Envoys Concerned over Jewish Nationals in Italy; U.S. Embassy Protests
Menu JTA Search

Envoys Concerned over Jewish Nationals in Italy; U.S. Embassy Protests

Download PDF for this date

Increasing concern over the fate of their Jewish nationals in Italy is being shown by foreign legations here with the approach of March 12, by which date all foreign Jews must have emigrated from Italy or be subject to expulsion under the terms of an edict issued last September. Some 15,000 Jews who entered Italy after 1919 are affected by the decree.

Concern has been sharpened by the Government’s failure to furnish several legations, including the American, with clarification of the status of their Jewish nationals. The United States Embassy is understood to have filed several protests on alleged discrimination against American Jews, but so far has received no reply. Ambassador William Phillips is reported to be seeking an interview with Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano within the next few days to present those protests personally. Among the cases in which the Embassy is intervening is one in which an American Jew has been ordered to leave Italy before March 12. Another case concerns Jacob Sumter, well-known figure in racing circles, who has been living in Italy for the last 20 years. Sumter is married to an Italian citizen and is therefore not affected by the expulsion decree, but he has been deprived of his trainer’s license as a “non-Aryan.”

It was reliably learned that foreign Jews found to be in a position to leave Italy by March 12 but failing to do so will be fined 5,000 lire (about $1,000) and summarily expelled. All foreign Jews possessing valid visas to any country will be regarded as belonging to this category.

It was reported here that some 3,000 Jews have obtained Chinese visas. The American Consul-General at Naples has sent letters to all persons approved for emigration to the United States who are awaiting “vacancies,” and many applicants are expected to receive prolongation of their stay in Italy on the strength of these letters. Refugee organizations are approaching the British authorities for temporary resident permits for prospective emigrants to America who are awaiting their turn.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund