PARIS (Nov. 19)
Fifth-column elements are conducting an underground campaign here as part of an effort to create disorder and disaffection in the country, the Jewish newspaper La Presse Nouvelle charged today. In an article drawing the attention of the authorities to this situation, it points out that anti-Semitic agitation is one of the means by which the enemies of France seek to weaken the country.
The paper declares that many citizens have been receiving in the mail violent anti-Jewish literature, similar to that issued before and during the occupation by anti-Semitic newspapers such as “Je Suis Partout” and “Le Pilori.” In certain districts, it disclosed, walls have been defaced regularly with anti-Jewish inscriptions. In one district, a Jewish relief office was bombed.
The article says that “this would not be serious if since the liberation minds had been purged of the racist poison administered to them in strong doses during the past four years.” It accuses the Association for the Defense of Buyers of Jewish Property of using anti-Semitism to bolster its case, and describes the group as dreaming of a return to the Vichy regime “when if by mischance a Jew escaped a Nazi prison, he still would not be able to reclaim his property.”
The paper criticizes the regulations governing the return of Jewish families to their homes, pointing out that if the habitation is occupied by refugees from other parts of France, the rightful owners cannot return. It says that this measure has the effect of setting one group against the other and gives the anti-Semites an opportunity to charge that Jews are dispossessing French refugees, although no court has yet issued such a decision.
The article endorses the petition submitted to the Consultative Assembly by the National Movement Against Racism, formed during the occupation, which asks that the Assembly vote a declaration reaffirming “the right of all to enjoy full and real liberty based on a democratic state, the structure of which proclaims the equality of all citizens.”
The petition urges the Assembly to make its position clear on racial discriminations inspired by Germany, warning that they risked “poisoning of public life, even in liberated France.”