Havana (Jun. 25)
The frequent revolutions, attempts at assassinations, street demonstrations and similar terrors which keep the political life of Cuba in a state of tumult, give the Jewish colony of the island no rest. In some mysterious fashion the Jews are usually accused of complicity in most of the troublous incidents.
For a while conditions were improving for the Jews of Cuba. They were finding work and engaging in trade to an extent greater than at any time during the past six or eight years.
But suddenly this normalization of Jewish life was paralyzed and a series of openly anti-Semitic attacks of a systematically threatening nature have created a state of panic among the Jews.
The newspaper, Popular, owned by Pepin Rivera (an anti-Semite who also owns the Catholic newspaper Diario de la Marina and Information, an evening paper), recently came out with a sensational article on the organization in Cuba of a secret society “to save the country from the Jewish danger.”
NAZI INFLUENCE SEEN
In what purported to be an interview with the leader of this secret group the newspaper enumerated the aims of the organization:
1) “To keep the Jews from creating a state within a state, as they do everywhere;
2) “To oppose and break down the strong economic and political position of the Jews in Cuba and
3) “To prevail upon the government to close the doors of Cuba against this detrimental element.”
The newspaper declared that the organization would employ every means, including those of terror, to combat the “Jewish evil,” and emphasized that the organization needed no material or financial aid, being powerful and wealthy in its own right.
This latter remark arouses the suspicion that German Hitlerites in Cuba subsidize the secret group.
Then came the June 17 mass demonstration of the national revolutionary ABC party, which ended with the killing of six women and fourteen men and the wounding of fifty others. All evidence produced show that the demonstrants were shot at by opponents of the ABC. Yet the same day the ABC declared over a prominent radio network that those responsible for the shooting were “Polako-Jews.”
PROVINCIAL JEWS TERRORIZED
This charge against the Jews spread among the Cuban masses with lightning speed, and was repeated everywhere. The anti-Jewish atmosphere in the streets of Havana was reminiscent of the days of 1915-16 in Russia, when attempts were made to convince the Russian masses that the Jews were shooting at the Russian military.
Jews in the provinces experienced days of nightmare-like fear and panic, for there the news created a virtual pogrom atmosphere.
Thus, after an absence of ### short few months, tension h### found its way back into the li### of Cuban Jewry. The government is too busy with its own trouble to be burdened with a Jewish question.
But Jewish leaders have tackled the problem. A special conference called by the Jewish Intersoc#a# Committee resolved to combat# Hitlerism in Cuba and carry on the necessary educational activity in both governmental circles and among the general population.