Franklin Mott Gunther on “The Situation of Jews in Rumania” in 1940



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  1. English
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But, as earlier despatches have already suggested, the lot of the Jews in Rumania has definitely worsened since the inauguration of the present regime three months ago. In the first place, the green-shirted Iron Guard is in power, and the Iron Guard is notoriously and avowedly an essentially anti-Semitic organization.

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In the second place, Rumania not only has come under the direct ‘influence’ of Nazi Germany but is now actually a member of the Axis and an adherent to the Tripartite Pact. And, thirdly, the country requires scape-goats for all the evils and misfortunes of the day, and finds that the Jews, along with former King Carol and the old politicians, serve admirably in this unhappy role. These considerations, plus an underlying sentiment of genuine anti-Semitism generally, provide sufficient reason and background for Jewish fears and sufferings in Rumania today. [...]

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In recent weeks the Jewish plaint has not been one of lost positions, special taxes or discriminatory restrictions – that is an old story. Rather it has been one of deaths, torture, beatings, abductions, confiscation, robbery and violence in all forms. It is not an exaggeration to say that here today one sees the Jews with tears, hollow eyes and wringing hands. Many of them never go out; they keep to their homes for fear of meeting violence in the street. A few, who have reasons to fear they may be sought out, creep from friend to friend or house to house afraid to go to their own homes to sleep. Those of means endeavor frantically to dispose of their property, secure funds abroad and find a way to leave the country.


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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...