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Bolivian Jews Protest Marking of Immigrants’ Documents

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A number of persons are refusing to comply with the Immigration Ministry’s order for registration of Jews who entered Bolivia since Jan. 1, 1938, in protest against the action of the authorities in marking the identification papers of the registrants to indicate their Jewish origin. Local Jewish organizations, including the Circulo Israelita, the Jewish Relief Committee and the Jewish community have decided to submit a memorandum of protest to the ministry.

When Jews called at the ministry to register, they were obliged to present their “cedulas” (identity documents). To these documents officials attached a paper stating that the holder was of Semitic origin and stamped the documents with a “J” in order further to indicate the holder’s origin.

The registration order, affecting all Jews over 16 years of age, including those who became converted in this country, was issued by the ministry on Oct. 24 under the Immigration Act of Aug. 22. Issuance of the order followed a campaign by anti-Semitic newspapers which claimed that exaggerated numbers of Jews had entered the country in the past two years.

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