Italian Jews Fear Expulsion from Jobs, Ban on Inter-marriage As Race Drive Spreads
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Italian Jews Fear Expulsion from Jobs, Ban on Inter-marriage As Race Drive Spreads

Rumors of impending expulsion of Jews from Fascist Party organizations, universities, professions and government positions raced through a panic-stricken Jewish community tonight in the wake of the official declaration of war against the Jews by Achille Starace, Fascist Party Secretary-General, and the assertions of Fascist newspapers that the racial program was the Fascists’ first order of business.

Illustrative of the tense atmosphere among Italy’s 45,000 Jews was the circulation of reports on the contemplated anti-Jewish measures, which were rumored to include expulsion of Jews from Fascist formations, ousting of Jewish teachers and students from universities, prohibition of intermarriage, a ban on Jewish physicians and dentists treating non-Jews and dismissal of State and municipal employes who are Jews.

The first effects of the racial campaign were felt in Rome today when American travel agencies notified their local representatives that they were cancelling tours to Italy. The campaign is already showing its effect among the Jews. Many Jewish enterprises are delaying new investments because of anticipated anti-Jewish measures. Jewish professionals, convinced that they will be the first victims of the racial policy, are planning to emigrate.


Italian Jewish leaders called on the community through the newspaper, Israel not to lose courage in the face of present events, as well as possible future developments. Expressing alarm about the racial campaign, the appeal stressed the centuries old attachment of the Jews to Italian culture, and declared that "Italian Jewry will remain loyal to Italy irrespective of how they are looked upon."

Virginio Gayda, authoritative Fascist spokesman, in his third anti-Semitic article in Giornale d’Italia within a week, warned tonight that Italy was determined to carry out its racial policy under all circumstances, disregarding pressure from abroad. The details of the new policy will be published "very soon," he said. The racial problem is Italy’s internal affair, Gayda asserted, and is now the most important issue of Fascist policy. He added: "Matters concerning Italy are dealt with by Italy alone. Once decided upon a certain policy, Italy pays no attention to critics or foreign opposition."

La Tribuna, in an article, hinted that Jews would be expelled from the Fascist Party. The paper said that "Fascism is the purest manifestation of the Aryan spirit."

Starace’s statement, which accused the Jews of being the mainspring of the world fight against Fascism, shattered the last hopes of the Italian Jews that the anti-Semitic press campaign might not be implemented by the Government. Receiving a group of scholars, including those who drew up the racial doctrine announced last week, in the presence of Dino Alfieri, Minister of Popular Culture, Starace asserted yesterday that "our racial campaign must not remain theoretical but must be followed by precise political actions."

Starace declared that the principal activity of institutions of Fascist culture during the coming Fascist year which begins in October would be devoted to "inaugurating and popularizing Fascist principles in the matter of race, principles which have already aroused so much interest in Italy and throughout the world." After stressing the importance of preserving the "Millenial purity" of the Italians, the statement referred to the Jews.

"As to the Jews," it said, "they have considered themselves, for thousands of years, in Italy and elsewhere, as a ‘race’ superior to and apart from other races, and it is a notorious fact that, despite the tolerant policy of the regime, Jews in all nations have constituted — with their men and their means — the general staff of anti-Fascism."

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