Franklin Mott Gunther on “The Situation of Jews in Rumania” in 1939
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. [...]
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
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.
- Updated 2 years ago