Argentine Minister Talks to Nation Against Anti-semitic Outbreaks

A statement condemning the current outbreak of anti-Semitism in this country in sharpest terms, warning that the Government would take every legal step to suppress racist activities and the forces responsible for such anti-Jewish practices, was made here last night by Dr. Carlos Adrogue, Minister of the Interior.

Addressing the nation over the combined radio and television networks, Dr. Adrogue made the Government’s position on the current racist situation absolutely clear. He was immediately praised by Dr. Isaac Goldenberg, president of DAIA, the central organization of Argentine Jewry. Dr. Goldenberg told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “Never has a governing Minister in Argentina been so outspoken in condemning a process which dates back several years. He will have the support of public, democratic opinion in all Western lands. “

In his statement, Dr. Adrogue told the nation: “The citizens may be absolutely certain that this Government will be firm and decisive in taking sanctions against those who start and sustain a climate of insecurity and insubordination resulting in violence. The Government has a duty not to permit such excesses. In the fulfillment of its duty, the Government will be inflexible. This should be very clear. Isolated and presumably separated, they (the racist agitators) show a synchronization which is characteristic of subversion.”

SAYS ATTACKS ON JEWS ARE “UNACCEPTABLE’ TO ARGENTINE CIVILIZATION

Dr. Adrogue noted that “apparently, racist attacks, which public opinion does not see with clarity,” have brought about some “illegal mobilization by those who are prepared to repress” these attacks themselves. He was referring to some Jewish self-defense units which, last week, engaged in an exchange of pistol fire in which a Jewish youth and a police inspector were wounded, while the young Jews were trying to guard a suburban synagogue against Nazi attacks. He deplored such actions, declaring these too as illegal.

“Without pondering on one or two cases, which the judiciary will have to clear up, it must be stated that the attacks against our Jewish compatriots, against temples dedicated to their religion, against institutions for public welfare which have their head quarters in such establishments, against their homes, all these are not characteristic of Argentina’s way of life, and are unacceptable in our civilization.

“Such acts are even more absurd in our country, with a great preponderance of Catholics among our population. Such acts signify rejection of the words and feelings of Pope John XXIII and of the Catholic Church hierarchy in our country.

PRAISES ‘FRUITFUL AND LABORIOUS’ EFFORTS OF ARGENTINE JEWRY

“It is not necessary to point to the fruitful and laborious efforts by the hundreds of thousands of our Jewish compatriots to stress conscientiously that these attacks injure our Fatherland and present us before the world in a seriously-distorted image.

“In my capacity as a Minister, I make known to all residents of our country that the national Government assumes the pledge to repress these shameful activities, and I assure all that the Federal police and other Federal forces have acted and will act by conviction and by duty to make the Government’s purposes effective.

“The Government will prosecute energetically and with every means at its disposal those groups which have created a climate making possible events of such a character which can be exploited by Communists.”

Dr. Adrogue said the Government will employ, when necessary, these steps: “Closing premises; prohibiting any means of expressing attacks against the Jewish community or its members or any other religious or racial group; exhaustive investigation of individuals accused of such acts and so-called ‘ideologies’ that encourage them: and cancelation of the licenses of political organizations which proclaim anti-Semitism. “

“These,” he said, “are some of the means we shall employ to combat those (racist) purposes. I ask for serenity and for confidence in my words–which will be supported by facts.”

CATHOLIC HIERARCHY ISSUES STATEMENT; ASKS GOVERNMENT TO ACT

Today, a statement on the situation in the country was issued by the Argentine Catholic hierarchy, consisting of the Cardinal, the Archbishops and the Bishops. The statement read: “We consider it our duty to denounce as dangerous a series of armed attacks against persons, institutions and groups carried out by as-yet unidentified, and therefore more dangerous, assailants.

“While the authors of these acts are as yet unidentified, we resist the belief that such infamous contradictions can be real among the baptized. It is necessary to state, however, that the State must put an end to such activities which, in this moment, could lead to the introduction of actions of greater excess against the sacred right of persons and institutions.”

Preceding Dr. Adrogue on the radio-TV network was an interview with Capt. Raul Angelini, a naval officer who, this week, resigned from his post as head of the Federal police department’s division of anti-democratic activities (the equivalent of the FBI in the United States).

Captain Angelini accused the DAIA of being “a communist instrument.” He stated that not only is the DAIA such an “instrument,” but that the entire Sirota case is “a communist fabrication.” He was referring to the case of Miss Graciela Sirota, the 19-year-old Jewish medical student at the Buenos Aires University, who last week was captured by unidentified thugs who engraved a swastika on her body.

“The entire agitation.” said Capt. Angelini, “is a Communist fabrication, an attempt to divert attention from various financial scandals in which the Jews are involved.”

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