roumanian Jews has decided to convoke a Congress of Jews throughout Roumania at which it will launch a vigorous campaign for alleviating the serious economic situation among Roumanian Jewry. All local branches of the Union have been asked to call local economic conferences, at which resolutions are to be adopted for consideration later by the All-Roumanian Congress.

Loyal to our tradition of developing Jewish life inside the country, the call issued by the Union says, the Union of Roumanian, Jews is convoking a Congress of all its organisations. The past congresses of the Union in the postwar period were dedicated to the emancipation of the Jews as citizens, and the emancipation of the Jewish faith, to place it on an equality with the other religious communities in our country. But the coming Congress must be devoted to the economic rehabilitation of Roumanian Jewry.

Dr. Filderman, the President of the Union of Roumanian Jews, spoke in an interview with the J.T.A. representative in Bucharest last November (published in the J.T.A. Bulletin of November 5th.) of the serious economic position of the Jewish population in Roumania.

On top of all the previous economic distress among the Jews of Roumania, we are now facing the economic destruction of our old-established wealthy Jewish big bourgeoisie, which had almost been untouched and was therefore able to help the others, Dr. Filderman said.

In the last few months a number of big banks and big industrial enterprises directed by Jews have closed down one after the other. The destruction of this wealthier Jewish class will inevitably increase the already heavy unemployment among the Jewish population and will mean the and of a great number of independent small Jewish enterprises which were maintained largely by the credits they obtained from the organisations with which these wealthy Jews were associated. In the same way their elimination will spell the end of our Jewish relief organisations and will thus add to the extent of Jewish misery.

The general economic position in Roumania is no worse than in the other States of Europe, Dr. Filderman went on. The world crisis is endured more easily in Roumania, if only for the reason that 80 per cent. of the population are peasants who are able to provide for their needs out of their own little farms. The wealth of the country in natural re-

sources and the small extent of its indebtedness to the foreign world also make for a strong measure of resistance to the consequences of the economic world crisis.

But the position of the Jewish population is extremely serious, he continued. The coming winter will be one of the most severe which Roumanian Jewry has ever experienced. The Jews are a town population, and the economic crisis, therefore, does not merely affect any one section of the Jewish population, as in the case of the other sections of the population, but it hits the entire Jewish population. The Jews are almost exclusively engaged in trading and industry, both branches of economic life which are worse hit by the crisis than any other. Big financial institutions have closed their doors. No credits can be obtained. Thousands more will soon have to share their fate. Tens of thousands of Jewish souls are in danger of being utterly wiped out, unless extraordinary relief measures are taken.

The trouble is so much the worse, Dr. Filderman said, because we see no possibility of solving our problems now by our own efforts inside the country. We have never before appealed for help to the Jews abroad. I fear that it will soon have to come to that,

The Jewish big bourgeoisie has been literally swept away by the recent financial occurrences. Hitherto, the rich Jews have fulfilled their normal function of helping out their Community. What will happen now that they are no longer available we can hardly imagine.

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