Between 1880 and 1930, Latin America experienced its largest influx of Jewish immigration. These immigrants were fleeing the poverty and persecution that affected them in Europe. During the lead up to WWII, more Jewish immigrants arrived to escape the rise of the Nazi regime. This wave of immigrants often came to the region on tourist visas or by pretending they were Catholic.
These immigrants arrived in a region that had Jewish communities living in a variety of contexts. Some had been established three hundred years before, while some had only been there for twenty. Nevertheless, each community was vibrant, and many are still thriving today.
Explore the lives of Jews in Latin America in this conversation between Dr. Marion Kaplan, the Skirball Professor of Modern Jewish History at New York University; Dr. Yael Siman, Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the Iberoamericana University, Mexico; Dr. Leo Spitzer, the Kathe Tappe Vernon Professor of History Emeritus at Dartmouth College; and Dr. Adriana Brodsky, Professor of History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. The conversation is moderated by Simon Romero, National Correspondent for The New York Times.
This program is co-presented with the Hispanic Society of America.
Watch the program below.
Recording transcript for The Jewish Diaspora: Latin American Stories
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Hi everyone, my name is Sydney Yaeger and i'm the public programs coordinator at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust.
00:01:25.320 --> 00:01:35.880
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): i'm honored to introduce today's program the Jewish diaspora Latin American stories, I also would like to thank the Hispanic society of America for co presenting today's Program.
00:01:37.290 --> 00:01:47.010
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): joining us today are Dr Mary and taplin Dr yells on Dr Leo spitzer and Dr Adriana brodsky they will be in conversation with Simon Romero.
00:01:47.910 --> 00:01:53.220
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Dr Marian kaplan is the skirball professor of modern Jewish history at New York university.
00:01:53.550 --> 00:02:01.320
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): she's a three time, winner of the national Jewish book Award for her books, the making of the Jewish middle class women family and identity and Imperial Germany.
00:02:01.680 --> 00:02:08.460
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Between dignity and despair Jewish life in Nazi Germany and gender in Jewish history co edited with Deborah dash more.
00:02:09.270 --> 00:02:16.590
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Dr yell C Mon, is an associate professor in the department of social and political sciences at the Bureau Americana university Mexico.
00:02:17.100 --> 00:02:23.910
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): She has recently co written chapters in two books migration narratives of Holocaust survivors in Chile Colombia and Mexico.
00:02:24.240 --> 00:02:30.810
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): And the Holocaust, in the 21st century relevance and challenges in the digital age and Holocaust survivors in Mexico.
00:02:31.080 --> 00:02:41.490
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): intersecting and conflicting narratives of open doors welcome society and personal hardships and conceptualizing mass violence representations recollections and reinterpretations.
00:02:42.120 --> 00:02:48.450
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Dr Leo spitzer is the katie Vernon professor of history emeritus and research professor at Dartmouth college.
00:02:48.780 --> 00:02:56.280
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): He is the author of several books, including ghosts of home the afterlife is tournaments and Jewish memory hotel Bolivia, the cultural memory of.
00:02:56.880 --> 00:03:01.380
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): In a refuge from Nazi ISM and access memory cultural recall in the present.
00:03:02.220 --> 00:03:06.690
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Dr Adriana brodsky is a professor of history at St mary's college of Maryland.
00:03:07.050 --> 00:03:14.910
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): She has written several books and monographs including Sephardic Jewish Argentine Community and national identity 1880 to 1960.
00:03:15.210 --> 00:03:23.970
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): And the new Jewish Argentina facets of Jewish experiences in the Southern Cone which won the 2013 Latin American Jewish studies association book price.
00:03:24.570 --> 00:03:31.320
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Simon Romero, who will be our moderator is a national correspondent for the New York Times covering immigration and other issues.
00:03:31.620 --> 00:03:40.230
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Of the times, he was previously written as the he's previously served as the Brazil bureau chief and auntie and Bureau chief he has also written for America economy.
00:03:40.830 --> 00:03:46.830
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Economic excuse me and Brazil and Bloomberg news in Brazil Simon is currently based in albuquerque.
00:03:47.580 --> 00:04:00.690
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): During the discussion, please feel free to share questions in the zoom Q amp a box and we'll get to as many as we can also please note that this program may last up to 90 minutes Thank you all again for being here and i'm now going to hand things over to assignment.
00:04:03.750 --> 00:04:17.310
Simon Romero: Hello everyone, and thank you so much Sydney it is really just a great pleasure to be here with with all of you today and to discuss a subject that is that's very dear to my heart.
00:04:18.570 --> 00:04:26.280
Simon Romero: You know, as you mentioned Sydney I got you know just the rare opportunity to roam around Latin America for the New York Times and.
00:04:27.090 --> 00:04:36.540
Simon Romero: Some places that I stopped just were so fascinating and some of the places that I wrote about such as moises ville and in the interior of Argentina, where you had.
00:04:37.890 --> 00:04:43.560
Simon Romero: You know just the incredibly rich history of Jewish migration and settlement right there on the bumpers.
00:04:44.280 --> 00:04:51.840
Simon Romero: You know I I wrote about venezuela's Jewish community which underwent a lot of changes over the past two decades, and many of.
00:04:52.650 --> 00:04:59.340
Simon Romero: Many people have left that country, of course, and and I got the chance in in Brazil to go to places like bit, but all these were.
00:04:59.760 --> 00:05:11.100
Simon Romero: The great writer, you know stefan's by is is varied and he coined the term you know country of the future in his in the great book that he wrote, while and while and refuge in exile in Brazil.
00:05:12.480 --> 00:05:26.910
Simon Romero: So we have so much to cover today really in and i'm just i'm so eager to get things started i'm going to hand it off to either Anna brodsky who was written so widely about experiences in Argentina to do not please go ahead.
00:05:28.830 --> 00:05:35.100
Adriana Brodsky: Well, good afternoon everybody it's really a pleasure to be part of this wonderful group of scholars.
00:05:36.630 --> 00:05:43.620
Adriana Brodsky: Talking a little bit about the the Jewish diaspora in Latin America, an area that doesn't tend to receive as much attention.
00:05:44.130 --> 00:06:01.890
Adriana Brodsky: As the bigger countries of the North, like the United States and Canada so it's good to be here, reminding people that a lot of Jewish people chose, you know some of these areas south of Italy over down there to deliver in and to create important communities.
00:06:03.120 --> 00:06:17.820
Adriana Brodsky: um, so I am going to start just by giving you a sense of where the Argentine Community stood in the 1930s and it actually Argentina was home to the third largest Jewish population in the continent.
00:06:18.990 --> 00:06:30.150
Adriana Brodsky: Certainly after the United States and Canada, but the first, as I, as I mentioned in the rest of the continent, with about 200,000 people.
00:06:30.900 --> 00:06:44.460
Adriana Brodsky: But, of course, immigration, you know, had started a while back in the 19th century as soon as the civil wars independence first from Spain and then civil wars that rocked the region.
00:06:45.720 --> 00:06:51.150
Adriana Brodsky: In the you know second half or mid to second half of the 19th century.
00:06:52.560 --> 00:07:10.470
Adriana Brodsky: And Initially it was a very slow, you know, immigration, there were just a few usually representatives of European companies that moved Argentina to act as the representatives, but it certainly picked up after the.
00:07:12.480 --> 00:07:23.640
Adriana Brodsky: With the founding, as we heard from some on with the founding of the Jewish agricultural colonies that were set up by the Jewish colonization association.
00:07:25.020 --> 00:07:35.580
Adriana Brodsky: A European Jewish organization founded by about on Hirsch, with the intention of creating spaces or founding spaces, where the Jews persecuted.
00:07:36.150 --> 00:07:49.050
Adriana Brodsky: You know in Russia could find progress bite and settle and find a place of rest and in Argentina That was what this is usually.
00:07:49.620 --> 00:08:07.200
Adriana Brodsky: agreed upon as the date of the beginning of the massive immigration movement to the country with these mostly Russian Jews, as I mentioned escaping the pogroms that had started in the late 19th century in the Russian empire.
00:08:08.790 --> 00:08:18.540
Adriana Brodsky: And indeed, the colonies initially were the areas that welcomed and settled the largest numbers of Jews.
00:08:19.620 --> 00:08:21.450
Adriana Brodsky: But while, at the.
00:08:22.530 --> 00:08:32.910
Adriana Brodsky: at around 8095 right 66% of all the Jews that lived in Argentina 66% lived in the colonies.
00:08:33.720 --> 00:08:41.490
Adriana Brodsky: By the 1930s and here i'm returning back to the picture that i'm trying to give you in the 1930s by the 1930s.
00:08:42.480 --> 00:08:48.540
Adriana Brodsky: The Jewish couches those Russian Jews who had come to these agricultural colonies.
00:08:49.020 --> 00:09:04.980
Adriana Brodsky: Only accounted for 10% of the Jewish community in Argentina as a whole, so Argentina, in a sense, started right as a place that welcomed and repaired and trained Jews in the arts of agriculture let's say.
00:09:05.580 --> 00:09:13.860
Adriana Brodsky: But, but the 1930s, the Jewish community had really reverted to an urban you know to to an urban community.
00:09:15.330 --> 00:09:23.100
Adriana Brodsky: And by the 1930s, we can see, even though there will be, you know future future waves of immigrants later on.
00:09:23.730 --> 00:09:39.510
Adriana Brodsky: We do see that the origin time Jewish community by the 1930s, is very diverse, on the one hand, there are Jews who are both ashkenazi from the Russian empire, you know, Poland and other regions in the ashkenazi world.
00:09:40.620 --> 00:09:47.070
Adriana Brodsky: As well as the party which is actually the area that I that I researched the most in my.
00:09:48.270 --> 00:10:01.230
Adriana Brodsky: In my academic life and these these Sephardic Jews who were likely not more than 20 to 25% of the the Jewish community as a whole.
00:10:01.890 --> 00:10:20.160
Adriana Brodsky: actually came from former autumn on lands both Latino speakers and Arabic speakers, as well as from areas from Morocco, as well as from other Mediterranean countries like Italy like Greece.
00:10:21.600 --> 00:10:22.410
Adriana Brodsky: etc.
00:10:23.700 --> 00:10:36.600
Adriana Brodsky: Now these groups both Ashkenazim and suffer Dean were also varied in terms of social class in terms of political activity and in terms of also of their religious.
00:10:38.160 --> 00:10:46.170
Adriana Brodsky: orientation in terms of you know, secular Jews, as well as as well as much more religious groups.
00:10:47.730 --> 00:10:58.080
Adriana Brodsky: By the early 1930s as news about the rise of Hitler arrived to the origin time Jewish community was finalizing its process of consolidation.
00:10:59.220 --> 00:11:10.980
Adriana Brodsky: And, in fact, one could argue that the need to address the rise of of mass Nazi ISM in Europe, as well as some local instances of nativism.
00:11:11.700 --> 00:11:19.710
Adriana Brodsky: furthered that process of consolidation and, on the one hand, did allow a much more effective communication.
00:11:20.250 --> 00:11:40.530
Adriana Brodsky: Between the Argentine Community and the Government but also it provided the the structure with which to gather together and to raise funds and to start helping the Jewish brothers and sisters who were suffering the rise of narcissism in in Europe.
00:11:42.570 --> 00:11:49.290
Adriana Brodsky: Now, by the 13th as many other countries in Latin America, the initial open door.
00:11:50.010 --> 00:11:59.580
Adriana Brodsky: Open Doors that these countries they instituted in terms of outside immigration were beginning to not close off completely, but they were.
00:12:00.390 --> 00:12:11.640
Adriana Brodsky: You know, it was much more difficult by a combination of the depression and some nativist you know ideology, it was it was a little bit more complicated for people to cross.
00:12:12.480 --> 00:12:24.480
Adriana Brodsky: You know, to to enter the country but that again right because these restrictions were not complete, one could argue right, that is an.
00:12:24.990 --> 00:12:36.480
Adriana Brodsky: Important number of Jews also was able to arrive in the in Argentina, both during the 30s and even, of course, in much smaller smaller numbers.
00:12:37.290 --> 00:12:59.370
Adriana Brodsky: During the Holocaust and i'm going to finish just with a discussion that goes back to getting together Jews from Argentina getting together with other Dudes around the Americas to fight the rise of Nazism in 1941 the Jewish communities around the Americas met in baltimore.
00:13:00.570 --> 00:13:08.550
Adriana Brodsky: To discuss the issue of refugees and thinking about what these nations in the Americas what these American Jewish communities could do.
00:13:09.090 --> 00:13:22.380
Adriana Brodsky: You know, to help what they understood was a huge number of refugees that needed a home, led by the World Jewish Congress, an institution that was housed in in New York.
00:13:23.190 --> 00:13:33.060
Adriana Brodsky: The American Jewish community mostly asked the Jewish communities all around the continent to put pressure on their own countries, so that.
00:13:34.020 --> 00:13:50.880
Adriana Brodsky: You know, America, not the United States because of its limitations, with the 1924 law so that these you know Latin American Nations could you know, provide a refuge for those Jews that we're going to be in need of a home.
00:13:52.170 --> 00:13:55.410
Adriana Brodsky: And so i'm going to leave it here because I think that this gives a good.
00:13:56.640 --> 00:14:13.620
Adriana Brodsky: sort of segue into, in particular, the case that Maria and we'll talk about, but I think, also for leo's presentation on the Jewish community in Bolivia, so if that's all right i'll just let you guys take over from here.
00:14:14.370 --> 00:14:19.200
Simon Romero: that's wonderful Thank you so fascinating and i'm looking forward.
00:14:20.790 --> 00:14:26.820
Simon Romero: What you know it will enter into our discussion to hear more about the Sephardic community and Argentina specially.
00:14:27.720 --> 00:14:45.900
Simon Romero: But what what you mentioned is certainly a great point of transition into our next our next presentation from Marion looking at the Dominican Republic and, at the very special experience in sorcerer which, of course, looks very different now than it did back in the 40s.
00:14:46.980 --> 00:14:55.230
Simon Romero: And again, as you mentioned, I mean there were a lot of there were policies that were implemented in the United States, which really shut down access.
00:14:55.920 --> 00:15:04.110
Simon Romero: To to the US for many of these refugee families and they had to look elsewhere and the Dr was one of those places so with that i'm going to hand it off to Marion please.
00:15:05.430 --> 00:15:07.170
Simon Romero: What can we, what can you tell us about so soon.
00:15:07.650 --> 00:15:16.350
Marion Kaplan: Thanks i'm going to start even further back than adrianna did so, the first practicing Jews, to arrive on the Spanish side of the island.
00:15:16.740 --> 00:15:28.380
Marion Kaplan: arrived in the first quarter of the 19th century from other Caribbean islands Sephardic Jews most had followed a typical path over some generations expulsion from Spain or Portugal.
00:15:28.710 --> 00:15:42.000
Marion Kaplan: Migration to the Netherlands and subsequent business travel and settlement in curacao from where they moved to Santa Domingo, which was the name of the country until its independence from Haiti in 1844.
00:15:42.690 --> 00:15:52.980
Marion Kaplan: By the 1830s these Jews constitute a small group of successful merchants their numbers increase slightly when some European Jews joined them.
00:15:53.430 --> 00:15:59.520
Marion Kaplan: sort of similar to court Jews in Europe who lent money to and help the finances of noble families.
00:16:00.270 --> 00:16:11.940
Marion Kaplan: Local Jewish businessmen supported Dominican governments Jewish merchants sided with the dominicans when Haiti invaded the Dominican part of the island in 1822.
00:16:12.390 --> 00:16:23.760
Marion Kaplan: And they helped finance the Dominican war of independence in 1844 officially tolerated like Protestants Jews even entered the civil service.
00:16:24.660 --> 00:16:46.560
Marion Kaplan: In 1861 President santana returned the Dominican Republic to Spanish rule fearing Spanish intolerance Jews again supported the Dominican side in what became the war of restoration against Spain was Dominican victory and a period of relative peace many Jews.
00:16:46.620 --> 00:16:58.080
Marion Kaplan: intermarried integrated into a leap circles most became liberal Christian dominicans who continued to call themselves have re os.
00:16:58.950 --> 00:17:05.970
Marion Kaplan: In 1882 when pilgrims and economic desperation uprooted masses of Russian Jews and the late 19th century.
00:17:06.450 --> 00:17:21.690
Marion Kaplan: Gregorio lubet own an Afro Dominican general and Minister plenipotentiary to Western Europe invited Jewish refugees to the Dominican Republic promising them religious freedom, along with quote a maximum.
00:17:21.750 --> 00:17:22.320
Simon Romero: degree.
00:17:22.470 --> 00:17:32.820
Marion Kaplan: of rights, although few came those Jews already there had no need to hide their Jewish heritage, even if converted, so now we turn to Europe.
00:17:33.390 --> 00:17:50.160
Marion Kaplan: With the beginning of the Nazi era and 33 a refugee crisis exploded as Jews fled their homelands by 38 Roosevelt announced that he had invited 32 countries to attend the conference on the refugee emergency at a vm France.
00:17:50.730 --> 00:17:59.070
Marion Kaplan: At the conference a Newsweek journalist wrote quote most governments active promptly by slamming their doors against Jewish refugees.
00:18:00.090 --> 00:18:07.200
Marion Kaplan: Yet, shortly after the Dominican government government made a confidential offer of land for settlement.
00:18:07.770 --> 00:18:20.250
Marion Kaplan: It proposed to receive 50,000 to 100,000 settlers as long as the immigrants could become agricultural settlers at the time, this proposal seemed quote little short of a miracle.
00:18:21.090 --> 00:18:27.450
Marion Kaplan: in hindsight, the offer looks even better, considering that by that time the war broke out.
00:18:27.900 --> 00:18:37.740
Marion Kaplan: And only nine by the time the war broke out and only nine only 95,000 Jews had entered the United States and 60,000 had gone to Palestine.
00:18:38.700 --> 00:18:45.630
Marion Kaplan: When us experts agree that the Dominican Republic could settle up to about 29,000 families.
00:18:46.230 --> 00:18:59.430
Marion Kaplan: and recommended an experiment of 200 families, the American Jewish joint distribution committee where the joint is it was called setup DORSAL the Dominican Republic settlement association.
00:19:00.150 --> 00:19:10.230
Marion Kaplan: most crucially the Dominican government cooperated intending to make the refugee settlements successful Raphael to heal it's notorious dictator.
00:19:10.770 --> 00:19:20.220
Marion Kaplan: Even donated 26,000 acres of his own land, although Dorset insisted that he takes stock shares in exchange, they didn't want it for free.
00:19:20.730 --> 00:19:31.860
Marion Kaplan: The settlement of sassoon consisted of an eight mile beach cultivable land grazing areas mountain areas of forests in over 20 buildings.
00:19:32.700 --> 00:19:48.090
Marion Kaplan: Why did the dominicans extend a welcoming hand, with the support of the United States Trujillo took over the helm of the Dominican Republic in 1930 and ran it as his own personal possession until 1961.
00:19:48.630 --> 00:19:59.400
Marion Kaplan: He terrorized and murdered opponents broke unions own 50 to 60% of the arable land and, to a large degree, controlled butter cattle mill.
00:19:59.850 --> 00:20:09.300
Marion Kaplan: and salt industries, I became one of the world's richest men, there are many theories, to consider as to why he offered a safe haven, but i'll mention only the three most prominent.
00:20:09.750 --> 00:20:22.290
Marion Kaplan: First, and of most immediacy was the Dominican massacre of Haitians in October 1937 the numbers were staggering with estimates fluctuating between the 12,020 thousand.
00:20:22.920 --> 00:20:34.380
Marion Kaplan: In an ethnic cleansing that preceded the rape of Nan King by two months and the Holocaust by less than four years patients were cut down with machetes bayonets and clubs.
00:20:34.920 --> 00:20:41.280
Marion Kaplan: Though that's true he was just your toward the refugees was an attempt to recover in world opinion.
00:20:42.210 --> 00:20:55.380
Marion Kaplan: A second reason for his largest may have been that true He owes genocide had depopulated, the land and left crops untended and reduced harvests, he may have hoped that the refugees would make up for Haitian farmers.
00:20:56.010 --> 00:21:07.050
Marion Kaplan: While bringing in needed capital with which to increase agricultural production Jewish organization, specifically those in the US would supply the money.
00:21:07.440 --> 00:21:16.650
Marion Kaplan: The machinery and the subsistence of the new settlers till they got on their own feet, the dominicans with us derived symbolic and we'll capital.
00:21:17.400 --> 00:21:27.300
Marion Kaplan: Third whiteness played a role to He owes obsessive concern to transform the Dominican Republic into a quote white country.
00:21:27.690 --> 00:21:35.550
Marion Kaplan: Further explains his invitation to people considered racially inferior by their own governments.
00:21:36.180 --> 00:21:44.520
Marion Kaplan: Many of the people who negotiated the doors of contract with the regime, as well as those who benefited from it understood who Tokyo was.
00:21:45.030 --> 00:21:52.080
Marion Kaplan: Louis has who later ran the small school and so Sue us some data, I quote, did we have a choice.
00:21:52.740 --> 00:22:06.390
Marion Kaplan: Hitler, the German racist persecuted us and wanted to murder us to heal the Dominican racist saved our lives, we were in the awkward position of having to be thankful to a dictator.
00:22:07.200 --> 00:22:14.640
Marion Kaplan: So who arrived in sarasota the first small group of nine pioneers, as they call themselves arrived in March 1940.
00:22:15.240 --> 00:22:24.720
Marion Kaplan: A larger group arrived in May, consisting of 37 people coming from Switzerland these settlers with little to no agricultural training.
00:22:25.170 --> 00:22:39.120
Marion Kaplan: had to sign a statement that declare, they would config confirm that they were going to Santa Domingo to permanently remain in the settlement at the doorstep and under no conditions for a temporary stay.
00:22:39.870 --> 00:22:50.160
Marion Kaplan: This statement would assuage both the dominicans who sought permanent commitments and the Americans who hope to limit Jewish migration to the United States.
00:22:50.880 --> 00:23:05.700
Marion Kaplan: Happily, most refugees had positive first impressions of sassoon miriam's son timers trip there a 12 mile car ride from Puerto Plata over bumpy roads to 45 minutes today it's like eight minutes.
00:23:06.780 --> 00:23:12.780
Marion Kaplan: And passed through sugar plantations palm forests and tropical plants you'd never see.
00:23:13.350 --> 00:23:20.340
Marion Kaplan: horse Wagner describe the nerve wracking trip from co dot Trujillo, which was the capital name to heal named after himself.
00:23:20.880 --> 00:23:34.380
Marion Kaplan: which took over seven hours takes over seven hours today, but he drove for many, many more hours over roads that got narrower, and never narrower and surfaces that became more and more rutted.
00:23:34.950 --> 00:23:41.040
Marion Kaplan: with huge holes filled with water breeding places for mosquitoes he would later learn.
00:23:41.790 --> 00:23:50.490
Marion Kaplan: When they arrived in service to what they had a wonderful view quote before us lay the ocean, with a snow white beach, we were thrilled.
00:23:50.940 --> 00:24:02.010
Marion Kaplan: They observed that's the sewer was very clean the houses in barracks housing about 60 people even came with electrical lights and outdoor toilets and cold water showers.
00:24:02.520 --> 00:24:07.800
Marion Kaplan: Next door to the barracks they found another small building that served as a kitchen dining room in laundry.
00:24:08.490 --> 00:24:16.350
Marion Kaplan: By the end of 1940 about 250 refugees lived in a sewer the majority, Austrian and German.
00:24:17.250 --> 00:24:26.970
Marion Kaplan: These barracks the main store medical clinics schools small shops etc we're situated in a small area, known as but a the nucleus of the village.
00:24:27.300 --> 00:24:33.000
Marion Kaplan: And it provided jobs for those who came with the refugees but couldn't farm mostly the elderly parents.
00:24:33.840 --> 00:24:40.950
Marion Kaplan: Some distance from but tasted old stone houses or newly built ones, intended to serve couples and single women.
00:24:41.760 --> 00:24:54.240
Marion Kaplan: grateful for their lives, these new farmers, mostly urbanites needed to learn about farming and train for suitable jobs many approached their new jobs with frustration and humor.
00:24:54.900 --> 00:25:04.290
Marion Kaplan: Court tellers first assignment landed him in the Community chicken farm he hated feathered animals couldn't eat chicken or smell it without getting sick.
00:25:04.680 --> 00:25:14.130
Marion Kaplan: Now we had to touch them kill them and pluck them writing in 1944 he noted he had also learned to work fields and search for caterpillar's.
00:25:14.700 --> 00:25:21.390
Marion Kaplan: Wagner first toiled in the stable fed the calves and remark with pleasure, when the calves recognized him.
00:25:21.900 --> 00:25:31.740
Marion Kaplan: But calves had to be led to their mothers and if someone brought the wrong calf quote the cow got very angry and kicked both you and the calf.
00:25:32.580 --> 00:25:43.230
Marion Kaplan: After some months of practical and theoretical introduction to farming in Spanish, some of the settlers we're ready to leave the barracks and embark on a homestead a small farm.
00:25:44.130 --> 00:25:51.600
Marion Kaplan: Since it was clear that not everyone could succeed as a homesteader DORSAL also developed communal farming.
00:25:52.080 --> 00:26:01.020
Marion Kaplan: cooperative production and marketing similar to a kibbutz but with people who had no at illogical belief in such a system.
00:26:01.800 --> 00:26:13.710
Marion Kaplan: Despite some successes, especially meat and dairy industries, they were stymied by their biggest problem getting enough settlers to the Dr in the middle of war.
00:26:14.400 --> 00:26:28.530
Marion Kaplan: The lack of transportation out of Europe and I have to underline this, the purposeful foot dragging of the United States Government slowed the number of refugees, able to come to the Dr.
00:26:29.010 --> 00:26:40.410
Marion Kaplan: Moreover, although President Roosevelt approved as a sewer project, the refugees required transit visas from the US before entering the Dr and the State Department.
00:26:41.010 --> 00:26:54.120
Marion Kaplan: purposely moved excruciating Lee slowly by early 42 doors are realized, there would be no more refugees until the war ended, hence the goal of the sewage changed from rescue.
00:26:54.720 --> 00:27:06.120
Marion Kaplan: To the possibility of post war haven still as welcoming as the Dr appear to be in as grateful, as the settlers were for their lives they faced intractable difficulties.
00:27:06.480 --> 00:27:17.910
Marion Kaplan: Farming was very hard mosquitoes swarm the area, as did malaria and ultimately they couldn't succeed without the help of Dominican workers from nearby.
00:27:18.690 --> 00:27:25.140
Marion Kaplan: The disparity between the number of single men and single women proved a major obstacle.
00:27:25.650 --> 00:27:32.520
Marion Kaplan: Dorset had invited far more men than women, hoping that strong young men would withstand the hard work.
00:27:33.000 --> 00:27:39.690
Marion Kaplan: Why does, however, I would argue, were crucial to a homestead and to the growth of families and communities.
00:27:40.320 --> 00:27:47.550
Marion Kaplan: greeting new arrivals in February 1941 a young man on horseback asked quote didn't you bring any girls.
00:27:48.390 --> 00:27:59.130
Marion Kaplan: doors estimated about one fifth of the married couples in 1951 were intermarriage is with Dominican women and that's a significant number.
00:28:00.090 --> 00:28:09.180
Marion Kaplan: Less once the war ended the population declined many it seems so so as a temporary refuge, while others grew discouraged, with the difficulties there.
00:28:09.630 --> 00:28:18.540
Marion Kaplan: Still others hope to rejoin families left behind, they lived on an island cut off from the world they did not suspect the worst.
00:28:19.080 --> 00:28:24.540
Marion Kaplan: that's they celebrated D day but worried as quote few letters from loved ones trickled in.
00:28:25.410 --> 00:28:38.430
Marion Kaplan: Generally, those settlers who have succeeded in maintaining their farms stayed, whereas the majority left after the war, most went to North America and some to Latin America.
00:28:39.150 --> 00:28:53.730
Marion Kaplan: And today, the settlement, no longer exists, although some of its residents and their children remain yet every person who found a home and so sewer was saved from the Nazi genocide by the Dominican Republic, thank you.
00:28:55.920 --> 00:28:57.090
Simon Romero: Thank you so much Marion.
00:28:58.290 --> 00:29:08.460
Simon Romero: So interesting to hear what was happening at in the in the Dr and the Dominican Republic in those years and there's a real parallel story to what was happening all the way.
00:29:09.690 --> 00:29:20.580
Simon Romero: You know, you know, in the Andes in Bolivia, at the same time, for similar reasons he had a played out quite differently and that's what we're going to hear from from Leo right now.
00:29:20.970 --> 00:29:28.560
Simon Romero: To kind of explain what what was going on, and let us in Cochabamba and ludo and other cities in Bolivia and why.
00:29:29.670 --> 00:29:33.240
Simon Romero: Where the expression hotel Bolivia came from so Leo off to you.
00:29:34.110 --> 00:29:44.850
Leo Spitzer: Thank you so um, let me just begin by by stating that my parents were Austrian Jewish refugees who fled the Bolivia, in June of 1939.
00:29:45.480 --> 00:29:56.130
Leo Spitzer: I was as my mother explained to me he conceived in Vienna and born laplace and September 39 Jericho and 10 days after the start of World War Two.
00:29:56.880 --> 00:30:03.480
Leo Spitzer: What i'd like to do in the brief time that I have is that, like to focus briefly on this Jewish refugee experience in Bolivia.
00:30:03.780 --> 00:30:19.920
Leo Spitzer: and explore an important, but I think what is often neglected aspect of the experience of group displacement, the relationship between memory and cultural survival during an era of persecution and and genocide.
00:30:22.200 --> 00:30:33.240
Leo Spitzer: Before the the rise of Nazis in Central Europe, very few Jews, perhaps really less than 100 Sutherland Bolivian the 23rd in the 20th century.
00:30:33.780 --> 00:30:43.980
Leo Spitzer: European travelers visiting Bolivia, in the early decades of the 20th century considerable living the least European, is still the South American Nations.
00:30:44.520 --> 00:30:57.780
Leo Spitzer: But, starting in the mid 1930s and up until the end of the first year of World War 2000s of refugees from Nazi dominated century Europe, the majority of them Jews fled to Bolivia.
00:30:58.380 --> 00:31:04.890
Leo Spitzer: Indeed, in in that period, the paddock month following the German onslaughts of Austria and march of 1938.
00:31:05.310 --> 00:31:15.330
Leo Spitzer: And Kristallnacht in November of that same year, Bolivia was one of the very, very few remaining places in the world to accept Jewish refugees.
00:31:15.720 --> 00:31:31.800
Leo Spitzer: In that short period between then and the end of the first year of the war, some 20,000 refugees entered Bolivia, that was an immigration that was larger than that to Canada, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and India combined, by the way.
00:31:32.910 --> 00:31:40.680
Leo Spitzer: in Bolivia, the refugees began to reconstruct a version of the world that they had been forced to abandon.
00:31:41.580 --> 00:31:49.260
Leo Spitzer: Significantly, they employed both nostalgic, and what I call critical memory to accomplish this.
00:31:50.040 --> 00:32:01.680
Leo Spitzer: Their own origins and social situations have been diverse in in Central Europe, they range the Cross generational class educational political differences.
00:32:02.370 --> 00:32:15.390
Leo Spitzer: About most came to Bolivia, where Jews are married to Jews, a significant minority when non Jewish political refugees, so there were communists, socialists and others that were persecuted by the Nazi regime.
00:32:16.440 --> 00:32:27.570
Leo Spitzer: Jews themselves differ greatly in the degree of their identification with their religion and it's traditions, they share a common identity of Jews, one might say in.
00:32:28.110 --> 00:32:35.430
Leo Spitzer: Perhaps because they had all been defined as Jews from the outside, that the Nazis, since other than as Jews.
00:32:36.090 --> 00:32:49.110
Leo Spitzer: But no matter what their background differences have been in Europe, the vast majority of refugees arrived in South America and in dire straits, with very few personal possessions very little money.
00:32:49.620 --> 00:33:06.630
Leo Spitzer: And this had a leveling effect cutting across their previous class distinctions, but there were other factors that helped to create a sense of collective identity among them eating in their adjustment aiding in their survival their common history of persecution was certainly one of.
00:33:07.710 --> 00:33:16.050
Leo Spitzer: Each and every one of the refugees had been identified as undesirable i've been stripped of citizenship and possessions.
00:33:16.560 --> 00:33:22.770
Leo Spitzer: Despite differences in details of their particular experiences, they were wrong sense in the same boat.
00:33:23.340 --> 00:33:38.790
Leo Spitzer: The war back in Europe, the fact that so many had relatives and friends from whom they have been separated was also an ever present reality of which they were effectively of which were collectively conscious and which which which bonded them together.
00:33:39.210 --> 00:33:52.260
Leo Spitzer: They they kept themselves and each other informed of news about the war from accounts in the press and radio they shared efforts to discover the fate of those will be left behind.
00:33:52.680 --> 00:34:03.330
Leo Spitzer: And in this regard, the German language which they spoke at home and among themselves served as a main vehicle of Inquiry of information and unity.
00:34:03.840 --> 00:34:15.480
Leo Spitzer: It allowed them to communicate intimately and to to express themselves with a degree of familiarity that most of them could never attain in the Spanish of their surroundings.
00:34:16.740 --> 00:34:27.840
Leo Spitzer: Ultimately, however, it was astro German Jewish bourgeois society which is sort of the cultural end product of 19th century Jewish emancipation in Central Europe.
00:34:28.260 --> 00:34:39.060
Leo Spitzer: That provided the new arrivals with a model for emulation and a common locus for identification in their place of refuge, they did not of course not.
00:34:40.140 --> 00:34:53.430
Leo Spitzer: physically reconstruct one one person called it little piano a little hamburger in the in the Andes one joking refugee was referred to as little homework, a little Viana.
00:34:55.050 --> 00:34:56.430
Leo Spitzer: The Austrian.
00:34:57.600 --> 00:35:04.110
Leo Spitzer: And German communities that were established in my boss in Cochabamba rural and Sucre.
00:35:05.280 --> 00:35:11.550
Leo Spitzer: All of these where it says very, very dramatic centered in terms of language.
00:35:12.060 --> 00:35:21.060
Leo Spitzer: But a glance through the refugee found the German language newspaper that Rochelle from the money, who founded in 1939.
00:35:21.480 --> 00:35:30.720
Leo Spitzer: If you'd look through the room shuffle remind me it illustrates both the range of the immigrants economic and institutional adjustment in Bolivia.
00:35:31.080 --> 00:35:36.690
Leo Spitzer: and confirms the character of their of their symbol symbolic reconnection with Central Europe.
00:35:37.050 --> 00:35:47.340
Leo Spitzer: So advertisements are a good way to look at that if you go through the advertisements advertisements for a CAFE Vienna for a club metropole for a pension or OPA.
00:35:47.670 --> 00:36:02.190
Leo Spitzer: And for all other eateries like like these, then there are advertising for Viennese pastries and colon the pleasures from back home for me to order a secondhand clothing in the latest European style.
00:36:02.730 --> 00:36:11.280
Leo Spitzer: For a German language bookstore and a rental library listing additions of authors, such as France fearful or Stephen sly.
00:36:12.030 --> 00:36:19.020
Leo Spitzer: For cabaret theatre presenting performances of German classics and Viennese dialect skiffs.
00:36:19.380 --> 00:36:31.110
Leo Spitzer: For a refugee organized Canadian musical with Chamber music concerts and recitals played by by musicians, some of them had been trained and conservatories in Vienna and Prague and Berlin.
00:36:31.590 --> 00:36:43.470
Leo Spitzer: All these are more illustrate the creative uses of cultural memory in the part of the refugees to reinforce their sense of cultural and historical continuity.
00:36:44.400 --> 00:36:57.840
Leo Spitzer: But cultural memory in its nostalgic manifestations, the selective emphasis on what was positive, in the past was really only one layer of refugee recall.
00:36:58.470 --> 00:37:05.700
Leo Spitzer: Critical memory memory incorporating what was negative and bitter from their immediate does was always present well.
00:37:06.150 --> 00:37:16.740
Leo Spitzer: It wasn't me in a sense, nostalgia's complicating other side and it became a also became a prominent creative force and influence within Bolivian refugee society.
00:37:17.460 --> 00:37:29.040
Leo Spitzer: Indeed, at one level critical memory of persecution that they experienced or that they remembered was the overarching framework of refugee collective identity in Bolivia.
00:37:29.700 --> 00:37:45.120
Leo Spitzer: Within a present clouded by by displacement by insecurity by war, this was a connective tissue of their refugee ubiquitous bond that obliterated many differences among them.
00:37:45.690 --> 00:37:55.710
Leo Spitzer: It also added a distinctly physical at distinctly political dimension to their institutions and to their culture and community.
00:37:56.040 --> 00:38:06.330
Leo Spitzer: If nothing else, this political dimension of firm that even though they've all been victimized they have neither been crushed nor extinguished and we can talk about this later on.
00:38:07.560 --> 00:38:15.960
Leo Spitzer: Now we, the children of the refugees through our immersion into language and cultural universe about parents and their fellow immigrants.
00:38:16.230 --> 00:38:24.480
Leo Spitzer: Also, came to feel a certain nostalgia for places and life ways that most of us have never known in their actual setting.
00:38:24.960 --> 00:38:32.940
Leo Spitzer: places that we encountered only, as already got an astounding reconstructions in a situation of displacement.
00:38:33.570 --> 00:38:42.600
Leo Spitzer: I now recognize that that nostalgic memory and gendered in me at other areas of my generation of the second generation or generation 1.5 whatever.
00:38:42.810 --> 00:38:57.870
Leo Spitzer: You want to call it was indeed well might be identified as a kind of ruthless nostalgia with sort of nostalgia about nostalgia, so to speak, unlike our parents our nostalgia was that I sort of the classic highway the the homesickness.
00:38:58.560 --> 00:39:12.720
Leo Spitzer: This pain longing for new strange native land or or loss Atlanta last origin, it was also certainly not a yearning for an age 40 retrievable huge for some better.
00:39:13.710 --> 00:39:18.450
Leo Spitzer: For them better bygone time for a world of yesterday's different slight cold it.
00:39:19.020 --> 00:39:27.660
Leo Spitzer: But it didn't reflect the desire to to establish a connection between a past known only secondhand and aloof present.
00:39:28.140 --> 00:39:42.330
Leo Spitzer: It represented, I think our need to repair a ruptured fabric of painfully discontinuous of a fragmentary history, even while we acknowledge the possibility of this kind of repair.
00:39:43.920 --> 00:39:58.920
Leo Spitzer: And yet the over there, European world that was explicitly or explicitly or implicitly conveyed to us children also came laced with strong feelings of ambivalence and negativity.
00:39:59.550 --> 00:40:09.540
Leo Spitzer: The critical negative memories carried by our parents and their fellow refugees their anger, the bitterness them in security, their sense of.
00:40:09.930 --> 00:40:19.290
Leo Spitzer: estrangement are also transmitted to us it couldn't have been otherwise, how would have been possible for recent refugees from Nazi terror.
00:40:19.710 --> 00:40:28.500
Leo Spitzer: To insulate the traumatic aspects of their past experience of Europe and the intense fear about the future from their children.
00:40:29.220 --> 00:40:39.840
Leo Spitzer: The people who are around me and with whom I had the most intimate contact spoke with one another, and in my President of a child about cruelty and persecution.
00:40:40.290 --> 00:40:54.840
Leo Spitzer: about the war and relatives of behind about loss and destruction about Nazis and Hitler I was like a young boy during the war, yes, Sir me I didn't understand everything that they spoke about at the time.
00:40:55.350 --> 00:41:03.870
Leo Spitzer: But something about the darkness of their tone and the strain of in their voices did not escape me.
00:41:04.680 --> 00:41:17.400
Leo Spitzer: The truly sort of frightening violent sadistic aspects of a world reflected in whispered adult conversation became for for a child of refugees in the early 1940s.
00:41:17.850 --> 00:41:32.100
Leo Spitzer: A shadow within my imagination Europe that culture of Europe was the last origin, there was somehow steeped in some form of nostalgia, but it was also really a found for my nightmares.
00:41:32.550 --> 00:41:41.490
Leo Spitzer: And we, the children are refugees are also the ones who had the most intimate everyday contact with Bolivians and the culture of the land, in which we live.
00:41:42.180 --> 00:41:51.330
Leo Spitzer: Although we conversed in German with our parents and other refugees Spanish was a native language for us, we were taught in Spanish in our school.
00:41:51.840 --> 00:42:00.090
Leo Spitzer: We learned about Bolivian history and about Murray yo and about believer and bullet about secret by the heroes of the independent struggle.
00:42:00.330 --> 00:42:09.660
Leo Spitzer: against Spain we read a lot of song and you'll tomorrow the newspapers newspapers, we listened to look to be routed your fee this.
00:42:10.200 --> 00:42:16.890
Leo Spitzer: radio station that play classical mood and also have I had a program that the refuge that once a week.
00:42:17.490 --> 00:42:32.730
Leo Spitzer: program parameter refugees, we read last one, we have we we had both good friends with whom we played with pleasure, we also anticipated and join in the festivities during during carnivals during the fairs that.
00:42:33.960 --> 00:42:48.960
Leo Spitzer: Were annual and not pass during Bolivian patriotic holidays, we love the food so tenuous empanadas the many delicious foods paid with and then potatoes with porn with spicy afi and legato.
00:42:49.710 --> 00:42:53.700
Leo Spitzer: We cheered and became followers of local and national soccer teams.
00:42:54.120 --> 00:43:06.780
Leo Spitzer: We were awed by the natural splendor of our surroundings by the beauty of mountain imani of Lake titicaca Have you ever been to Bolivia and you would know what an incredibly beautiful land, it is.
00:43:07.380 --> 00:43:22.260
Leo Spitzer: But, despite the fact that many of us were Bolivian citizen by birth, with potentially greater access than our parents to the social spheres and to the folkways of the Bolivian Spanish speaking middle classes and ruling elite.
00:43:22.680 --> 00:43:39.120
Leo Spitzer: We remained in a kind of state of suspension culturally somewhere in between, even as a young child the up rootedness of my parents and their fellow refugees reinforced a feeling in me.
00:43:40.290 --> 00:43:43.320
Leo Spitzer: That I did not truly belong in the place where I was born.
00:43:44.550 --> 00:43:50.190
Leo Spitzer: That my origins lay elsewhere, and that I was not really at home.
00:43:51.660 --> 00:43:52.740
Leo Spitzer: And thought about leaving.
00:43:53.130 --> 00:44:04.230
Simon Romero: Thank you Leo Thank you, thank you very much, so fasting to hear about Bolivia we're now going to going to move northward to to Mexico where.
00:44:05.370 --> 00:44:14.610
Simon Romero: You know a lot is always known and said about me new mexico's absorption absorption of refugees from the Spanish Civil War during the 1930s.
00:44:15.240 --> 00:44:32.340
Simon Romero: and not as much as is is is said about you know Jewish refugees who made their way to Mexico around the same time before then, and then and then during World War Two so i'm going to hand off the discussion now to you to elucidate is on yes.
00:44:32.910 --> 00:44:40.440
Yael Siman: Thank you, Simon my presentation focuses more on the 30s and 40s where I can certainly talk later about the Jewish community before that time.
00:44:40.980 --> 00:44:48.360
Yael Siman: Latin American Caribbean became an important refuge for jewels in the second half of the 1930s and the early 1940s.
00:44:48.780 --> 00:44:57.000
Yael Siman: It has been estimated that between 90 and 100,000 Jews immigrated to the region between the rise of Nazis and the end of the world.
00:44:57.510 --> 00:45:11.070
Yael Siman: Several thousand more continue to arrive after the Holocaust well this phenomenon has been largely studied the main focus, at least in the case of Mexico has been the governmental immigration policy towards Jewish refugee.
00:45:11.880 --> 00:45:19.560
Yael Siman: Only More recently, increasing attention has been given to the refugees as subjects of this global and transnational history.
00:45:20.340 --> 00:45:26.490
Yael Siman: One might think that within the region Mexico was a very important haven for Jewish refugees.
00:45:27.120 --> 00:45:34.860
Yael Siman: Mexico was a large country in the process of developing its industry and acquiring political stability, following its revolution.
00:45:35.430 --> 00:45:47.490
Yael Siman: Therefore, constituting a land of opportunities, Mexico, had a Jewish community of about 10,000 people in the 1930s and close to 18,000 in the 1940s.
00:45:47.880 --> 00:45:59.670
Yael Siman: Thus threats institutional network and representatives, it could help the refugees Mexico also had a geographical position that allowed the arrival of jewels of just escaping Nazis.
00:46:00.150 --> 00:46:08.700
Yael Siman: Both through the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean Mexico could also be a springboard for just trying to immigrate to the United States.
00:46:09.450 --> 00:46:20.580
Yael Siman: Nevertheless, the reality was very different Mexico received one of the smallest numbers of Jewish refugee only between 1800 and 2200.
00:46:21.540 --> 00:46:27.630
Yael Siman: scholars like you did work set and me, allegedly, Sir, have offered important explanations for the surprising out.
00:46:28.380 --> 00:46:41.610
Yael Siman: They have argued that both the government of precedent lesser or greater than us and Manuel avila camacho gave priority to a national policy of ethnic homogenization based on misty sassy in English miscegenation.
00:46:42.120 --> 00:46:48.300
Yael Siman: In which jewels were among the most, or rather the most non a similar level and on desirable group.
00:46:48.990 --> 00:46:55.320
Yael Siman: In addition, as trunk nationalist feeling combined with rivalries between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
00:46:55.710 --> 00:47:05.880
Yael Siman: And the Ministry of Interior were anti Jewish prejudice prevail account for mexico's highly restrictive and selective immigration policy towards juice.
00:47:06.540 --> 00:47:17.280
Yael Siman: Indeed, in in April 1934 the Ministry of Interior circulated a confidential memorandum that formally prohibited the entry of tools to Mexico.
00:47:17.970 --> 00:47:32.250
Yael Siman: A more restrictive policy was also expressed by Mexico and other Latin American countries at the eighth Pan American conference in Lima, Peru in 1938 to justify the need to maintain such restrictions in the respective loss.
00:47:33.060 --> 00:47:41.430
Yael Siman: Even in this challenging and on them pathetic context, some lucky Jewish refugees were able to arrive to Mexico who where are they.
00:47:42.120 --> 00:47:52.740
Yael Siman: Where did they come from, why did they immigrate to Mexico, how are they able to enter the country did they stay when and how did Mexico become a home to them.
00:47:53.520 --> 00:48:06.720
Yael Siman: In an in an ongoing research project with my colleague than the laser we have found that an important number of Jewish refugees came from Austria, Germany and France between 1938 and 1942.
00:48:07.290 --> 00:48:15.030
Yael Siman: Many of them enter Mexico us political refugees and with the support of organizations such as a society for for culture and eight.
00:48:15.420 --> 00:48:28.800
Yael Siman: The Jewish Labor committee in New York and the emergency rescue Community among many others international personality so just unnecessary there's little Superman and Leo custom orders were part of this.
00:48:30.120 --> 00:48:41.670
Yael Siman: A much smaller number arrive to Mexico independently, that is, with our own means and contact the vocal family, for example, wanted to go to the United States, where they had family.
00:48:42.150 --> 00:48:49.830
Yael Siman: But they ended up in Mexico, after a long journey from Europe to Asia, thanks to the help of the Polish console in India.
00:48:50.430 --> 00:48:55.290
Yael Siman: Only when arriving in Mexico, they had the support of the central Jewish agents.
00:48:55.950 --> 00:49:06.600
Yael Siman: The largest number, however, came to Mexico through familiar networks, this networks function independently or in interaction with international or not, and local organizations.
00:49:07.050 --> 00:49:15.030
Yael Siman: It is important to mention that the Mexican law allows the entry of close relatives and does the actions of family members were essential.
00:49:15.480 --> 00:49:21.390
Yael Siman: They applied for Jesus became sponsors and contacted local politicians or lawyers.
00:49:21.750 --> 00:49:30.210
Yael Siman: When visas were finally granted and reach the recipients this family family members welcome different features in the parts of better produce and then Pico.
00:49:30.510 --> 00:49:38.820
Yael Siman: The train station in our laredo or Mexico City Airport they simultaneously turn into immigration helpers and hosts.
00:49:39.540 --> 00:49:45.780
Yael Siman: Although Mexico was not the preferred choice of most Jewish refugees many were able to adapt to the country.
00:49:46.320 --> 00:49:54.750
Yael Siman: hardships included learning Spanish finding a job or school obtaining a work permit and changing their migration condition.
00:49:55.290 --> 00:50:05.850
Yael Siman: The process of adaptation acculturation and the integration was not immediate North smooth but, in contrast to other Latin American countries, the majority state.
00:50:06.300 --> 00:50:18.810
Yael Siman: Mexico similar to Chile and Colombia, but perhaps on like Bolivia or Dominican Republic became a place of material and symbolic rootedness fix it the and territoriality.
00:50:19.260 --> 00:50:30.600
Yael Siman: In this regard, Juliet levy originally from France remembers that despite her unfortunate initial encounter with the birth of what a cruise she finally felt Mexican.
00:50:31.440 --> 00:50:40.980
Yael Siman: Among the few who left Mexico we find some who emigrated in the first years after the war, mainly for ideological social or also familiar reasons.
00:50:41.370 --> 00:50:50.400
Yael Siman: This was a case of some Austrian and German Jewish intellectuals who returned to their countries of origin to reveal the political systems and national societies.
00:50:50.730 --> 00:50:58.860
Yael Siman: And the failures, for example, is one of them, but some left Mexico because they were unable to adapt to the country social hierarchy or its cultural norms.
00:50:59.130 --> 00:51:04.860
Yael Siman: Stephen calmer, for example, rich Mexico circle responded of the newspaper knighted.
00:51:05.340 --> 00:51:13.680
Yael Siman: He was helped by both and modality committed a Swedish refugee Committee and the Jewish world for committee in his memoir goodbye Vienna.
00:51:14.070 --> 00:51:24.120
Yael Siman: calmer recalls that, despite all the beauty he and his wife found in Mexico and then many friendships they made they were unable to put down roots.
00:51:24.540 --> 00:51:36.360
Yael Siman: They could never get used to the difference in social classes quote we have become Mexican citizens, but we have not set down roots, we have not found in the home.
00:51:37.380 --> 00:51:48.960
Yael Siman: A few other left many years later, either because of personal factors marriage education or work opportunities are due to the political and economic crisis that has characterized.
00:51:49.320 --> 00:51:59.580
Yael Siman: mexico's send us the six year term of every government, it should be remembered that Mexico is not, and it has not been a country of immigration.
00:52:00.060 --> 00:52:07.140
Yael Siman: According to Pablo yankelovich foreigners have represented less than 1% of the national population.
00:52:07.680 --> 00:52:13.470
Yael Siman: At the same time, however, Mexico has offered political asylum to several groups or Simon mentioned.
00:52:13.860 --> 00:52:24.000
Yael Siman: The Spanish republicans during the civil war, the Chilean exile during the Pinochet dictatorship and watermelon refugees escaping the genocide in their early 1980s.
00:52:24.390 --> 00:52:30.090
Yael Siman: Following mexico's participation at the refugee conference in navy and into line 919 38.
00:52:30.510 --> 00:52:39.870
Yael Siman: And they position presented by Mexican deployments at the League of Nations, to condemn the invasion of week countries by stronger ones in particular the Angeles.
00:52:40.140 --> 00:52:47.550
Yael Siman: applications for asylum to Mexico by Jewish refugee significantly increased, but the majority were denied.
00:52:48.540 --> 00:52:56.040
Yael Siman: Those who are right to Mexico did not find a violent anti semitism, but remember feeling the other foreign.
00:52:56.850 --> 00:53:04.950
Yael Siman: i'll with an advertiser and a child survivor who emigrated to Mexico with his family from Bulgaria, know that quote for a certain.
00:53:05.610 --> 00:53:13.530
Yael Siman: period of time, we were not happy, here, of course, we were foreigners my parents Spanish was rusty it was London.
00:53:14.010 --> 00:53:22.710
Yael Siman: The horrendous experience is not exceptional among Jewish refugees in Mexico, but it seems to contrast with the testimonies of Jewish refugees who arrived.
00:53:23.070 --> 00:53:32.250
Yael Siman: to Chile we're according to oral historian Nancy nicole's mass European immigration Hello had led to a multi ethnic society.
00:53:32.520 --> 00:53:44.130
Yael Siman: With a factor tolerance toward minorities does counter balancing the primordial territorial and raised religiously homogeneous profile that the State aspired to achieve.
00:53:44.850 --> 00:53:51.420
Yael Siman: To end this presentation, I would like to mention that, although Mexico health a rejection disposition.
00:53:51.840 --> 00:54:05.460
Yael Siman: towards Jewish refugees during the 30s and 40s and despite the hardships experience by the refugees themselves a dominant narrative of open doors took shape and has prevailed even until today.
00:54:06.000 --> 00:54:12.150
Yael Siman: When they were and that different Latin American countries try to justify their behavior during the Holocaust.
00:54:12.630 --> 00:54:19.080
Yael Siman: In 1945 the Mexican govern ment declare that it had always combated racial discrimination.
00:54:19.500 --> 00:54:30.030
Yael Siman: And that the international policy of Mexico had been based on the equality of all men and races in 1947 when the UN resolution to partition Palestine was voted.
00:54:30.360 --> 00:54:41.820
Yael Siman: Mexico abstained in reference to the Holocaust, the Mexican representative declare that the government had not raised its voice in a timely manner against search barbaric procedure.
00:54:42.210 --> 00:54:53.190
Yael Siman: But that it had opened its doors to millions of refugees, overcoming great economic and demographic difficulties well the Mexican Jewish community felt offended.
00:54:53.640 --> 00:54:56.970
Yael Siman: With the government's discourse, it did not be night.
00:54:57.720 --> 00:55:08.700
Yael Siman: Since then, there have been multiple references to Mexico open doors to work, the Jewish refugee by the Mexican Government academics filmmakers journalist historians.
00:55:09.000 --> 00:55:13.440
Yael Siman: And even the Jewish leadership the reasons seem to be mainly political.
00:55:14.160 --> 00:55:24.960
Yael Siman: In the present context, when Mexico is not only a country of immigration and immigration for also a place of transit by Central America and terabytes refugees from Haiti than the swelling.
00:55:25.350 --> 00:55:36.870
Yael Siman: And African countries, looking at the Jewish experience during the Holocaust might help us understand the profound and long lasting implications of an immigration policy of rejection and denial.
00:55:37.320 --> 00:55:42.630
Yael Siman: As well as the need to question the dominant dominant narrative of mexico's open doors.
00:55:43.140 --> 00:55:52.800
Yael Siman: Even the writer and the savior's who obtain the Mexican visa in marcell faced a circle paper wall in a moment of extreme danger.
00:55:53.250 --> 00:56:01.380
Yael Siman: Through the voice of muddy the main character in her book transit she explains quote, how could the consoles make a mistake.
00:56:02.130 --> 00:56:17.340
Yael Siman: Not a detail is left out from your passport, not even a sentence in your file, if only one word word missing, they would prefer to retain here 100 righteous before letting us and mistaken one Thank you.
00:56:19.650 --> 00:56:27.420
Simon Romero: Thank you so much such wonderful presentations from from all of you and.
00:56:28.920 --> 00:56:34.470
Simon Romero: i'm you know, there are common themes and there and then there are themes which are unique to to each country.
00:56:34.950 --> 00:56:52.950
Simon Romero: And one of the the factors behind everything that happened in each of these places seems to be one was also happening in the United States in the 1920s and 30s at that time and Marion you you touched on this, and your wonderful presentation on the role of State Department.
00:56:54.270 --> 00:57:11.310
Simon Romero: personnel and the Roosevelt administration at the time and and their approach to receiving refugees from Europe, can you walk us through a little bit what was happening in in the US in the 20s and 30s that then led to this influx of refugees into different parts of Latin America.
00:57:12.480 --> 00:57:14.880
Marion Kaplan: um if I walk you through briefly.
00:57:15.300 --> 00:57:15.750
Marion Kaplan: I would.
00:57:15.840 --> 00:57:30.930
Marion Kaplan: start with the fact that the State Department was made up of what today, we would call white supremacist These are people who did not like Jews and did not want more Jews in the United States at all someone I think i'd run, I mentioned the.
00:57:34.080 --> 00:57:41.670
Marion Kaplan: Exclusion act of people from the south and east of Europe so that was one thing.
00:57:42.360 --> 00:57:51.600
Marion Kaplan: Roosevelt was an agnostic on that he didn't really care he also didn't want to offend the anti Semites he was you know, a politician and.
00:57:52.020 --> 00:58:13.860
Marion Kaplan: This was also a period the of the Great Depression they didn't want more people vying for jobs, so I think all and and I should add the US had its thumb on the Dominican Republic it had taken over the Dominican Republic and 1916 and then it was it you it had a customs.
00:58:16.380 --> 00:58:25.200
Marion Kaplan: Not ownership but it, it took over the customs in the Dominican Republic, so it also used its financial.
00:58:26.370 --> 00:58:33.840
Marion Kaplan: power in the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Republic used one five and $10 bills and we were they were very attached.
00:58:34.080 --> 00:58:47.190
Marion Kaplan: So if the united and all of these refugees had to go through Ellis Island, so they couldn't just land in the Dr so the US had a huge role in slowing it down if you think that Evian, and the.
00:58:48.120 --> 00:58:52.680
Marion Kaplan: The invitation to Jews happened in late 38.
00:58:53.160 --> 00:59:04.920
Marion Kaplan: And the first Jews come in mid to late 40 that's all about the State Department those Jews were ready to come, they were in Switzerland, they were in Lisbon, they were in England, they were all over they were ready to come.
00:59:05.610 --> 00:59:12.270
Marion Kaplan: They were even in Germany at that point and and they didn't come fast enough because the US slowed them down.
00:59:13.290 --> 00:59:18.660
Simon Romero: amazing and industry stretching back a bit further, you know I mean, I know that Argentina.
00:59:19.530 --> 00:59:31.710
Simon Romero: You know other deanna is a case apart, just because of the size and diversity of its Jewish community and just the different waves of immigration from different parts of the world into into Argentina, especially.
00:59:32.190 --> 00:59:42.930
Simon Romero: From the 1880s onwards, but even before the big influx of Abbas kinetic Jews into into Argentina, there was a supportive Community there that that had begun.
00:59:43.860 --> 00:59:53.580
Simon Romero: Move, you know moving to Argentina in the 19th century, can you tell us a little bit about that Community and then, and also how they got along with the with the ashkenazi Jews who came later.
00:59:56.280 --> 01:00:04.050
Adriana Brodsky: Yes, um so thank you for the question, and thank you, I mean, these are have just been wonderful presentations to all our panelists.
01:00:05.100 --> 01:00:13.290
Adriana Brodsky: So there is a significant number of Sephardic Jews in in Argentina, the largest group of non ashkenazi.
01:00:13.740 --> 01:00:18.360
Adriana Brodsky: Immigrants storage and Tina were actually the Arabic speakers, and so I was going to start by saying.
01:00:18.780 --> 01:00:25.890
Adriana Brodsky: You know what Sephardic Jews are going to choose Latin America, because they speak Spanish, so let me know right a sort of an old Spanish that might have made.
01:00:26.250 --> 01:00:33.930
Adriana Brodsky: You know their adaptation to these new air at to these new countries much easier right much, much, much more easily than those who spoke.
01:00:34.500 --> 01:00:46.830
Adriana Brodsky: Yiddish or non non Spanish languages, and yet the largest you know Group of Non ashkenazi Jews who settled in Argentina, where our big speakers from Aleppo and from from Damascus.
01:00:47.640 --> 01:00:54.570
Adriana Brodsky: But there were other Jews that certainly you know made their choice about where to go, precisely because the ability.
01:00:54.900 --> 01:01:03.240
Adriana Brodsky: Is the linguistic ability right with which they could perhaps find niches writing which it would be much more easier for them to.
01:01:03.750 --> 01:01:16.890
Adriana Brodsky: to integrate with that linguistic advantage so actually the first group of safar diem that arrive in Argentina our Moroccan Jews who had been leaving much earlier in the 1820s.
01:01:18.060 --> 01:01:32.280
Adriana Brodsky: And heading over these are Spanish speaking from Spanish Morocco, who were heading on to Brazil to the region of the Amazon in this boom that the Amazon Amazon region was having due to.
01:01:33.360 --> 01:01:34.290
Adriana Brodsky: Due to.
01:01:37.170 --> 01:01:37.710
Adriana Brodsky: The rubber.
01:01:37.740 --> 01:01:53.850
Adriana Brodsky: The rubber burn in Berlin, and so they they a lot of them from Morocco moved to the Amazon, and then many you know moved from there to Venezuela and also then to Argentina, as these countries, Argentina and.
01:01:54.930 --> 01:02:01.020
Adriana Brodsky: Venezuela are ending that process of internal civil wars that I made reference to.
01:02:01.410 --> 01:02:16.110
Adriana Brodsky: And can begin to participate in the actual nation, making process right that these nations embark upon and able to capitalize on there being their first and they're being you know able to to set up.
01:02:17.010 --> 01:02:27.570
Adriana Brodsky: You know, networks of trade both some with their families, you know the the people from Syria and and Aleppo and Damascus had created a huge.
01:02:28.020 --> 01:02:40.740
Adriana Brodsky: network of textile production that included members of families living in Manchester England and connecting to some of their family members that settled in one side is and creating right these.
01:02:41.220 --> 01:02:55.350
Adriana Brodsky: These trade networks, the Moroccans also you know, to a much smaller degree just you know, having families settle down in one side is, but then sending nephews or uncles you know to other parts of Argentina.
01:02:55.770 --> 01:03:10.050
Adriana Brodsky: In right the circulation of products that enable them to move alongside the railroads and and sort of you know, participate in these straight networks.
01:03:11.100 --> 01:03:23.910
Adriana Brodsky: And, of course, right, we have all the the problems in the former Ottoman Empire right as the former as the Ottoman Empire collapses and Jews are increasingly found right.
01:03:24.330 --> 01:03:36.360
Adriana Brodsky: problematic for these new nations that that get created in the Balkans that a lot of Latino speakers in that region also think about moving to.
01:03:37.050 --> 01:03:47.070
Adriana Brodsky: Not just because it's the only place that they can go but choosing to go right to a place that had like Argentina very open policies for.
01:03:47.730 --> 01:03:50.820
Adriana Brodsky: for immigrants and so there's a part of me that I think.
01:03:51.570 --> 01:04:01.380
Adriana Brodsky: You know, we need to fight against that idea that you know Latin America only received those people that wanted to go elsewhere right, where we have a lot of structural.
01:04:02.010 --> 01:04:16.950
Adriana Brodsky: realities that made for many Latin America their choice their number one choice, and so I think it's important to think about that and so far i've been because of their connection to Spanish language to Spanish culture.
01:04:17.970 --> 01:04:30.300
Adriana Brodsky: found also a cultural connection right to this region that may be made them think of countries in Latin America as their first option, rather than an English speaking country that might have had.
01:04:30.840 --> 01:04:38.250
Adriana Brodsky: A lot of problems and definitely after 1924 right of a world that was you know close to them.
01:04:39.660 --> 01:04:56.010
Simon Romero: Interesting um with something else that struck me during the presentations was that that we had these incredibly vibrant communities in in places like Bolivia or in sorcerer in the Dominican Republic that are.
01:04:57.210 --> 01:05:02.220
Simon Romero: Almost not quite, of course, but almost non existent today and just how quickly.
01:05:03.420 --> 01:05:07.260
Simon Romero: things change and in you know cycling in cycling out.
01:05:07.680 --> 01:05:10.710
Simon Romero: So Leo I was hoping, maybe you could touch on what.
01:05:10.950 --> 01:05:20.880
Simon Romero: What happened to the Community in Bolivia, I mean it was interesting that you know, one of the main in your book you mentioned how that one of one of the main Jewish newspapers in windows eight is paid very close attention.
01:05:21.420 --> 01:05:30.630
Simon Romero: To the Community in Bolivia, providing updates for their readers and what was happening to some of them moved to end up moving to Argentina and most moved to the US with folks go.
01:05:32.340 --> 01:05:45.000
Leo Spitzer: Well, the immigration began almost right away that is a Bolivian being the one of the few countries that were still open for immigration and 3039.
01:05:47.040 --> 01:05:47.790
Leo Spitzer: allowed.
01:05:49.020 --> 01:05:59.640
Leo Spitzer: Actually permission that that her mom Bush with them the dictator of Bolivia, he made a deal that about 50,000 would be allowed into Bolivia.
01:06:00.300 --> 01:06:10.560
Leo Spitzer: But he was assassinated at the end 39 by that point or close to 20,000 that have already come in, but number of people that came in to Bolivia.
01:06:11.010 --> 01:06:33.660
Leo Spitzer: came in, because they would then go out the back door and go back into Argentina or go into countries that they consider to be more European or somehow more more friendly to to to what their cultural beliefs or so almost right away, people were beginning to go but.
01:06:34.800 --> 01:06:43.500
Leo Spitzer: The the general sort of emigration came after the war for, particularly for the German speaking.
01:06:44.130 --> 01:06:49.230
Leo Spitzer: There was a second immigration to believe you after the war, which are Eastern European Jews.
01:06:49.770 --> 01:07:06.030
Leo Spitzer: Many of them cancer survivors have relatives of others who have already been in Bolivia, but the the original German speaking Community began to move out after the war and the end they if you ask them the front of the general thing was Oh well, they.
01:07:07.530 --> 01:07:20.370
Leo Spitzer: can't find any political entre here, even though in Bolivia was extremely very generous towards economically, allowing us to get jobs and to expand jobs and so on, so forth.
01:07:20.850 --> 01:07:31.350
Leo Spitzer: We could not move in socially the the opportunities elsewhere are better life chances are better than the unpredictability of local politics.
01:07:32.490 --> 01:07:42.030
Leo Spitzer: A number of these things, but also the possibility that then emerged after the war for for people who had originally, for example.
01:07:42.360 --> 01:07:59.370
Leo Spitzer: applied for visas to the US and couldn't get into the US and then wind up in Bolivia as i've as a substitute it saved their lives, but it was it was for them, for many of them, whether something or people who wanted to return to Europe after the war.
01:08:00.570 --> 01:08:11.520
Leo Spitzer: Austria to Germany, with the Socialist Communist who wanted to rebuild those countries that have been the Nazi countries, so we have a number of people who went back to Australia.
01:08:12.150 --> 01:08:21.540
Leo Spitzer: to Germany, others were made these deals like my parents, which is really weird to to reconstitute what was left of the family.
01:08:22.020 --> 01:08:33.810
Leo Spitzer: And the idea was at that point that the reconstituted where as possible and at that point, it would became the United States, so the the the move without olivia to the United States in order to be comfortable with love.
01:08:34.860 --> 01:08:35.610
01:08:37.290 --> 01:08:50.190
Simon Romero: And yeah you touched on something in your presentation about you know, Mexico, right now, similar to as it, you know as it was in the 30s and 40s is a is a theater for these global.
01:08:50.850 --> 01:09:02.280
Simon Romero: You know, migration patterns right, you have some many families from other parts of Latin America, especially Central America that find their future in Mexico, many more passing through Mexico.
01:09:03.900 --> 01:09:15.360
Simon Romero: How does the experience of Jewish migration to Mexico, you know, on the eve of World War Two even during World War Two How does that resonate now given what's happening in the country.
01:09:16.590 --> 01:09:24.180
Yael Siman: Thank you, I don't think enough hey, this is not a history that is taught in schools it's not part of the regular.
01:09:25.200 --> 01:09:37.380
Yael Siman: it's there are no courses taught at the university level either not enough probably conferences about this topic so I, it seems to me that they're like parallel histories.
01:09:37.860 --> 01:09:53.760
Yael Siman: Not interconnected once at least publicly so so yeah that's why I ended I ended the presentation saying, hopefully, you know we could look at this case study and learn the lessons important lessons for the present.
01:09:55.980 --> 01:09:57.180
Simon Romero: um and and.
01:09:58.230 --> 01:10:04.260
Simon Romero: Going back to something that you mentioned about those those early agricultural communities on the pampers in Argentina.
01:10:05.070 --> 01:10:11.040
Simon Romero: You know I visited one of those places moises veal and I was just I was an art really I mean.
01:10:11.490 --> 01:10:22.950
Simon Romero: I was taking into these theaters which had these Yiddish troops can either you know troops coming in in the 20s and 30s there were schools they're still magnificent libraries with incredible collections.
01:10:24.570 --> 01:10:33.540
Simon Romero: And yet, almost all of the families and moved away and and and these these buildings were if not crumbling they were in a at the start of the process of decay.
01:10:35.220 --> 01:10:42.360
Simon Romero: i'm just so curious it's been about a decade since i've been there, what do they look like today, these places were Jews for settled in the pump as in Argentina.
01:10:43.800 --> 01:10:50.130
Adriana Brodsky: So yes, so just that, just a very brief description, as you said they were literally Jewish enclaves.
01:10:50.580 --> 01:10:58.830
Adriana Brodsky: of native speakers in the middle of the pampers in Argentina right there were shot, I mean there were all these all the Jewish institutions that you would find in.
01:10:59.310 --> 01:11:18.360
Adriana Brodsky: Small State law in in Europe right, so the school the library, the theater the the actual economic the cooperatives that were created, you know as people pull their resources together in an effort to make more money out of their agricultural products.
01:11:19.710 --> 01:11:30.930
Adriana Brodsky: You know, we know that molly pecan right a very renowned and famous star of the Yiddish theater traveled right George and Tina and she did right, I mean, so the circulation.
01:11:31.320 --> 01:11:42.120
Adriana Brodsky: In within the Yiddish Yiddish guide right, so the within the Yiddish word it did include right these these small Jewish agricultural communities in in Argentina.
01:11:43.530 --> 01:12:03.900
Adriana Brodsky: We also know that at some point, as you know, these first generations who struggled and who were able to make a living and recreate the Jewish institutions on these foreign lands for their children they wanted a university degree, and so the first or maybe second generation of.
01:12:05.250 --> 01:12:16.650
Adriana Brodsky: Argentina Jews left for the towns and left for the universities to i'm not saying most i'm not saying all but definitely.
01:12:18.030 --> 01:12:36.090
Adriana Brodsky: Many just the sort the the cities and they ban people with universities degrees, they just decided to settle in and so some of these communities are today almost empty of Jewish.
01:12:37.140 --> 01:12:49.170
Adriana Brodsky: of Jewish people or right families that became integrated and so you have families that are not exclusively Jewish but Jewish and people of other faiths.
01:12:49.950 --> 01:13:04.140
Adriana Brodsky: And yet there is a sense that that is part of a culture, part of a tradition that needs to be preserved, and so there is the intention right of raising money to rebuild right the the theaters and the libraries.
01:13:04.980 --> 01:13:19.320
Adriana Brodsky: But it is right, in a sense, it's become a museum alive, you know, a kind of a living museum to an experience that that is not Jewish anymore, because most Jews have left.
01:13:20.220 --> 01:13:21.120
Leo Spitzer: Can I can I just add.
01:13:22.170 --> 01:13:24.180
Leo Spitzer: A third dimension of this.
01:13:25.530 --> 01:13:38.820
Leo Spitzer: The the visas that were granted to the immigrants coming in the in the late 30s or grant were actually experiencing for immigrants to do work in Bolivia and to contribute different skills.
01:13:39.330 --> 01:13:45.510
Leo Spitzer: And that was one of the attractions for what Bush and others to bring in these these refugees after the after.
01:13:45.780 --> 01:13:57.450
Leo Spitzer: The huge Bolivian losses in the choco war he wanted to bring in people who could modernize Bolivia help modernize but among the desires what bring in agricultural experts.
01:13:57.930 --> 01:14:08.550
Leo Spitzer: And, of course, there are very few of those of the Central European Jews that came in were agricultural this yesterday they came in from cities, most of them urban immigrants.
01:14:09.750 --> 01:14:22.860
Leo Spitzer: So the agricultural is where incense encouraged in Bolivia itself to some people should become agricultural it and the joint and some of the the the wealthy patrons.
01:14:23.190 --> 01:14:35.430
Leo Spitzer: decided they would try to create agricultural communities in the universe, which is the lowlands of Bolivia, you know, thousands of feet below lot bars and they brought in Argentine.
01:14:36.480 --> 01:14:41.730
Leo Spitzer: Experts on farming and so on, so forth, to try to establish youth agricultural communities.
01:14:42.150 --> 01:14:51.990
Leo Spitzer: And these agricultural communities brought in, initially, a number of people a houses were built and they were started growing coffee and all these other goods, but they were.
01:14:52.560 --> 01:15:00.150
Leo Spitzer: Extreme failures, first of all transportation problem from the union's up to pass at that point which renders.
01:15:00.870 --> 01:15:11.400
Leo Spitzer: took forever and also extremely dangerous, and then you know the people wanted to do other things, so I think these agricultural communities faded out and all you find now.
01:15:11.670 --> 01:15:23.370
Leo Spitzer: Like in like in Argentina, except smaller already you sort of skeletons, of all places that were resettled by Jews in in the in the 40s and.
01:15:25.890 --> 01:15:33.030
Simon Romero: interesting and I just you know, have one more kind of like open question for anyone on the panel who wants to take it up and it's just.
01:15:33.690 --> 01:15:42.090
Simon Romero: Also, you know just from you know my reporting and traveling around Latin America, one of the things that I noticed in different countries was.
01:15:42.720 --> 01:15:50.730
Simon Romero: A kind of an in different members of the panel have mentioned this, but kind of cross pollination between Jewish communities from one country to another, you know in.
01:15:51.540 --> 01:16:02.220
Simon Romero: You know, Argentina, was was a was a place where, which was sharing a lot of knowledge and might have been a place where people had relatives and I might have been a place where families from from some countries might also move to.
01:16:03.060 --> 01:16:10.710
Simon Romero: During the harshest days of argentina's dictatorship, a lot of Jews from Argentina moved to Brazil, where conditions were somewhat milder.
01:16:11.100 --> 01:16:22.920
Simon Romero: Or to Venezuela, I found especially you had a you know large communities of origin time, Uruguay and Colombian Jews who moved to Venezuela when democracy was kind of flourishing their.
01:16:23.760 --> 01:16:38.190
Simon Romero: conditions have changed, right now, of course, in the region and I just wonder where where any of you see the future of Jewish life in Latin America heading, I mean a lot of so many people are migrating to Miami, for instance, or to the United other parts of the United States.
01:16:39.480 --> 01:16:41.790
Simon Romero: Where is it heading, in your view.
01:16:47.580 --> 01:16:56.700
Leo Spitzer: In the I just spoke, but observation, we specifically in Bolivia, right now, for example, has probably less than 1000 views and that population shrinking.
01:16:57.930 --> 01:17:05.820
Leo Spitzer: The cemetery we in law passes now closes it's very there's a with the Jewish cemetery very beautifully located.
01:17:08.490 --> 01:17:16.170
Leo Spitzer: it's it's it's it's a very, very diminishing society in Bolivia.
01:17:17.310 --> 01:17:17.820
Leo Spitzer: and
01:17:19.170 --> 01:17:31.170
Leo Spitzer: Yet there is there is this incredible memory of it, so I think the connections are really in terms of have a memory of a time and and an account collectivity that sort of.
01:17:32.250 --> 01:17:34.230
Leo Spitzer: lives in the in in in that.
01:17:36.210 --> 01:17:36.810
Leo Spitzer: memory.
01:17:39.090 --> 01:17:40.110
Simon Romero: Wonderful I.
01:17:40.350 --> 01:17:47.010
Marion Kaplan: get something is well, I wanted to just say there's also a town and tiny town in.
01:17:47.400 --> 01:17:59.730
Marion Kaplan: The Dr which was founded in the mid 19th century by a Jewish financier and it's still called la who day so there's even like a Jewish town in the GR today there are 3000.
01:18:00.660 --> 01:18:13.350
Marion Kaplan: Jews in the Dr but that doesn't really give you the number, because there were so many intermarriage is that there are many people that come up to you and say Oh, I have a Jewish grandmother but they've used the word hip hooray again.
01:18:13.680 --> 01:18:22.410
Marion Kaplan: But so there's there, it has been a lot of intermarriage and and there is a sense of being Jewish but it doesn't really mean.
01:18:23.490 --> 01:18:41.310
Marion Kaplan: A Jewish community and there is a smaller Jewish community in Santa Domingo and there is a very, very tiny beautiful synagogue but tiny community and so Sue and most of their kids and grandkids are in Florida, as somebody just said yeah.
01:18:42.870 --> 01:18:53.970
Yael Siman: Maybe I should say that Mexico is contrasting because it has a vibrant Jewish community of about 40,000 Jews, if you think the total number of the.
01:18:54.600 --> 01:19:04.140
Yael Siman: country's population is a very tiny minority, but it has a plenty of institutions, educational, religious, cultural.
01:19:04.410 --> 01:19:11.970
Yael Siman: it's a called a community of communities also I think it's a very different from other Jewish communities in the region because it's formed by.
01:19:12.330 --> 01:19:21.750
Yael Siman: Not only Sephardic and nationalities were also Jews who came from mainly Syria and they're also sub divided between those who came from Damascus or a level.
01:19:22.200 --> 01:19:32.850
Yael Siman: So we have a for communities within the Community, so and the immigration from Mexico, even though it has happened, for I mean from the Jewish community.
01:19:33.180 --> 01:19:43.020
Yael Siman: And I think it hasn't been a significant seen other countries and then people who leave then they've returned, so I think that's a very different days.
01:19:45.240 --> 01:19:54.780
Simon Romero: Right, we have just a window of time a short window of time for for audience q&a and so i'm going to start with the with the with a couple of questions now but.
01:19:55.440 --> 01:20:11.250
Simon Romero: The first one that we got from from one of our audience Members, is where the Jews and South America, where of the Nazis who escaped there after the war, and if so, what were the repercussions, and this is open for any of the panel Members who like to address okay.
01:20:12.090 --> 01:20:12.750
Leo Spitzer: So everybody went.
01:20:14.070 --> 01:20:14.460
01:20:17.070 --> 01:20:29.880
Leo Spitzer: The Nazi the flat there after the webinar where people, of course, who were helped initially in so called rat line to find havens in South America.
01:20:30.930 --> 01:20:45.120
Leo Spitzer: They were generally Nazis who have were specialists in the beginning of the Cold War, and we would have my with specialists in certain Soviet affairs so close Barbie who ended up in Bolivia with probably the most famous of.
01:20:46.650 --> 01:21:01.560
Leo Spitzer: Some of these groups, because of the trial, he was an expert and and and Soviet affairs and he found help to get to Bolivia through the red wine which of the assistant actually in which the US.
01:21:02.100 --> 01:21:10.320
Leo Spitzer: Secret Service and other secret services played a role to bring in these people who would then know how to deal with with with the Soviets.
01:21:12.030 --> 01:21:23.700
Leo Spitzer: And the the Nazi community in Bolivia, but certainly the German community and believe he was generally community, they would be the Germans help develop in like in.
01:21:24.060 --> 01:21:35.670
Leo Spitzer: Other parts of Latin America F air traffic, they were involved in all kinds of of activities and there was a an act of Nazi party in the 30s in in my boss.
01:21:36.960 --> 01:21:39.030
Leo Spitzer: And it was really only at the very moment.
01:21:40.080 --> 01:21:55.080
Leo Spitzer: Where decision had to be made by the government, whether they would go with the allies, or whether they whether they would go with the Germans, the Germans are very eager to establish themselves in South America during the during the war, they wanted the resources.
01:21:56.370 --> 01:22:00.330
Leo Spitzer: And there was this kind of secret service fight between these these these.
01:22:00.960 --> 01:22:12.690
Leo Spitzer: The US and the axis powers in which, in this case, Bolivia came in on the on the allied side, rather than the access side, but it could have gone the other way, there were a lot of Germans and the.
01:22:13.260 --> 01:22:28.530
Leo Spitzer: Germans support in the middle of a lot of anti semitism, as a consequence, the Germans who were in Bolivia and go with sympathetic to Nazi ISM start up a lot of anti semitism, in particular when the large numbers of refugees came in.
01:22:31.380 --> 01:22:44.370
Simon Romero: Great another question that we have from the audience is, and this is a very telling question did did immigrants feel like they to hide that they were geez when they arrived in some of these countries, and again any panelists can take this one up.
01:22:46.800 --> 01:22:49.410
Adriana Brodsky: i'm certainly in Argentina, they did not.
01:22:50.880 --> 01:22:59.880
Adriana Brodsky: You know, Argentina, as I mentioned right was one of the it's perhaps the country that received the largest immigration of Jews in the in the southern.
01:23:00.330 --> 01:23:15.540
Adriana Brodsky: Part I mean Rio Grande a south, and so you know just strengthen numbers right, even in but even in the small little towns in which you know their presence would definitely have been you know just reduced to a handful.
01:23:16.560 --> 01:23:25.530
Adriana Brodsky: It was never there was never in a sense that they had to hide who they were and they build you know their institutions their synagogues their cemeteries.
01:23:26.610 --> 01:23:32.790
Adriana Brodsky: And even though there might have occasionally been some nationalist who you know might have complained about their presence.
01:23:34.380 --> 01:23:43.050
Adriana Brodsky: That never really dissuaded people from from you know from just hiding who they were but, again, I think that you know Argentina is.
01:23:43.800 --> 01:23:52.740
Adriana Brodsky: is one of his is an exception in that the Community was was large enough that people the Jews didn't feel like they were.
01:23:53.580 --> 01:24:05.130
Adriana Brodsky: You know, alone, although in the largest scheme of things, the Jewish community is that the smallest number, you know the smallest in terms of percentage of the of the national national society.
01:24:06.660 --> 01:24:19.980
Yael Siman: A may add that in Mexico, I don't think people physically hit, but they did hit their identity and they did hide them sorry their identity and we're starting to find more and more stories that talk about that.
01:24:20.490 --> 01:24:32.310
Yael Siman: So they were not affiliated with the Jewish community they change their names, so there is much to study still about this population, for example, there is a intellectual rodolfo starring Harrison.
01:24:32.850 --> 01:24:40.320
Yael Siman: Who was the child of refugees coming I believe from Australia i'm our German i'm not entirely sure, but he became.
01:24:40.650 --> 01:24:55.500
Yael Siman: A very leading a an important personality for the defense of a indigenous rights, but he did not leave a Jewish life and so so i'm sure we would find more and more stories we just have to look for them mm hmm.
01:24:55.830 --> 01:24:56.790
Simon Romero: very interesting.
01:24:58.440 --> 01:25:06.420
Simon Romero: And another great question is Can someone address the role of medical bositis mexico's ambassador to friends who issued.
01:25:08.220 --> 01:25:13.470
Simon Romero: I guess as many as 117 hundred 1700 visas to Jews in Europe.
01:25:14.550 --> 01:25:15.270
Simon Romero: I guess Jane.
01:25:15.990 --> 01:25:26.460
Yael Siman: Yes, I myself I haven't done research about Gilberto was good, but my colleague and a lot less or has extensively and she has found a very important.
01:25:26.940 --> 01:25:44.010
Yael Siman: historical data that actually questions this myth of Gilberto skin cells, be a hero or a rescue of Jewish refugees so he what she's she's found a mainly is that he granted, these are still political refugees, yes.
01:25:44.340 --> 01:26:04.470
Yael Siman: But, in accordance, to the policy of precedent Catalans not going against his will, but in the case of Jews, he granted visas to Jews who were political refugees who were left wing, but not necessarily to refugees who were juice so so who were escaping racial and persecution.
01:26:06.330 --> 01:26:13.230
Yael Siman: But people can read her article that was published this maybe a few years ago if they're interested.
01:26:15.150 --> 01:26:21.870
Simon Romero: Great and another question from our audience and I think Leo you touched on this somewhat, but maybe maybe maybe.
01:26:22.440 --> 01:26:34.440
Simon Romero: Some of our other panelists can look at this, but is, why were Jews told to work in agriculture versus and other industries when they immigrated to many Latin American countries, why the emphasis on agriculture.
01:26:36.750 --> 01:26:44.250
Adriana Brodsky: deanna I can just very briefly in the case of Argentina that remember that the agricultural colonies were created by the European.
01:26:44.850 --> 01:27:01.770
Adriana Brodsky: Jewish colonization Association, which was founded by by by on Hirsch multi-billionaire Jewish multi billionaire who believed that this was a way to regenerate the image of the Jew, as the downtrodden religious.
01:27:02.760 --> 01:27:11.370
Adriana Brodsky: Unable to be productive to society and her, she imagined that through the work of our culture Jews could show.
01:27:12.150 --> 01:27:18.690
Adriana Brodsky: Their their their that their work could contribute to the growth of societies and so.
01:27:19.260 --> 01:27:31.020
Adriana Brodsky: in Argentina, in particular, a country that was emerging from this nation building process and embarking on a lot of agricultural production that would give them tons of money.
01:27:31.710 --> 01:27:36.480
Adriana Brodsky: The Jews were I mean Jews and other I mean Argentina opened their.
01:27:37.110 --> 01:27:47.130
Adriana Brodsky: You know, there are doors to all sorts of agricultural communities that came from all over Europe, because their intention was to you know to to produce.
01:27:47.430 --> 01:28:00.480
Adriana Brodsky: But this was connected right with this sense that harish had of the need to recreate the image of the do as a productive member of society and of the culture was one of the ways in which that.
01:28:01.230 --> 01:28:14.220
Adriana Brodsky: could be shown as well as whitening right, I mean these countries are going to be very interested in the role that Jews could play in whitening the population and reading it right of its indigenous and black.
01:28:15.300 --> 01:28:16.620
Communities mm hmm.
01:28:19.470 --> 01:28:32.940
Simon Romero: Very well, thank you so much, everyone for just such wonderful presentations wonderful insight and and the fantastic questions from our audience I just really appreciate it.
01:28:34.080 --> 01:28:37.260
Simon Romero: With that i'll hand it back off to to Sydney Jaeger.
01:28:38.790 --> 01:28:49.920
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): yeah, I would like to echo what Simon said the this was a really amazing like presentation to listen to, I certainly learned a lot and I would also like to thank Simon for.
01:28:51.000 --> 01:28:57.300
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): For moderating today, and I would like to thank the Hispanic society again for co presenting this program with us.
01:28:57.900 --> 01:29:02.940
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): And to all of you out there, everything we do at the museum is made possible through donor support.
01:29:03.300 --> 01:29:13.020
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): To those of you watching we hope you'll consider making a donation to support the museum or becoming a member and joining us for our upcoming programs, which you can check out at the link in the zoom chat.
01:29:13.680 --> 01:29:19.290
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Thank you again for joining us, and thank you again to all of our panelists this was really great have a great afternoon.
01:29:22.260 --> 01:29:22.500
Learn More About Jewish Refugees in Latin America
Although Latin American countries did take in a number of Jewish refugees during the years between 1918 and 1933, this number dramatically decreased during World War II. Although there were a number of reasons for this, growing antisemitism and a growth in populist governments in the region were major contributors. Learn more in this USHMM encyclopedia article.
Explore the Politics of Memory in Argentina
Jews in Argentina have faced complex and evolving “memory politics” related to antisemitism. Key subjects of dispute in Argentina include the large number of former Nazis that found refuge there after the war and the legacy of the 1994 AMIA bombing. Explore issues of justice, truth, and memory in Jewish Argentina in this Museum program.
Explore the story of Colonel Jose Arturo Castellanos
In 1942 Colonel Castellanos, the Salvadoran Consul General in Switzerland, led the movement to save thousands of European Jews during the Holocaust by creating and distributing more than 13,000 Salvadoran citizenship papers. In 2010, he was named and honored at Yad Vashem as a member of the Righteous Among the Nations. Learn more about Colonel Castellanos in this Museum blog post.