April 24, 2005

Argentine Historian Requests Repeal of 1938 Antisemitic Directive


Buenos Aires (AP). Historian Uki Goñi asked the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs to repeal an internal directive of that ministry that ordered Argentine embassies and consulates to refuse visas to Jews escaping persecution in Nazi Germany.

This directive was reportedly never formally repealed.

The historian, a son and grandson of Argentine diplomats, recalls that his own grandfather, Santos Goñi, Argentine Consul abroad during the Second World War, applied this directive, refusing visas that would have saved the lives of those who ”fled from the Holocaust, condemning many to a sure death during those terrible years.”

In his letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rafael Bielsa, Goñi says that ”the imminent sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, this coming May 8, moves me to renew my request for this repeal as a minimum gesture of reparation for all the deaths that resulted from the application of Directive 11, by my grandfather and by so many other officials of that Ministry.”

Goñi has written several books about the support given by the government of the late President Juan Perón to the relocation in Argentina of Nazis who fled from Germany at the end of the Second World War.

Translation: María Lía Macchi