Alleged Blast at Jews by Calles Stirs Mexico
Menu JTA Search

Alleged Blast at Jews by Calles Stirs Mexico

Download PDF for this date

Dispatches from Monterrey in the state of Nuevo Leon, where Mexico’s “strong man,” former president Plutarco Elias Calles, is visiting, report him as stating:

“All the recent political agitation was caused by the Catholic clergy and the capitalist Jews in Monterrey. They are the ones who created a situation of unrest, which has no significance.

“Those Monterrey industrialists enjoyed undeserved privileges, since they have not learned to reciprocate the protection the government has given them. They don’t even know how to treat their workers. I qualify them as the chief extortionists in the republic.”


The Calles statement created a sensation in Jewish circles here, since the Mexican political dictator has up to now expressed great friendliness toward the Jews.

Only recently in an interview with New York’s Aldermanic President, Bernard S. Deutsch, Calles declared that Mexico would waive certain immigration restrictions in favor of German Jewish refugees.

During his term in office he also extended an open invitation to the Jews to settle in Mexico. In common with many other Mexican leaders, Calles declared that the republic would not tolerate anti-Semitic activities.

In Jewish circles the interview is interpreted as not referring specifically to Jewish people, but as a descriptive term for foreigners and even Mexicans whose business methods are similar to those of “country storekeepers” in the United States.


The expression Jew in Senor Calles statement is applied colloquially in Mexico to many foreigners, including Poles, Turks, Arabs and Syrians.

At least one paper, Excelsior, interpreted the term “Jew” in this fashion, placing quotation marks around the word “Judios” in a headline.

In response to a question, Senor Calles stated that he agrees with the “ideology sustained by the Federal Congress, namely the ideology of the Mexican revolution.”

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