Argentine German Jews Organize to Aid Refugees

German Jews in Argentine who have until recently kept their Jewishness secret and who have had no relations with other Jews, have now organized a society to help German-Jewish immigrants and unemployed.

Although the newly formed society has the objective of social relief, a sign of the times is the very fact that German Jews come together as Jews for the purpose of carrying on Jewish activities.

Four hundred people participated in the organization meeting, most of them coming from the middle class, among them many merchants and importers. Because of the sudden transition from Germans to German Jews, there was great confusion during the discussions. The chairman of the meeting opened with the declaration “We are not interested in politics, our only concern is to help.” The same stand was emphasized by the chief speaker of the meeting, Dr. Weil.

Both speakers expressed the repentance of the German Jews in Argentine, who have failed to interest themselves in Jewish affairs. They also expressed their shame that the protest meeting against the persecutions in Germany was organized by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe without any help from German Jews.

The discussions also touched upon the question whether German Jews should remain in the German societies here which have been built to a large extent by Jews and with Jewish money and most of which have recently become more or less Hitleristic. It was indicated that should Jews leave the Democratic and Republican German societies, they would not be able to continue their existence. The question of the advisability of leaving the German societies was temporarily postponed.

The newly organized society of the German Jews is known as the Hilfs-Verein Deutsch-Sprechenden Juden (Relief Society of German Speaking Jews).

Local Jewish groups expressed great satisfaction with the new organization.

The rise of Hitlerism has brought into existence the organization of another group of Jews who have heretofore not taken any active part in Jewish public life, the English and North American Jews who have formed the Maccabean Association and Club.

The awakening of the English speaking Jews in partly due to the local Buenos Aires Herald, an English language newspaper, which brought extensive reports of the Nazi persecutions and of the Jewish protest movement all over the world. Leaders of the B’nai Brith helped to organize the association.

NEXT STORY