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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Argentina 06: 1930-1946

German NS activities - visa problems - further immigration - Jewish defense organizations since 1939 - prohibition of Yiddish at public meetings - new organizations by the immigrants - German Jewish immigration for agricultural settlements

from: Argentina; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 3

presented by Michael Palomino (2007)

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[German NS diplomats make negative propaganda against Jews - visa problems for the Jews - immigration 1933-1943]

[[History]]. 1930-1946. The revolution of 1930 introduced a period of political unrest in Argentina in which nationalist and anti-Semitic organizations played no small part. From 1933 onward, anti-Semitic activity increased, encouraged by German diplomatic institutions and by the local branch  of the German Nazi Party [[NSDAP]], until it became a central problem for Argentinian Jewry. The immigration decree of October 1938 increased discrimination against Jewish immigrants, and even Jewish farmers had great difficulty acquiring entry visas despite the preferential treatment for agricultural immigrants which even the drastic legislation on immigration provided.

From 1933 to 1943 between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews entered Argentina by exploiting various loopholes in the law. Between 6,000 and 10,000 of them had to use illegal means to immigrate and their legal status was (col. 415)

regulated only after a general amnesty was declared for illegal immigrants in 1948. When news of the Holocaust reached Argentina in 1943, Jewish organizations managed to convince the government to accept 1,000 Jewish children, but for various reasons this rescue operation was never carried out.

[since 1939: Defense organization D.A.I.A.]

The deteriorating security of Argentinian Jewry compelled all factions, Ashkenazi and Sephardi, in 1939 to unite and to form a defense organization that became known as the *D.A.I.A. At first only the communist maintained their own anti-fascist organization. With the aid of anti-Nazi publications and Argentinian democratic and socialist forces, Argentinian Jewry thus began to fight for its right to be free from persecution.

[Jewish internal fights: 1930s: Prohibition of Yiddish at public meetings - centralization of the schooling system - new cultural organizations by the new immigrants]

Neither overt public hostility nor the occasional official prohibition of the use of Yiddish at public meetings arrested the development of the Jewish community. The Chevra Keduscha [[holy prayer]] increased its communal activities and in 1934 founded a committee to centralize the educational system, which had hitherto been promoted mainly by various synagogues and by the political parties in the capital. Jewish public institutions and cultural life continued to develop, and the recent arrivals from Central Europe founded their own communal and religious organizations, including the Asociación Filantrópica Israelita (1933) [[Israel Philanthropic Association]], the Juedische Kulturgemeinschaft (1937) [[Jewish Cult Community]], and both Orthodox and Liberal congregations.> (col. 416)

[Jewish economy and Social Stratification 1915-1946: development of industrial activity and activity in higher professions]

<Economic and professional development enabled many peddlers [[since 1915]] to become merchants, agricultural laborers to become farmers, and employed artisans to become independent. The occupations vacated by veteran settlers as they rose on the ladder of economic prosperity and social advancement were constantly filled by new waves of immigrants that continued to arrive until the outbreak of World War II.

While the numbers of workers did not decrease to a great extent, the number of established merchants increased and a class of professional men developed. In 1934 the ICA director in Buenos Aires, Simon Weill, basing his report on figures submitted to ICA by towns throughout the country, estimated that 1,175 Jews were practicing in various branches of medicine and pharmacy, 190 in engineering and law, and many were writers, artists, and university lecturers.

During the period from 1918 to 1939, trade unions and economic associations were also formed. Carpenters, who organized a general strike in Jewish workshops in 1916, needleworkers, bakers, and others maintained their own trade unions for a while, and in 1934 Jewish merchants and employers united under the Cámara Comercial e Industrial Israelita [[Israelite Chamber of Trade and Industry]]. The "Cuenteniks" formed two cooperatives that became important financial instruments. In urban centers and in some of the Jewish agricultural colonies cooperative credit banks flourished.

In July 1940 the Asociación de Industriales de la Madera y del Hierro [[Industrial Timber and Steel Association]] was established, incorporating the Jewish industrialists in the field of wood and iron furniture products.

During World War II, growing industrialization in Argentina further encouraged the Jews to found new industries. The furniture, fur, and particularly the wool and textile industries, including the export of raincoats, woolens, and leather goods, were joined by enterprises in new fields such as plastics, the chemical and pharmaceutical, industries, the automobile industry, electrical goods and electronics, and a large part of heavy industry.> (col. 420)

[Jewish agricultural settlements in Argentina: German Jews coming]

<Between 1936 and 1944, several hundred families from Germany were incorporated into the [[agricultural]] project. Many of them settled in Entre Ríos [[province]] - where they founded the colony of Avigdor-Moisésville, Barón Hirsch, etc. In the succeeding period, however, more families left the land.> (col. 429)

[Independent agricultural settlements]

<During the 1930s, the Asociación Filantrópica [[Philanthropic Association]], composed of immigrants from Germany, established a (col. 430)

farm on the island of Chele Chel in the Río Negro [[province]]. Until it closed down c. 1941, it accepted about 150 young immigrants for training in fruit growing and afforestation. In 1941 the Fomento Agrario [["Agrarian Development"]] set up a fund to encourage agricultural settlement in the colony of Julio Levin in Buenos Aires province. The colony numbered about 20 families who had small holdings of 9-17 acres (4 1/2-7 hectares) on which they grew vegetables and raised dairy cattle. However, the colony soon became a vacation center and some [[racist anti-Muslim Herzl]] Zionist pioneer movements established training farms there.> (col. 431)


<From 1934 on, the schools have been supported by the Chevra Keduscha [[Holy Society]], which founded the Va'ad ha-Hinnukh [[Education Committee]].> (col. 425)

[[The expulsion, prosecution and partly extermination of the natives in Argentina is never mentioned in the Encyclopaedia Judaica]].

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Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3,
                          col. 415-416
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3, col. 415-416
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3,
                          col. 419-420
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3, col. 419-420
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3,
                          col. 425-426
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3, col. 425-426
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3,
                          col. 429-430
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3, col. 429-430
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3,
                          col. 431-432
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Argentina, vol. 3, col. 431-432

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