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MS137_AJ95_150_11
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ROUMANIA.
15
standing of the Jews, [and the day seems still to be very distant when the record of persecution and degradation in Roumania will be closed.
The Jews were brought in the last ten years so near to the verge of utter hopelessness that there seems to be no longer any scope for the inventive power of their oppressors. Already cut off from all reputable means of earning a livelihood, completely excluded from political and civil rights, debarred from gaining preferment in the army, no liberal profession, except that of medicine, left open to them, nothing new or startling in the way of exclusion remained to be devised. The whole range of human activity being thus hedged in against the Jews, a lull appears to have set in, which the outer world, by an excusable error, seems to regard as a change for the better.
But though there may be no legislation of a prohibitive or persecuting character to record, the proscribing ingenuity of the Roumanian Government is not exhausted. This is the more to be regretted, as the acts about to be related proceed from a Government which has shown some better feeling and, at any rate, some appreciation of the fact that the misery of the Jews had reached the highest pitch.
The last act of the Bratiano Cabinet and the Courts of Judicature has been the unjustifiable re-expulsion from the country of M. Fior, after a mock trial in which, by his courageous attitude, he forced the highest court of justice (Court of Cassation) to declare all the Jews in Roumania to be foreigners.
The importance of that decision cannot possibly be overrated, as it is the first time that an authoritative statement as to the legal position of the Jews in Roumania has been made. The Government had always studiously avoided putting the position of the Jews in a clear light, and with this view all the prohibitive laws were officially directed against the foreigners, and when representations were made, the Bratiano Cabinet uniformly sought refuge under the elastic term "foreigner," declaring at the same time that Jews were not considered to be such by law. This fallacy has at last been
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