Jews in Morocco Complain to Crown Prince on Police Maltreatment
Menu JTA Search

Jews in Morocco Complain to Crown Prince on Police Maltreatment

Download PDF for this date

A dossier showing Moroccan police maltreatment of at least 2,000 Jews in the last fortnight was handed this weekend in Morocco to that country’s Crown Prince and Foreign Minister, Moulay Hassan, according to reports from Morocco reaching Paris today.

The file was given to the Crown Prince, who is known for his relatively liberal, pro-Jewish sentiments, by a delegation of leading Moroccan citizens of the Jewish faith. The dossier showed that about 2,000 Jews were arrested, some of them being detained and interrogated for as long as 48 hours.

The Jewish leaders also complained about the recent rise in kidnappings of young Jewish girls who are abducted by agents for rich Moslems. Despite repeated complaints, the Jews told the Crown Prince, Jewish girls, some of them only 13 and 14 years old, are being kidnaped, forcibly converted to Mohammedanism, then installed in the harems owned by wealthy Moroccan Moslems. Police authorities have refused to take any action toward tracing the whereabouts of these Jewish girls, the leaders complained.

The leaders meeting with the Crown Prince are understood to have avoided mentioning the incident of the ship, the Price, which capsized in the Mediterranean with the loss of 43 Jewish men, women and children en route from Melilla, Spanish Morocco, to Gibraltar. Of the 22 bodies recovered after that tragedy, only five have thus far been identified, according to the Moroccan reports, and efforts are being continued by the Chief Rabbi of Tetuan and by the Jewish community there to identify the remainder of the corpses. Those identified have been interred in the Jewish cemetery at Alhucemas.


Arrests of Moroccan Jews have continued systematically since the African summit conference in Casablanca, and both children and elderly Jews have been imprisoned and beaten, it was reported here today. The arrests began with the arrival of President Nasser of the United Arab Republic for the conference, which ended a week ago.

Moroccan Jews were reported viewing the future with apprehension. The Casablanca Jewish community, which met once with the Governor of the city to protest the arrests, and which received a promise of action on the matter, was contemplating another meeting. Some of the Casablanca Jewish leaders were reported considering a proposal to set up a strong delegation to visit the Royal Palace at Rabat with a demand for an audience with King Mohammed V and a request for protection for the Jewish population.

One positive development was the release of Rabbi M. Wrechner, director of the Neve Chalom Yeshiva, a Swiss national who was arrested along with a group of yeshiva students. Rabbi Wrechner refused to sign a police declaration that he had not been ill-treated, and the Swiss consul reportedly planned to take the matter further. It was reliably reported that Rabbi Wrechner and the ten students were subjected to torture.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund