J. Hampton (Joseph Hampton) Moore.

The Jews in Roumania : speech of Hon. J. Hampton Moore of Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives Tuesday, June 24, 1913 online

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Online LibraryJ. Hampton (Joseph Hampton) MooreThe Jews in Roumania : speech of Hon. J. Hampton Moore of Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives Tuesday, June 24, 1913 → online text (page 1 of 2)
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TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 1913

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Mr. MOORE. Mr. Speaker, at the instance of certain of my constituents who
are students of international conditions, I have introduced a resolution request-
ing the Secretary of State to inform the House with respect to the prospects of
an adjustment of the problem of the Jews in Roumania. Since the Russo-
Turkish War and the Berlin treaty of July, 1878, there have been frequent
reports of the failure of the Roumanian Government to observe that clause of
the treaty which provided that citizenship should not be denied on account of
religion. It is claimed by Jews who have migrated to the United States that
the citizenship clause was inserted on the motion of the French plenipotentiary,
M. Waddington, seconded by Lord Disraeli, of England, especially with a view
to the rights of those natives of Rouuiauia who responded to the Jewish faith.
It appears that these complaints were officially recognized by John Hay, the
Secretary of State, in 1902, and that there was considerable diplomatic corre-
spondence with reference thereto, without effectuating relief. As late as 1904
it was reported to the Secretary of State that a better feeling existed as between
the so-called "indigenous Jews/' and the Government and that certain of the
Jewish newspapers advised " a'gainst any measures from outside in behalf of
Roumanian Jews."

Little appears to have been done since 1904 by the United States or any other
country to induce the Roumanian Government to place itself in harmony with
the other powers signatory to the Berlin treaty on the Jewish citizenship ques-
tion. The attitude of the Roumanian Government, hedged about as it is by
contending and ambitious powers, appears to have been directed toward keeping
the Roumanian nationality free from possible Jewish assimilation. It was esti-
mated by Mr. Hay in 1902 that the number of Jews in Roumauia all told did
not exceed 400,000. It appeared, however, that the Roumanians, numbering
7,000,000 or 8,000,000, were fearful of being overrun, and that this constituted
the real objection to the observance of the Berlin treaty with regard to the
Jews. The adoption of any naturalization agreement which would enforce the
rccivirnition of Jews not indigenous to Roumania seems to have been objected to
upon the same ground.

The failure of Roumania to treat with the United States in this matter might
be excused, because the United States was not a party to the treaty of Berlin.
At iirst blush it must be conceded that notwithstanding the human rights
involved, to say nothing of the breach of treaty stipulations, the United State.-;
has no right to meddle in this affair. Apparently this thought has been in the
minds of diplomats, who, with the exception of Mr. Hay, have hitherto ap-
proached the question with great delicacy. While Mr. Hay was characteris-
tically diplomatic, he was also extremely frank, and did not hesitate in his
instructions to the American minister to Greece and Roumania to point out the
political disabilities of the Jews in Roumania and the effect of Roumanian
oppressive measures upon their manhood. Mr. Hay even maintained that by
reason of the conditions prevailing in the country of their birth many of them
on i i grated to the United States, upon which an additional responsibility was
imposed because of such immigration. He raised the rather novel point that
"human beings so circumstanced have virtually no alternatives but submissive
suffering or flight to some land less unfavorable to them "

And that

" such emigration is necessarily for a time a burden upon the community upon
which fugitives may be cast."

Continuing, Secretary of State Hay said:

"Self-reliance and the knowledge and ability that evolve the power of self-
support must be developed and at the same time avenues of employment must

440112190 (3)


be opened in quarters where competition is already keen and opportunities
scarce. The teachings of history and the experience of our own Nation show
that the Jews possess in a high degree the mental and moral qualifications of
conscientious citizenhood. No class of emigrants is more welcome to our
shores when coming equipped in mind and body for entrance upon the struggle
for bread and inspired with the high purpose to give the best service of heart
and brain to the land they adopt of their own free will. But when they come
as outcasts, made doubly paupers by physical and moral oppression in their
native land, and thrown upon the long-suffering generosity of a more-favored
community, their migration lacks the essential conditions which make alien
immigration either acceptable or benefical. So well is this appreciated on the
Continent that even in the countries where antiseniitisni has no foothold it
is difficult for these fleeing Jews to obtain any lodgment. America is their
only goal."

Since this important declaration by one of the greatest of our Secretaries of
.State there has been a steady flow of Roumanian Jew immigration to the
United States, until it is estimated that not more than 2r>o.<)00 or .'JOO.OOO
indigenous Jews continue to reside in Roumania. This is indicative of their
lack of opportunity and the great disadvantages under which they continue
their Roumanian r<>si<!"ii!v.

In May last the Federation of Roumanian Jews of Philadelphia, at an open
meeting in that city, passed resolutions urging Congress to again take up the
troublesome problem.

And here 1 want to interpolate that a meeting of Roumanian Jews was held
in New York City a week ago at which considerable feeling was manii
An organization was perfected, for which as honorary chairman was named the
distinguished Speaker of this House, the Hon. CHAMP CLARK, of Missouri.
Others who were mentioned as being officers of that federation are our col-
leagues, Messrs. GOLDFOGLE and LEVY, of New York, and our former colleague,
William S. Bennet, Judge Rosa! ski, and others.

Mr. CALDER. Will the gentleman yield?

The SPEAKER. Does the gentleman from Pennsylvania yield to the gentle-
man from New York [Mr. CALDEE] ''.

Mr. MOORE. I do.

Mr. CALDER. Will the gentleman advise the House how many Jews there
are in Roumania at this time?

Mr. MOORE. It is said there are about 250.000 or 300.000 remaining there.
The correspondence of Secretary Hay in 1902 indicated that there were -JOu.OOO.

Mr. CALDER. Can the gentleman state if the Jews in Roumania are allowed
to attend the public schools?

Mr. MOORE. They are allowed to do so after all of the Roumanian children
are provided for, but usually there is no room after the Roumanian children
are taken care of. As a rule they build schools and pay taxes, hut ilu-y have
no citizenship, no right to hold office, no right to certain employments, no right
to own lands, and no right to ask protection of any Government. They are
regarded as aliens without a country ; yet they are indigenous, born to the soil.

Mr. CALDER. Are they compelled to serve in the army?

Mr. MOORE. They are compelled to serve in the army and to endure ail the
rigors resulting therefrom. And they are in some respects frowned upon by
the population of Roumauia. who regard them as ambitious and who think that
if any opportunities were given to them at all they would overflow the country.

Mr. HARRISON of New York. Is the gentleman aware that there is a com-
mittee now forming in New York, composed of American citizens, to present to
our country the views the gentleman is so ably expressing upon the floor?

Mr. MOORE. Yes; I know that to be the fact. There was a large meeting
there last week, at which a permanent organization was formed, to give ex-
pression to various grievances of the Jews who have left that country. It is
a natural desire of those who have left Roumania to aid those who have been
left behind.

Mr. SABATH. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. MOORE. I will.

Mr. SABATH. Is it not true that those born in Roumania are not recognized
as citizens?

Mr. MOORE. That is true, and there is no way for them to become citizens,
even though the treaty of Berlin required that they should not be prejudiced
by reason of their religion, except as I have stated.


They have only the right to go to Parliament itself, and Parliament, of
course, is a very large body, aud, in a smaller degree, like the Congress of the
United States, which, of course, would not have much time or inclination to
deal with the naturalization of an individual. A very small proportion of them
have obtained the right in this way.

Mr. SAB ATI I. Is it not also true that Roumauia has violated the Berlin
treaty tirno ;.<!id time again?

Mr. MOORE. There is no doubt about that. The Roumanian Government
desires to avoid dealing with other nations on this question at all. I have
quoted Secretary Hay as showing one point upon which it might be possible for
the United States to intervene. In 11)02 the Secretary did undertake to have
the signatory powers approach Romnania; but it is not certain that any of
them did this with any enthusiasm, although every one of the signatory powers
to tho Berlin treaty except Romnania did live up to the agreement, which pro-
vided that Jews should not bo debarred from citizenship.

Mr. GOLDFOGLE. Will the gentleman yield?

The SPEAKER. The time of the gentleman from Pennsylvania has expired.

Mr. GOLDFOGLE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the gentle-
man be permitted to conclude his remarks.

The SPEAKER. The gentleman from New York asks unanimous consent
that the gentleman from Pennsylvania be permitted to conclude his remarks.
Is there objection? [After a pause.] The Chair hears none.

Mr. GOLDFOGLE. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman now yield for a ques-

The SPEAKER. Does the gentleman yield?

Mr. MOORE. I do.

Mr. GOLDFOGLE. Did not Secretary Hay. while of course conceding that
America was not a parly to the treaty, take the ground that the United States
might well appeal to the powers to require the observance of the Berlin treaty
upon principles of international law and principles of natural justice?

Mr. MOORE. He tcok that ground substantially, and was even a little
more spev-itio. He indicated that inasmuch as the effect of the oppression of
the Jews by the Roumanian Government was to make them restless and drive
them out, in consequence of which many of them came to the United States,
that therefore the United States had an interest in them and in the rights
which they claimed were denied them.

Mr. GOLDFOGLE. Following the line of questions put before to the gen-
tleman from Pennsylvania, I would like to ask the gentleman whether it is not
a fact. that freedom of worship is denied to the Jew in Roumania and that the
Jew there is in this position : That while born there, he is, nevertheless,
regarded as an alien and is at the same time denied all foreign protection?

Mr. MOO I IE. That is substantially true. He is a native and still without
the protection of any country on earth. He was born in Roumania. He has
been there since the eighth century, and yet ha has no right of citizenship,
except as Parliament shall grant that right to the individual, and he is still
amenable to any punishment that may be imposed upon him by the Govern-
ment. He has not the right to appeal to a foreign power. He stands alone
" a man without a country.''

Mr. MANX. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

The SPEAKER. Does the gentleman from Pennsylvania yield to the gentle-
man from Illinois?

Mr. MOO HE. I do.

Mr. MANX. The gentleman refers to the Roumanian Jew as "a man with-
out a country " while he is in Roumania. How does he become a citizen of
the United States?

Mr. MOORE. He becomes a citizen of the United States when he has been
here five years, if he applies

Mr. MANX. "A man without a country" can not become a citizen of tho
United States from anywhere.

Mr. MOORE. If the laws of the United States were strictly enforced in regard
to Jews, subject to Roumanian law. who were not citizens of Roumauia, it might
be difficult for them to forswear their country.

Mr. MA XX. The laws of naturalization are strictly enforced, I may say to
the gentleman.

Mr. MOORE. Then the question of humanity arises and tho effect upon the
United States Government, which thus has received within its borders men who
are citizens of no country at all.
4401 moo

Mr. GOLDFOGLE. Mr. Speaker, may I interrupt the gentleman from Penn-
sylvania in order to make a suggestion to the gentleman from Illinois?

The SPEAK KH. Does the gentleman from Pennsylvania yield?

Mr. MOORE. Yes.

Mr. GOLDFOGLE. In the eyes of the law, as the gentleman from Illinois
well says, the individual Jew born in Rouinauia is a subject of the King of
Rouniania, so that when he conies here and applies for naturalization in due
time he may well be regarded in the eyes of our law as a subject of the King
of Eoumania and foreswear his allegiance to him.

Mr. MANN. Of course there is no doubt about it. and I simply thought the
gentleman from Pennsylvania was using a little hyperbole when he was talking
about " a man without a country " when he was born in Iloumauia.

Mr. GOLDFOGLE. That is the practical effect.

Mr. MOORE. I will quote what is given to me as to the political status
of the Jew of Roumauia. As regarded by that Government, he is " an alien,
not subject to any foreign protection." That partly answers the gentleman's
question, but later I will submit other data.

Mr. MONDELL. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. MANN. Does the gentleman yield?

The SPEAKER. To whom does the gentleman from Pennsylvania yield?

Mr. MOORE. I will yield first to the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. MANN].

Mr. MANN. I have no doubt the gentleman has quoted correctly, but I would
doubt the correctness of the authority. If the Jew is a Roumanian when he
comes here, there is no way by which he could become a naturalized citizen of
the United States. I do not think that that is the case.

Mr. MOORE. The fact remains that the Roumanian Jew is not a citizen of
Rouniania unless he is specially qualified by the Parliament.

Mr. MANN. I question that.

Mr. MONDELL. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. MOORE. Yes.

Mr. MONDELL. Would it not be more accurate to say, on the basis of the
facts that the gentleman has stated, that the Roumanian Jew is a man without
citizenship who can become naturalized under our law because he is unquestiou-
bly a subject of Roumauia, but not a citizen of Rouniania ; but as a man who,
without possessing citizenship, is still a subject, he may thus become naturalized
under our laws?

Mr. MOORE. I thank the gentleman for distinguishing between a citizen
and a subject. The two gentlemen who have addressed this question to me are
lawyers and qualified to pass upon naturalization questions.

Mr. MONDELL. The gentleman who last spoke is not a lawyer.

Mr. MOORE. It is not the most lucrative practice at the bar and it is a kind
of practice which most lawyers hesitate to indulge in, with the result that pos-
sibly there may be quibbles when great lawyers undertake to decide these
questions here.

Mr. MONDELL. The gentleman who last spoke is not a lawyer.

Mr. MOORE. He talks like a lawyer, and just as well as a lawyer.

Mr. MANN. He talks better than a lawyer, but he is not one. Both the
gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. MOORE] and the gentleman from Wyoming
[Mr. MONDELL] talk better than lawyers and talk more. [Laughter.]

Mr. MONDELL. What I have said is merely the opinion of a layman.

The SPEAKER. Both gentlemen not only talk well, but both talk at once,
which is contrary to the rule. [Laughter.]

Mr. MOORE. I desire to conclude this address in 10 minutes, having prom-
ised not to occupy the time of the House longer than that, and so I ask at this
point to revise and extend my remarks.

The SPEAKER. The gentleman from Pennsylvania asks unanimous consent
to extend his remarks. Is there objection?

There was no objection.

Mr. MOORE. Mr. Speaker, I shall append to these remarks some of the
statements authorized by the officers of the federation. They plead for the
friendly intercession of the United States on behalf of their brethren who have
not been so fortunate as to pass from the Roumanian borders to the United
States. It is in their interest that I have introduced the resolution requesting
the Secretary of State to inform the House whether it is not time to renew
the effort to do an act of simple justice to the unfortunate Jews of Roumauia.

_ 440112190

A 000 099 722 1


From a statement submitted to mo by the Federation of Roumanian Jewg
of Philadelphia, of which Dr. M. Y. Bolbor is president, A. B. Gohlenberg. secre-
tary, and Samuel Shoyer, treasurer, these cliief points of grievance are taken:

First. At the Berlin congress of isTs the high contracting powers decreed in
article 44 of the treaty that religion shall bar none from the full enjoyment of
the rights and privileges of citizenship in Roumania.

Second. The Roumanian Government has to this date failed to execute the
provisions of article 44 of the Berlin treaty by denying its native subjects of
the Jewish faith the rights and privileges of citizenship enjoyed by the rest of
the population.

Third. The present political status of the native Jews of and within Ron-
mania is defined by the Roumanian Government as "aliens m>t subject to any
foreign protection."- thereby expatriating tliem from their land of nativity,
denying them allegiance to or protecti.ni from any other government.

Fourth. Over ~<;o governmental restrictions are now in force against the
native Jewish inhabitants, which deny them every human right and close to
them almosi every avenue of earning a livelihood in Koumania.

The statement of detailed facts submitted by the federation also constitutes
the argument for the friendly intercession of the United States. It is as
follows :


"When the Riisso-Turkish War broke out in 1S77. Russia claimed that her
only object in fighting the Turks w:;s to free the Christ i:;ns from Mussulmanic
oppression. Koumania. then a tributary .State of Turkey, fought by the side of
Russia for tin- same reasons.

"On the 1st day of July. isTS. while the peace congress was in progress at
Berlin, lemeiubering that the Jews of Roumania were the subject of persecu-
tion under the Roumanian rule, as were the Christians under that of the
Turks. M. Waddington, the French plenipotentiary, arose and moved that re-
ligion shall be no bar to tho enjoyment of all civil and political rights in
Roumania. The motion was seconded by Benjamin Disraeli [Lord Beacousfield]
for England. A similar motion was made for Servia. Bulgaria, and Montenegro
by M. Waddington for Fran.' 'onded by Bismarck for Germany aud

de Lan:!;:y for Italy. As regards Roumania. the provision is incorporated
under article J4 of th ' treaty of Berlin. Koumania was given independence
under article 4-'> of the same treaty, subject to the faithful observance of
article 44.

"The treaty was signed by Fngl.md, France, Germany, Russia, Austria,
Italy, and Turkey.

"Servia. Bulgaria, and Montenegro had faithfully observed the mandate of
the powers. Roumania alone ignored it.

"After }; -oncliided. K<"MI:;M-!:I amended article 7 of her constitution,

which reads, in substance an , ihat Parliament alone shall confer the

rights of citizenship, and that only upon individual applications. The Jews
were not lo be enfranchised en masse, as was the sense of the treaty. Since
IsTS until (lie beginning of the present Turko-Balkan War about 200 Jews
were naturalized by this moiho.l and only a couple of hundred more since the
two month 1 -!, which, of course, is only intended to throw dust in the eyes
of Europe.


"Jews have no right to vote or hold public office, be it ever so humble. They
are not given any contract work by the Government, even if they do it 5 per
cent cheaper than the Roumanians. They can not be employed in the railroad,
postal, telephone, or tel<- rvice. They can not own land, live or do

business in villages, or even hire out as laborers upon farms. They are not
admitted into the State's schools until all th; c.'iildr.Mi of the Roumanians are
accommodated, and then only upon the payment of a tax. There are not many
schools there, so the Jewish children are generally left out. So they must,
maintain their own schools, and yet pay taxes to support the Government's
schools. From certain State schools, such as manual training, the Jewish
children are excluded altogether.

" The law prohibits any factory, even if it be owned by a Jew, to have in its
employ more than one-third Jews of the entire personnel. Jews may not be
lawyers, not even clerks to lawyers; they may not own pharmacies; they may

not engage in the sale of tobacco or matches government monopoly; Jews
must serve in the army, but may hold no rank higher than private; they ;ire
subject to expulsion within VI or l!4 hours for anything said or written politi-
cally displeasing to the (government, and other restrictions, over 200 in number;
they must pay all taxes the same as the rest of the population who are citizens.

"Let it be understood that there are no laws in Roumania against 'Jews,'
but only against 'aliens.' The law reads that only Roumanians or naturalized
Roumanians may do this or that or the other. The Jews are considered ' aliens
not subject to any foreign protection.' Before the Berlin congress the ,1
Roumania were considered as Roumanian subjects.

' The condition of the Jews in Roumania is worse to-day than it has been
previous to the Berlin congress.

" The position of the Jews in Roumania is worse than that of the Jews in
Russia. The latter enjoy in Russia many rights which are denied to the Ji i ws
in Roumania. The Russian Jews, are Russian citizens, with the right to vote
and be represented in the Duma ; in fact, Jews have served as deputies in
the Duma of Russia.

" The Jews have lived in Roumania for centuries their history there dates
back to the eighth century.

"The Jews have helped develop the country. To them alone belongs the
credit of Roumania's present commercial and industrial life. They have given
her the best in its literature and drama.

" Strange as it may seem, the statesmen who oppose the enfranchisement
of Jews are not themselves of pure Roumanian blood. Most of them are the
descendants of the Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, and Armenian invaders of old
who exploited the poor Roumanian peasants to the last drop of their blood.
The King of Roumania is himself a foreigner Charles, a prince of the German
house of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, imported to Roumania in lsr>(>.

" Roumania has a population of 7,000,000, of which 250,000 are Jews. About
70 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture, except the Jews. It is
a constitutional monarchy; has a Parliament with two branches, a chamber of
deputies and a senate. The cabinet is responsible to Parliament. There is
free speech and free press. The Jews are prohibited these privileges; that is,
they may make speeches and publish newspapers, but may not say anything
displeasing to the Government on penalty of expulsion.

"The Government fosters and encourages anti-Semitic agitations. The Jew
can not lay much claim to protection from the mob at the hands of the Gov-
ernment Anyone may abuse a Jew. Some time ago a colonel in the Rou-
manian Army slapped a civilian four times across the face in a street car and
then offered the apology, ' I thought you were a Jew,' after he discover/',
his victim happened to be a gentile.

"A highwayman was recently tried at Botoshany, Roumania. and his defense
was that he only robbed Jews. The public prosecutor in vai .^1 to

prove that his victims were also gentiles, for the court acquitted him."


To this statement I append a copy of the resolution drawing the attention of
the State Department to this problem and asking for information.
[House resolution 183, Sixty-third Congress, first session.]



Mr. MOORE submitted the following resolution, which was referred to the Co-iunit'-e
on Foreign Affairs and ordered to be printed :

Resolution requesting the Secretary of State to inform the House as to the Berlin treaty
of 1878 with respect to Jews in Roumania.


Online LibraryJ. Hampton (Joseph Hampton) MooreThe Jews in Roumania : speech of Hon. J. Hampton Moore of Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives Tuesday, June 24, 1913 → online text (page 1 of 2)