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Jewish Position in Spain Seen Hopeless; Secret Police Measures Taken

April 21, 1940
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Conditions of life for the relatively few Jews remaining in Spain are becoming increasingly unbearable, it was reported today from quarters well informed about the present situation in that country.

No special anti-Jewish legislation is expected, but police measures against the Jews have been taken secretly along lines indicated to the police by the Minister of Interior, who is an open advocate of the Nazi racial doctrine. The Government of Francisco Franco apparently is anxious to avoid the unfavorable impression abroad which would result from introduction of legal anti-Jewish discrimination, but the Jewish position in Spain is regarded as hopeless.

A vast range of anti-Semitic literature is published by Franco’s party, including history books treating the Jewish problem in Nazi fashion. Chapters on the reign of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, during which the Jews were expelled from Spain, could have been written by Julius Streicher.

The Falange, Spanish Fascist party, favors persecution of Jews as the friends of the western democracies and allies of Britain and France. The Falange has just published a book attributing to a so-called “Council of Spanish Rabbis” a plot for destruction of the world and explaining that “it was Franco who prevented the carrying out of the Jewish plans.”

The German Gestapo exercises enormous influence in Spain’s political and economic life. It is reported that German refugees living in Spain have been imprisoned.

Some Spanish consulates abroad do not grant visas to Jews, while foreigners living in or visiting Spain are asked to declare their religion and, if they are Jewish, are urged to leave with the least possible delay.

Conditions in the Tangiers Spanish protectorate are described as even worse. In the protectorate Jews do not enjoy even elementary rights. They are at the mercy of the Arabs, who are given satisfaction in the Tetuan and Larache ghettos for any claims against Jews, even the most unjustified.

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