IMPORTANT 1939 MEXICAN INTERNAL MEMO REGARDING EUROPEAN-JEWISH IMMIGRATION DURING THE HOLOCAUST
(JUDAICA) MEXICO. Peligros de una Immigracion en Masa. WITH: Informe Sintetico de la Proposicion. Mexico, March 9 and March 22, 1939. Together, two volumes. Quarto (8-1/2 by 11 inches), staple-bound, typescript carbons; pp. (1), 39; (1), 7. $3000.
Two rare 1939 internal memos by the Mexican government, written during the middle years of the Holocaust, entitled “The Dangers of Mass Immigration” and explaining the reasons for rejecting the United States’ suggestion that Mexico accept Jewish refugees into the southern part of the country.
The reports, dated March 9 and 22, 1939, explain the reasons for the vote against the proposition presented on February 24, 1939. The rejection of the proposal was deeply rooted in anti-Semitism, and numerous political, legal, economic, and cultural reasons are listed. The United States is perceived as attempting to bully Mexico into accepting a "humiliating" proposal, and the Jewish immigrants are seen as capable of taking over the republic of the southeast (Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo) by virtue of their cultural superiority and alleged "world hegemony," with a parallel drawn to the loss of California and Texas to a foreign, unassimilated population. Another reason noted is that acceptance of such a number of immigrants would violate Mexican law and subordinate Mexican foreign policy to that of the United States; the question is raised as to why the United States does not accept large numbers of immigrants in contravention of its own immigration laws. Numerous irrational and anti-Semitic fears are expressed: the Jews would dominate and "enslave" the indigenous population by means of trade and other methods; ownership of the World Press would allow the Jews to unduly influence foreign and domestic opinions; and the ships used to transport the immigrants would be used for smuggling. "After World War I, Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe began again and at an increased rate. But during the first years most of the immigrants used Mexico only as a stopping place on their way to the United States. As of 1924, however, most immigrants were barred from continuing on to the U. S. by that country's restrictive immigration legislation and were compelled to remain in Mexico under difficult conditions. The new immigrants settled in every part of the country, and prospered… The number of obstacles to Jewish immigration increased during the 1930s and culminated in the 1937 Constitution which established the principle of immigration by quota. Within this framework, Poland and Rumania, for example, countries where Jewish emigration was high, were restricted to 100 entry visas a year. Thus only a limited number of Jews persecuted in Europe succeeded in entering Mexico… Supported by the Mexican Fascists, Las Camisas Doradas, and the German embassy, anti-Semitism increased during the early years of World War II. Only with Mexico's entry into the war against the Axis powers in May 1942, was anti-Semitism subdued" (Encyclopedia Judaica XI: 1456-7).
Fine condition. Rare and historically most important.