Jewish Party (Romania)

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The Jewish Party (Romanian: Partidul Evreiesc din România, PER) was a political party in 1930s Romania.

The PER came into being as a result of dissensions within the Jewish community. The Union of Native Jews (founded in 1909, turned into the Union of Romanian Jews (UER) in 1923), believed that a separate Jewish party was unnecessary, as it would isolate the Jews politically after they had struggled for decades to win Romanian citizenship. The Union stated that specific demands could be obtained more easily by participating in Romanian parties and collaborating with the Romanian government. This viewpoint was not shared by a group led by Theodor Fischer and Adolf Stern, who founded the Jewish Party on May 4, 1931 in Bucharest.

The party was created by merging a number of regional Jewish organisations. Its central office was led by the president and by an eight-member committee. Its official newspaper was Tribuna evreiască ("The Jewish Tribune"). The party's programme sought to raise awareness among Romanian Jews that they belonged to a larger Jewish people, while at the same time re-affirming their devotion to the country in which they lived. The PER fought for legal, moral and material rights, with a view toward the spiritual development of the Jewish minority (including state support for primary and professional schools, as well as for Jewish worship). The programme noted the need to promote collaboration with other nationalities' political organisations.

The PER took part in the June 1931 election, obtaining 2.19% of the vote and 4 seats in the Assembly of Deputies; in July 1932 it took 2.26% and 5 seats. A powerful setback followed at the 1933 election, when, winning 1.29% of the vote, the party lost all its seats in parliament. After the Nazi régime was established in Germany, the PER stood in solidarity with the parties that defended constitutional parliamentarism. It organised meetings to condemn the anti-Semitic actions in Germany and the manifestations of extreme-right sentiment then gaining currency in Romanian political life.

On January 26, 1936, the PER agreed to sign a pact of collaboration with the UER, together forming the Central Council of Romanian Jews (Consiliul Central al Evreilor din România), which fought in defence of Jewish rights and against anti-Semitic actions. Running on its own lists in the 1937 election, the PER won 1.42% of the vote. The Jewish Party, along with all other parties extant in Romania, was dissolved by royal decree on March 30, 1938.

Notable members[edit]

  • Theodor Fischer (president)
  • Adolf Stern (honorary president)
  • Mişu Weisman
  • Michel Landau
  • Ernest Marton

References[edit]

  • Enciclopedia partidelor politice din România, 1859-2003, Editura Meronia, Bucharest 2003, ISBN 973-8200-54-7