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June 10, 1983 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-06-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Nicaraguan Denies Country Anti-Semitic

GENEVA (JTA) — Er-
nesto Cardinal, Nicaragua's
minister of culture, denied
at a press conference here
reports that Nicaragua's
entire Jewish community of
50 families was forced into
exile by the Sandinista gov-
ernment, but his replies ap-
parently failed to convince
reporters present.
The reports also indicated
that the regime confiscated
Jewish property and took
over the synagogue in Man-
agua. Avraham Gorn,
president of the Jewish
community, had been jailed
after the Sandinistas took
power.
The Managua daily,
Nuevo Diario, in July 1982,
published a series of anti-
Semitic articles which in-
cluded a reference to the
"synagogue of Satan."
The minister, who was
a priest before the revo-
lution, denied the re-
ports, claiming there
were few Jews in
Nicaragua, that they had
intermarried and did not
keep Jewish religious
customs.
He remarked, "I, myself,
am of Jewish origin." He
also asserted there were no
Jewish institutions in
Nicaragua, religious or civi-
lian, and that there were no
anti-Jewish feelings in
Nicaragua, only "anti-
Zionist feelings."
Meanwhile, the Nicara-
guan Ambassador to the
United States told four
representatives of the
Anti-Defamation League of
Bnai Brith that his gov-
ernment does not have an
official policy of anti-
Semitism, according to one
of the ADL officials present
at the meeting.
Furthermore, the Am-
bassador, Antonio Jarquin,
said that the three cases of
confiscation, including the
synagogue, by the govern-
ment would be reviewed; if
necessary.

The meeting between
the ADL officials and the
Nicaraguan envoy was
initiated at the request of
Jarquin following the
publication by the ADL
of a series of charges
against the Nicaraguan
government which in-
cludes the confiscation of
Jewish owned properties
and forced exile of the
Jewish community of
some 50 persons.
The ADL officials who
met with Jarquin included:
I. Barry Mehler, chairman
of the ADL's Latin Ameri-
can Committee; Abraham
Foxman, ADL associate na-
tional director and director
of the ADL national affairs
division; Jess Hordes, asso-
ciate director of the ADL's
Washington office; and
Rabbi Morton Rosenthal,
director of the ADL Latin
American Affairs depart-
ment.
Rosenthal, in an article
prepared for publication in
the ADL Bulletin, the agen-
cy's publication, charged
that along with the confis-
cation of Jewish property
and forced exile of the
Jewish community, the
Sandinista government,
which came to power in
1979, has been unrespon-
sive to ADL appeals to end

Life Sentence
for SS Officer

BONN—Heinz Barth, an
SS officer during World War
II, has been sentenced to life
imprisonment by an East
German court for par-
ticipating in the massacre of
734 villagers in France and
Czechoslovakia during the
war.
The maximum penalty
under East German law for
war Crimes is death by fir-
ing squad, but the prosecu-
tion asked for a life term for
the 62-year-old defendant.

The prophet Elijah was
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"these human rights viola-
tions" and permit the return
of the Jews to their country.
He wrote that the forced
exodus of the Nicaraguan
Jewish community was ef-
fected by subtle and direct
threats or by forcible meas-
ures, two cases of which Ro-
senthal cited in the article.
At a press conference
following the meeting
with the Nicaraguan
Ambassador, Rosenthal
said that because the
Nicaraguan government
has not been responsive
to past ADL requests for
information on the plight
of the Nicaraguan Jews,
the ADL decided to pub-
licize the issue.
While Jarquin said his
government "had erred" in
not providing a reply to
ADL requests, according to
Rosenthal, the ambassador
"said his government had
no policy of anti-Semitism
and asserted that three
ministers of the govern-
ment are of Jewish origin."
Rosenthal said that the
ADL officials explained
that "if they are Catholic
and not identified with the
Jewish faith, their ability to
trace their Jewish ances-
tory back one generation or
more does not make them
Jewish."
Rosenthal reported that
the ambassador said he will
request that his govern-
ment renew the confiscation
cases on which the ADL has
submitted formal inquiries.

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