May 12, 2005

An immoral order sent thousands of Jews to their deaths


In 1938 the Argentine Foreign Ministry prohibited Nazi victims from obtaining refuge in this country. There is a moral obligation to repeal this order

The Wallenberg Foundation has started a massive campaign to gain support for the Argentine Foreign Ministry to overturn secret ”Directive 11” issued in 1938, which prohibited granting refuge to Jews who fled the bloody Nazi regime, thus leaving thousands of Jews abandoned to their to die in concentration camps.

The Wallenberg Foundation has already obtained the support of leading figures in the academic world and of prestigious intellectuals to demand Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa to repeal this immoral order that is offensive to Argentina and to all Argentines.

”Directive 11” was discovered in 1998 in a forgotten archive of the Argentine Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, by academic Beatriz Gurevich, and was revealed by Argentine writer and journalist Uki Goni in his book ”The Real Odessa”.

In a letter to Bielsa demanding the repeal of the order, Goni points out that it was ”secretly dictated by then foreign Minister Jose Cantilo” and that his own grandfather ”Santos Goni, an Argentine consul abroad during the Second World War, applied it denying visas to those who fled the Holocaust, condemning many to certain death in those terrible years.”

”What a disgraceful order, totally contrary to the spirit of our Constitution,” said historian Jose Ignacio Garcia Hamilton, voicing his support for the appeal, along with other intellectuals, including the writers Marcos Aguinis and Sylvina Walger, the academic Carlos Escude, and journalists Joaquin Morales Sola and Andrew Graham-Yooll, among others who support the Wallenberg Foundation’s appeal.