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Progress of Jewish Settlement in Dominican Republic Acknowledged by Government

October 19, 1941
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Leon Falk, Jr. has been elected president of the Dominican Republic Settlement Association, and James N. Rosenberg has been elected chairman, it was learned here today following the publication by the Association of a report on the progress of settling Jewish refugees in Sosua, the Dominican Republic. William Rosenwald, New York, and Louis Caplan and William K. Frank, of Pittsburgh, joined the Board of Directors as new members. Dr. Joseph A. Rosen was elected vice-president and Dr. Bernhard Kahn, treasurer.

In reviewing the achievements in Sosua, the report states that mechanization, cooperation and the introduction of new crops are the keystone of Sosua’s development. The fertile soil is capable not only of feeding the setter and his family, but of yielding surplus crops for which the Dominican Republic Settlement Association is seeking and finding markets. In little more than a year the Association has built 60 settler homesteads, 20 worker’s houses, 12 workshops and ware houses, 9 dormitories, a small hospital and a school building which serves as a community center as well. The settlement has its own power plant, contributed anonymously.

Scientific dairy farming is also a growing factor in the life of Sosua, the report points out. The settlers under expert guidance provided by the Association, are constantly experimenting to improve the fine native Dominican livestock. The mild climate makes possible year-round outdoor grazing. The richness of the pasture is reflected in the abundant butter-fat and milk yield. Cheese produced by the Jewish settlers is being sold in the Dominican Republic. Under regular medical supervision, the settlers learn to adjust their habits of living and working to sub-tropical conditions.


Satisfaction of the Dominican Government with the refugees in Sosua is expressed in a letter addressed to James N. Rosenberg by Andres Pastoriza, Dominican Minister in Washington who retired this month from his diplomatic post to become a member of the Dominican Cabinet.

“We of the Dominican Republic,” the letter reads, “would like the friends of Sosua to know that our Government has decorated Mr. Falk, yourself and others of your colleagues with the rarely granted Order of Duarte, and that our University, the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, has conferred on you the Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa. We should like the friends of Sosua to know of these honors not merely as symbols of our personal regard, but because they are in recognition of the services of your colleagues and yourself to the cause of refugees, and most of all we wish them to know of this significant evidence of our hearty welcome to the refugees. It was with this viewpoint and purpose that Generalissimo Trujillo made his historic proposal to the Evian Conference called by President Roosevelt. The progress already made by DORSA and the character of the refugees who have come to Sosua have convinced us that we were right in offering asylum to the oppressed refugees of Europe.”

Mr. Falk, the new president of the Association, has visited the Jewish settlement of Sosua four times in the course of this year. He expects to proceed to Sosua again early in December.

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