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Popular Opposition to Anti-semitic Measures Growing in France

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Popular opposition to Vichy’s anti-Semitic laws is increasing in all parts of France as the people become further aware of the fact that the measures have been introduced as a result of direct Nazi pressure, it is reported here today.

Anti-Jewish posters in France are frequently obliterated and defaced, with the word “Jew” being crossed out and the word “Boche” substituted, the report says. Even the signboard in front of the office of Xavier Vallat, Commissioner of Jewish Affairs, has been repeatedly defaced. In the Vichy Church of St. Louis a Jesuit priest, described as a “friend of Petain,” delivered a sermon assailing the government’s anti-Semitism.

The report also reveals that because of the refusal of non-Jewish professors to accept university posts from which their Jewish colleagues had been ousted and the avowed intention of many students to boycott the classes of any professor accepting such positions, the Ministry of Education has been forced to announce that “for reasons of economy” it will leave the posts vacant.

The Tribune de Lausanne, a Swiss newspaper, yesterday published an article from its correspondent in Vichy corroborating the fact that the French people want no part of the Nazi-fostered anti-Semitism. The correspondent writes: “The Jewish problem leaves the French divided or quite indifferent. Certainly one meets fanatical anti-Semites, but speaking generally, the French do not accept en bloc everything brought from outside, especially if they have the impression that there is a desire to impose certain theories and regulations. They are awaiting the time when they may settle these matters for themselves freely.”

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