BUENOS AIRES (Jun. 28)
Jewish stores, factories, offices and schools were closed today throughout Argentina in protest against increased anti-Jewish violence which culminated in the abduction here of a 19-year-old girl by three terrorists who carved a swastika on her body with a razor. Signs reading “Closed in Protest Against Nazi Aggressions in Argentina” were displayed in front of every Jewish establishment.
The nationwide Jewish stoppage, which began at noon, was called by the DAIA, central representative body of Argentine Jewry. The stoppage was carried out with perfect discipline throughout the entire country. Many non-Jewish businesses in the Jewish sections here joined in the stoppage in solidarity with the Jews.
Police were ordered on the alert to combat the possibility of clashes from neo-Nazi reactions to the Jewish demonstration of protest. Many Argentine newspapers appeared with articles supporting the DAIA protest. The National Committee of the Union Civic Radical de Pueblo, one of Argentina’s largest parties, published a statement demanding severe repressive measures against the perpetrators of the anti-Semitic attacks. Statements of support by students and teachers associations for the DAIA stand also were published in the newspapers.
ARGENTINE PRESIDENT SUMMONS POLICE CHIEF FOR REPORT
Acting on an appeal from the DAIA, President Guido of Argentina summoned police chief Horacio Green for a report on the assault of the Jewish girl, Graciela Sirota. A radio broadcast later reported that the police chief had resigned however, he promptly said that the report was false.
The police chief met with reporters after his 35-minute meeting with President Guido and said he had informed the President about “the problem” presented by the DAIA. Green said he had also “exposed” to the President “the risk represented by the manner in which this Israelite organization presents things, together with the decision they took to make justice in their own hands, adopting measures of force.”
He was asked if the police had reached the conclusion that the conditions which the Jews were protesting did in fact exist. He replied: “I have not the slightest doubt about that since the girl has the marks of it on her. What needs determining is in what manner this mark was made.” Under further questioning, he said that the police had not come to any conclusions as to the persons responsible for the attack on Miss Sirota.
The police chief said that the girl had not been able to identify any of her assailants “from pictures we showed her.” He added that her description of her assailants “is so difficult it is impossible to identify anybody.”
JEWISH COMMUNITY STAND EXPLAINED IN PUBLISHED STATEMENT
Yesterday, ten of Argentina’s most important daily newspapers published a statement by the DAIA in the form of a paid advertisement, describing the reasons which led the organization to call on the Jewish community for today’s strike protest. The statement said that the brutal attack on Miss Sirota brought to a climax violence promoted by “Nazi terrorism.” It pointed out that the instigators and executors of the criminal acts remain free “thus creating conditions for the worst excesses.”
The statement noted that the Government had replied “without delay” to the DAIA protest but the DAIA added that “the extreme gravity” of the situation “cannot be solved merely with statements, as may be gathered from the reiterated attempts at distortion” by some sources. This was a reference to the broadcasts of two radio stations which had sought to minimize the anti-Semitic violence.