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President of Paraguay Pledges to Halt Anti-semitism

Paraguay’s strongman, Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, has ordered an end to a wave of anti-Semitic outbursts which had swept his country in recent weeks, the World Jewish Congress reported. “There is not nor will there be anti-Semitism in Paraguay, “the General stated in letter to WJC president Edgar Bronfman. Stroessner’s letter was in reply to a cable from Bronfman on September 12, which asked the General to intervene and put a halt to the anti-Semitic wave which had left the Jewish community of Paraguay “living in a state of alarm.”

On September 10, posters appeared throughout Asuncion, capital of Paraguay, calling on the population not to patronize shops owned by Jews because “they rob the country and send the money to Tel Aviv and Moscow.” The posters listed 20 shops with the names of their Jewish owners.

Another poster said, “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.”

In his cable, Bronfman asked that Stroessner act to “ensure the Jewish community of Paraguay of that safety they so direly need” in view of “the general manifestation of terrorism” against Jews and particularly “in the aftermath of the anti-Jewish terrorist attack in Turkey.”

STROESSNER’S REPLY TO BRONFMAN

Stroessner, in his reply to Bronfman, stated he was the “first to condemn” the appearance of anti-Jewish posters. “Before receiving your message I had already given instructions to the competent national authorities to intervene with every energy in defense to the Jewish community, as a means of avoiding any misconduct on the part of people interested in harming the prestige of our country.

“In my fatherland, all persons are respected, whatever their nationalities. This is why we will not allow irresponsible people to throw a shadow over the well-deserved prestige of my country.” There are some 1,000 Jews who live in Paraguay out of a general population of nearly 3.5 million.

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