Menu JTA Search

Italy Counts Jews in Census Based on Race, Not Religion

A census of all Jews in Italy and her possessions was under way today, having been launched yesterday, and will be completed at midnight tomorrow. The Jewish population of Italy has hitherto been estimated at 44,000 in a total population of more than 43,000,000.

The census, taken in connection with the Government’s recently proclaimed racial credo and a decision to limit Jewish participation in the nation’s economic life to a ratio of 1 to 1,000, is based on the principle that Jews are a race rather than a religion.

Questionnaires have been distributed to all families having at least one Jewish Member. Persons required to answer them must indicate when they joined the Fascist Party, the number of their membership card and their war record. The authorities warned against evasions.

The status of Moslems in Italy’s racial doctrine was semi-officially defined in the second issue of Defense of the Race, organ of the Interior Ministry’s Department for Demography and Race Protection. Moslems, the magazine declares, not being “racialists like Jews” will continue to enjoy the sympathy and protection of Italy.

A strong attack against the Bible as a product of the “disruptive Jewish spirit” is contained in a three-column article captioned “Judaism and Roman Civilization,” in Popolo d’Italia, Milan newspaper founded by Premier Benito Mussolini. Giacomo Prampolini, author of the article, writes:

“The Bible represents a closed world alien to the Italian people and extremely distant from the daily spiritual life of the modern Italian people. The Bible reflects the passionately agitated, Orient in convulsion, with which it is difficult for us to be identified.”

NEXT STORY