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Concessions to Church Seen in New Italian Laws on Jews

June 4, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The new measures regarding inheritance (JTA NEWS JUNE 2) are considered here as representing the Government’s first distinction between the Jewish religion and race — a concession to the Church by granting economic support to the right to proselytize Jews.

Previously, anti-Jewish laws had stressed the racial viewpoint and held converts from Judaism still to be Jews within the sense of the laws. The new measures are held to be forerunners of a series of laws which will encourage conversions with a promise of future exemptions from discrimination. In this hope 4,000 Italian Jews have already become converted. Another factor in the situation is the fact that a number of high Government officials come dangerously close to being considered Jewish under existing laws.

It is believed that further laws will be issued requiring that Italian Jews have unmistakably Jewish names and that Jews exempted from the anti-Jewish measures be required to adopt an additional name indicating their status.

Meanwhile, the Senate approved a law curbing Jews’ professional activities and amending the other prohibiting any collaboration between Jewish and non-Jewish professionals. The law becomes effective in six months. The Finance Ministry announced establishment of an administrative council of its new institution to administer Jewish immobile property and control Jewish industrial and commercial activity.

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