Franklin Mott Gunther on “The Situation of Jews in Rumania” in 1939

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A revivication of the Iron Guard movement did not eventuate; rather, the legionary leaders have been shot and the movement’s strength, both actual and potential, is greatly diminished. But the Nazi shadow still looms large. Whether the German threat is a controlling or only a contributory factor, the fact is that the plight of the Jews in this country has grown worse and their fears are greatly increased.

The Government can scarcely be called, as compared with the Goga Government a year ago, strongly anti-Semitic, but it ‘recognizes the existence of a Jewish problem’ and many are constrained to feel that although the Goga and Cuza program was openly and violently anti-Jewish the actual effect of the measures and methods employed by the present regime is more severe. It is true that there is no out-and-out pogrom and that Governmental regulation of the Jews is, on the surface, relatively slight, but pressure, obstacles, discriminations – all of these forms of persecution are becoming noticeably more numerous. [...]

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The attitude of the Romanian Government is, then, that this surplus population of non-citizen Jews must go; there is to be no pogrom, no violence, no brutality, but they must go. Until a place is found for

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them and an arrangement is made for them to get there they will probably have a hard time. As to the others, the 800,000 who have established their citizenship, the Government points to their citizenship as a guarantee of the same treatment as accorded to others, although admitting that Jews ‘will probably not be admitted to the higher positions’. [...]

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The Romanians are not, on the whole, a harsh or vindictive people; they are, rather, tolerant and easy-going. I feel, therefore, that although the program of getting rid of what are termed the ‘surplus’ Jews will probably in any case be retained, there is not much likelihood of such a degree of violence or severity being employed as would call down strong criticism or general protest from the outside world.

References

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The United States of America were neutral during the first two years of the Second World War. They were brought into the conflict by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941 and became one of the decisive belligerent nations, defeating Japan in the Pacific and heavily contributing to the war effort against the Axis powers, e.g. during the Allied landings in North Africa, Italy and France. American forces invaded German territory early in 1945. On the eve of the Second World War...