Vatican Prepares for Clash with Italy on Race; Anti-semitic Campaign Mounts
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Vatican Prepares for Clash with Italy on Race; Anti-semitic Campaign Mounts

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Official church leaflets calling on Italian Catholics to defy the anti-Jewish racial campaign as anti-religious were distributed in churches during Sunday services today, while newspapers continued to advocate racial differentiations between Jews and non-Jews and two more Jewish foreign correspondents were ordered expelled from the country.

A leaflet printed in many thousands for distribution in all churches of Italy states: “The racial theory seeks to replace the rule of law by the rule of blood hatred. It is an attack against religion.” the clash between the church and the state promises to become more serious this week. Catholic circles emphasize that Pope Pius xi, after three addresses condemning racial propaganda last week, considers racialism a challenge to humanity and to church principles which must be checked at the very beginning.

Efforts of Jewish leaders to be received by Premier Benito Mussolini failed. The Premier is not even receiving his Jewish personal friends.

Racial legislation is reported in the process of preparation by the new Office for Demography and Race Protection in the Ministry of Interior. While the name of the director of the office has not yet been announced, his activity is already felt in inspired articles in the press.

Il Messagero, in an article on the importance of Italian racial policy, speaks of purifying Italian culture of Jewish influences. But foreign circles believe that the “purification” will not be limited to culture, and it is held doubtful whether many Jews will be permitted to remain in the Fascist party. at present a large proportion of the Jewish population are members of the party. Their expulsion would amount to depriving many of their livelihoods, since employment without membership in the party is practically impossible.

A number of embassies over the week-end were conducting research into premier Mussolini’s addresses in which he has stated that no Jewish problem existed or was possible in Italy. The facts will be used if intervention with the Government is necessary, two thirds of the 45,000 italian Jews are inter-married and assimilated; therefore, foreign diplomats see no possibility of raising the racial problem.

Diplomatic circ is expressed the opinion that the expulsion of Jewish correspondents, coupled with the sudden intensification of the racial campaign, was a forerunner of anti-Jewish developments. They said it indicated a new campaign of concession to Germany, on whom, it was declared, Italy must increasingly lean. Diplomatic circles, particularly American and british, are closely watching developments in the campaign.

To the average italian the racial theories now being proclaimed are meaningless. The opposition of the Church is bound to have a strong effect on its followers. Despite this some high officials are quoted as declaring privately that the racial campaign will continue despite the consequences that are likely to follow. The entire press ignored the speech of Pope Pius at Castel Gandolfo last thursday night in which he condemned racialism.


The keynote of the press attacks was struck by Virginio Gayda, authoritative Fascist spokesman, who wrote in Giornale d’ Italia friday that “every nation has the right to racial purity.” indicating that serious things were in store for the italian Jews, he declared that “the problem of race is of concrete and immediate political importance.”

In another bitterly anti-Jewish article in Giornale d’ Italia yesterday, Signor Gayda declared that Italy adopted the racial policy because it realized that “Jews corrupt the best qualities of other nations.” he asserted that Italy was determined to carry out the policy, adding that “the racial policy must become the national policy of Italy.”

In a slashing attack on the American Jews, Signor Gayda cited an article appearing in the June 3 issue of The American Hebrew, which, he said, “best exposes the destructive policy of American Judaism” by showing “the spiritual and political coalition of the three sons of Israel — Litvinoff, Blum and Hore-belisha.” (Maxim litvinoff, Soviet commissar for Foreign Affairs; Leon Blum, ex-Premier of France, and Leslie Hore-Belisha, British War Secretary.)

Replying to the question of The Times of London as to why Italy was adopting a racial policy, Signor Gayda explained that it was because” Rome had come to realize that “Jews were responsible for the Russian revolution and for the creation of the popular front,” and also because “Jews corrupt the best qualities of other nations.”

“The Russian revolution is the strongest example of a race which capitulated to representatives of another race,” he declared.” the revolution was provoked by a Jewish minority, which, with its propaganda and infiltrations, succeeded in dominating the slavonic race. Our answer is clear: the Italian Fascist racial policy is the consequence of facts showing that european civilization is greatly menaced. the policy is also due to the fact that in certain great countries the internal situation is provoking european disquietude.”

La Tribuna asserted that “the Aryan spirit is essentially heroic and chivalrous, while the Jewish is anti-heroic and commercial.” The paper declared that the Jews were especially dangerous because they had succeeded in preserving their racial characteristics for centuries. Corriere della Serre demanded concrete action along racial lines.


The Italian Government is apparently determined to expel all foreign correspondents of Jewish origin, it was learned when information reached the United States and British embassies that, in addition to Dr. I. David Kleinlerer, correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, two more correspondents, both Jews long resident in Italy, were also suddenly ordered to leave the country. the names of the two correspondents were not Revealed pending negotiations for withdrawal of the expulsion orders. one of them represents an American newspaper.

Inquiries made by the United States Embassy regarding Dr. Kleinlerer elicited the reply that “Klinefelter is not being deported for journalistic activities.” the same reply was given regarding the others. The state department in Washington is being informed about developments. the president of the foreign press association visited the Ministry of Propaganda and received the vague reply that Dr. Kleinlerer and the others were not being deported because of their journalistic work.

High officials of the Ministry of Press and Propaganda assured this correspondent that the expulsion order had nothing to do with the anti-Jewish articles, but were “a mere coincidence.” the polish diplomatic representative in Rome planned to intervene with the Foreign Office to establish the reason for the deportation order against Dr. Kleinlerer. The order was given to him orally by the chief of the Foreign Press Department of the Ministry of Press and Propaganda, who said: “It is a personal measure against you only.” Thus it does not apply to his Italian-born wife, the daughter of the late famous Professor Elgranati, nor their two young children.

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