Great Britain, British Jews, and the international protection of Romanian Jews, 1900-1914: a study of Jewish diplomacy and minority rights



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J Y V Ä S K Y L Ä   S T U D I E S   I N   H U M A N I T I E S
JYVÄSKYLÄN       YLIOPISTO
Great Britain, British Jews,
and the International Protection
of Romanian Jews, 1900–1914
 Satu Matikainen
A Study of Jewish Diplomacy
and Minority Rights
56


JYVÄSKYLÄ STUDIES IN HUMANITIES 56
Satu Matikainen
UNIVERSITY OF
JYVÄSKYLÄ 2006
Esitetään Jyväskylän yliopiston humanistisen tiedekunnan suostumuksella
julkisesti tarkastettavaksi Historica-rakennuksen salissa 320
elokuun 18. päivänä 2006 kello 12.
Academic dissertation to be publicly discussed, by permission of
the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Jyväskylä,
in the building Historica, Auditorium 320, on August 18, 2006 at 12 o'clock noon.
JYVÄSKYLÄ
and the International Protection
of Romanian Jews, 1900-1914
Great Britain, British Jews,
A Study of Jewish Diplomacy and Minority Rights


Great Britain, British Jews,
A Study of Jewish Diplomacy and Minority Rights
and the International Protection
of Romanian Jews, 1900-1914


JYVÄSKYLÄ STUDIES IN HUMANITIES 56
JYVÄSKYLÄ 2006
Great Britain, British Jews,
A Study of Jewish Diplomacy and Minority Rights
UNIVERSITY OF
JYVÄSKYLÄ
Satu Matikainen
and the International Protection
of Romanian Jews, 1900-1914


Copyright ©       , by University of Jyväskylä
URN:ISBN:9513925676
ISBN 951-39-2567-6 (PDF)
ISBN 951-39-2506-4 (nid.)
ISSN 1459-4331
2006
Jyväskylä University Printing House, Jyväskylä
2006
Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities
Editorial Board
Petri Karonen, Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä
Editor in Chief Heikki Hanka, Department of Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä
Matti Rahkonen, Department of Languages, University of Jyväskylä
Petri Toiviainen, Department of Music, University of Jyväskylä
Minna-Riitta Luukka, Centre for Applied Language Studies, University of Jyväskylä
Raimo Salokangas, Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä
Editors
Seppo Zetterberg
Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä
Pekka Olsbo, Marja-Leena Tynkkynen
Publishing Unit, University Library of Jyväskylä


ABSTRACT 
 
Matikainen, Satu 
Great Britain, British Jews, and the international protection of Romanian Jews
1900-1914: A study of Jewish diplomacy and minority rights  
Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä, 2006, 23
4 p. 
(Jyväskylä Studies on Humanities 
ISSN 1459-4323; 56) 
ISBN 951-39-
2567-6
Finnish summary 
Diss. 
 
The thesis discusses the Romanian Jewish problem in the early twentieth 
century from the perspective of Jewish diplomacy and minority rights. The 
number of Jews in Romania was approximately 270,000, or 4.5 per cent of the 
total population. The Romanian Jews were one of the first minority groups to be 
protected by means of international conventions. The Treaty of Berlin (1878) 
provided for equal rights to persons of all religious confessions in Romania. 
However, Jews were not granted Romanian citizenship, and their lives were 
regulated by a system of anti-Jewish legislation. In this situation, emancipated 
Jewish elites in Western Europe, including Britain, strove to help their 
coreligionists in Romania.  
 
British Jews, through their foreign policy organisation, the Conjoint 
Foreign Committee, tried to persuade the British Foreign Office to intervene on 
behalf of Romanian Jews.  The British government agreed, in principle, that 
Romanian Jewish policy should be modified. It was reluctant to act, however, 
arguing that any intervention in Romanian affairs could only happen in concert 
with the other Great Powers.  
 
The attitudes of the British government towards Romanian Jews were 
shaped in part by interpretations on international minority protection. They 
were also influenced by political considerations such as Great Power rivalry 
and domestic problems relating to Jewish immigration. As to Anglo-Jewish 
views, practical considerations such as immigration also played a role, but 
policy was mainly shaped by perceptions of the struggle for Jewish 
emancipation and the role of privileged Jewries as defenders of their less 
fortunate coreligionists.  
 
Anglo-Jewish diplomacy did not result in any visible improvement in the 
situation of Romanian Jews before 1914. The legal emancipation of Romanian 
Jews only came to pass after the First World War. However, Jewish diplomacy 
was important on numerous occasions in promoting the subject of minority 
rights. The activities of the Anglo-Jewry on behalf of Romanian Jews were a 
significant phase in the history of minority protection. 
 
Keywords: Romania, Great Britain, Jews, diplomacy, ethnic minorities, 
international relations, anti-Semitism,  


Author’s address Satu 
Matikainen 
 
 
 
 
Department of History and Ethnology 
 
 
 
 
P.O. Box 35 (H) 
 
 
 
 
FIN-40014 University of Jyväskylä 
 
 
 
 
FINLAND 
 
 
Supervisor 
 
Professor Seppo Zetterberg 
  
 
 
 
Department of History and Ethnology 
 
 
 
 
P.O. Box 35 (H) 
 
 
 
 
FIN-40014 University of Jyväskylä 
 
 
 
 
FINLAND 
 
 
Reviewers 
 
Docent Eero Kuparinen 
    Department 
of 
History 
 
 
 
 
FIN-20014 University of Turku 
 
 
 
 
FINLAND 
 
    Docent 
Markku 
Ruotsila 
    Kadetintie 
12 

    FIN-00330 
Helsinki 
 
 
 
 
FINLAND 
 
 
Opponent  
 
Docent Eero Kuparinen 
    Department 
of 
History 
 
 
 
 
FIN-20014 University of Turku 
 
 
 
 
FINLAND 
 
 
 
 
 




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