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Italian Jews Must Be Isolated and Utilized for War Effort, Fascist Spokesman Says

Attempting to explain the recent decree mobilizing all Jews in Italy between the ages of 18 and 55 for forced labor, an official Italian spokesman today told the Rome correspondent of the Stockholm Tidningen that it has never been the policy of Italy to completely eradicate the Jews but that the Jews must be isolated from the rest of the population and utilized for work essential to the Italian war effort.

The Swedish paper’s Rome correspondent also reports that Jewish war veterans, who hitherto have enjoyed certain privileges in Italy, are not exempt from the decree mobilizing all Jews between 18 and 55 for forced labor. Registration for the labor service started on May 6. The order also affects so-called half-Jews.

The Tidningen declares that it is “noteworthy” that the Italian authorities are anxious to explain that the new measure is not discriminatory. The Fascists claim that Jews are being mobilized in the same manner as Italians who are not liable for military service, or women and children.