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Spain’s Record on Jewish Refugees Cited to Counteract Impression of Film Ban

The New York Times, which last week reported that the American film “Gentleman’s Agreement” was banned by the Film Censorship Board in Spain for anti-Semitic reasons, today comments editorially on a statement made in Madrid by Gabriel Garcia Espina, president of the Board, in which he declared that the motive for the ban was misunderstood and that the motion picture was prohibited because its theme, anti-Semitism, was no problem in Spain.

“There may be anti-Semites in Spain,” the editorial says. “There are fools and fanatics in every country. But the Spanish record with Jewish and other war refugees is good. They found shelter and comfort in Spain.”

Spain’s assistance “to many hundreds” of Jewish victims of Nazism during the war was invoked yesterday by Pablo Merry del Val, Cultural Relations Counselor at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, in response to unfavorable publicity which followed the disclosure of the ban. Del Val’s plea was made in a letter to the New York Times.

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