Virulent Anti-semitism in Paraguay

B’nai B’rith International, alarmed by a wave of virulent anti-Semitism sweeping Paraguay, has sent an urgent cable of protest to President Alfredo Stroessner urging his government “to act officially and decisively” to stem the tide of bigotry.

The message, signed by BBI president Seymour Reich, noted that Jews are being attacked in the media and in slick posters prominently displayed in the streets of Asuncion, capital of the land-locked South American country. There are no more than 500 Jews in Paraguay, a nation of over 3.4 million, long a haven for Nazi war criminals who escaped from Europe after World War II.

According to Reich, posters urge Paraguayans not to patronize shops owned by Jews “because the money they steal they send to Israel and Moscow.” The posters list 20 shops with the names of their Jewish owners.

Another poster has an inscription, “Wanted: Jews. Dead or Alive for killing Christ, for establishing the Communist Party, for causing two World Wars, for bombing Libya and killing children, for planning three world wars.”

Last May, a leading newspaper advertised a requiem mass for Hitler. Mobs stormed a radio station whose owner was described in the same paper as a “wealthy Jew.”

Reich noted in his cable to Stroessner that B’nai B’rith had protested to Paraguay several months ago over the posters and other anti-Semitic propaganda, but the situation has since become worse. He said several Paraguayan newspapers have denounced anti-Semitism, “but there has been no response to pleas for government action.”

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