ROME (Jul. 27)
Italy’s anti-Jewish campaign got into full swing today with a series of dismissals from important positions, as Jewish schoolchildren were insulted in the streets and Jewish enterprises were told not to advertise.
Ponte Corvo, only Jewish member of the State Symphonic Orchestra, was suddenly discharged. a leading Italian geographer, professor Roberto Almagia, a jew, who was supposed to represent Italy at the International Geographical congress at the Hague, was told at the last minute not to proceed.
For the first time, Jewish school children in Rome on the way to school heard shouts from “aryan” italian scholars: “you are not italian!” Two Jewish owners of large department stores were “advised” by officials of the Fascist Party to refrain from advertising their firms publicly.
Italian newspapers reported with pride the repercussions of the anti-Semitic campaign abroad, particularly in the United States, stressing that Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Under-secretary Sumner Welles had received Italian Ambassador Fulvio Suvich for a lengthy discussion.
General sentiment here seems to be against the racial campaign, which is apparently evoking little enthusiasm outside official circles. Many Italians today found it necessary to impress on their Jewish friends their distaste for the campaign and to assure them that it would not last long in view of the opposition of the Church and the nation. They expressed the opinion, however, that Jews holding Government positions would be dismissed and certain other anti-Jewish measures would be introduced.
Several prominent Fascists privately expressed disapproval of the anti-Semitic drive and voiced the belief that step was not due to Italy’s internal policy, but to German influence. They disclosed that a process of demoting Jews in Government jobs was progressing quietly. While not certain whether Jews would be expelled from the Fascist Party ranks, these Fascists expressed conviction that Jews would no longer be permitted to hold positions of authority in government services, civil and military.