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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Spain 07: 1868-1970

Protection laws - Jewish refugees 1940-1945 - Jews and Jewish cultural life in Spain since 1945

from: Spain; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 15

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

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<Modern Period.

[since 1868: tolerance to other religions - protection law of 1924]

Though the edict of expulsion of 1492 was not formally repealed until December 1968 and was consequently, on the Spanish statute book until that date, Jews had been allowed to live in Spain as individuals, though not as an organized community, from the late 19th century. The Republican Constitution of 1868 introduced for the first time in modern Spain the principle of religious tolerance. This was maintained in subsequent legislation and transformed into the more enlightened formula of religious freedom by the amendment of the Fuero de los Espańoles, adopted by the referendum of December 1966.

The new statute guaranteed the right of non-Catholics to maintain their organized institutions, public worship, and religious education. Jews, as such, were not specifically mentioned in any legal enactment but, as non-Catholics, they enjoyed equal rights with their Catholic fellow citizens. The only instance of "Jewish legislation" is a decree of December 1924 which granted to Sephardi Jews living abroad the right to claim Spanish nationality and settle in Spain, if they wished. This decree, although initially referring only to the Sephardi groups of Salonika and Alexandria, afforded the legal basis for extending the protection of the Spanish authorities to many Jews in Nazi-occupied countries during World War II.

[JE.P.]

Holocaust Period.

[since 1939: Destruction of all Jewish life - 1940-1945: Jewish refugees from France - since summer 1942: deported Jews - stop of the deportations since December 1942]

From 1933 until the Civil War, Spain became a haven for about 3,000 Jewish refugees. The Civil War caused most of them to leave, and after the nationalist victory, when all non-Catholic communities had to close their institutions, Jewish public and religious life was destroyed.

After the fall of France, Spain served for tens of thousands of refugees as a landbridge to the high seas, which were dominated by the Allies. By the summer of 1942, over 20,000 Jewish refugees passed through Spain, 10,500 of whom were assisted by the *HICEM office in Lisbon. Less than 1,000 were unable to continue the journey, however, and were imprisoned with other refugees in jails or in the *Miranda de Ebro concentration camp. Some refugees who crossed the border illegally were sent back to France.

In the summer of 1942 when the "Final Solution" was initiated by Germany, a new wave of Jewish refugees reached Spain, and their numbers grew after the occupation of southern France. Initially there was no change in Spain's policy: refugees were accepted and arrested, and some were deported. In December 1942, however, when the Allies wanted French deserters to cross the Spanish border, Spain had to agree to stop deporting refugees and allow them to leave for North Africa and Portugal.

In April 1943, Spain permitted the establishment in Madrid of the Representation of American Relief Organizations, most of whose budget came from the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC). About 5,600 Jews survived by fleeing to Spain during the second half of the war.

[1943: affair about 4,000 Jews with Spanish citizenship living abroad - 1944: Spanish certificates for Hungarian Jews]

In 1943, Spain was faced with an additional rescue problem. Four thousand Jews - of whom 3,000 were in France and the rest in the Balkans as well as a number of Jews from Spanish Morocco who were living in (col. 244)

French Morocco possessed partial or full Spanish citizenship. Most of the Spanish consuls protected these Jews, even when they were instructed to act only when Spanish sovereignty was affected. On Jan. 28, 1943, *Eichmann and his associates presented Spain with the alternative of either recalling these Jewish subjects within a specified time or abandoning them to slaughter.

On March 18, 1943 Spain decided that only those who could prove their Spanish citizenship would be permitted to enter the country. They would have to live in specified towns and would remain in Spain until they could be removed elsewhere. As long as there was one group of these "repatriates" in Spain, the next group could not enter the country. This policy was strictly adhered to. Since the Allies delayed for a year and a quarter the establishment of a refugee center in North Africa, which they had agreed upon at the *Bermuda Conference, the AJDC could not remove the "expatriation" by Spanish consuls without having recourse to repatriation; the rest died or saved themselves.

In the last stages of the Holocaust, Spain joined the rescue operation in Hungary by giving protection certificates to 2,750 Jews who were not Spanish citizens.

[H.A.]

After World War II.

[Jews in Spain since 1945]

The improving economic, social, and general conditions prevailing in Spain after World War II attracted an increasing number of Jews. [[...]]

Until 1945 the bulk of the community was constituted of families originating from East Mediterranean, Balkan, and East and Central European countries. Since then a considerable number of Jews from former Spanish and French Morocco settled in the Peninsula; about 85 % were of Sephardi origin.

Until 1967 a Jewish community could not obtain legal recognition as a religious body (the community of Madrid was registered as a corporation under the law of private associations). Nevertheless they maintained an almost complete range of religious activities and services.

[New synagogues - schooling - newspaper]

In Barcelona a community center housed the synagogue, a rabbinical office, and a cultural center. In Madrid a new synagogue was officially inaugurated in December 1968 in the presence of government and ecclesiastical authorities. To mark the importance of the event, the Spanish government issued a formal repeal of the edict of expulsion.

An increasing effort was made to provide Jewish education to the new generation. In Madrid a primary school had some 80 children in 1968. Hebrew lessons were given to pupils attending private schools. Two summer camps in Madrid and Barcelona were attended by 200 youngsters. A Maccabi movement, functioning in Madrid and Barcelona, afforded a framework for an increasing number of young people.

The Council of Jewish Communities of Spain, established in 1963 for the coordination and study of common activities and problems, issued a monthly bulletin in Spanish, Ha-Kesher (1963-   ), dealing with local and general Jewish affairs.

In the 1960s, Spain saw a revival of studies of general and Hispanic Jewish culture. The universities of Madrid, Barcelona, and Granada had chairs of Hebrew language, Jewish history, and Jewish literature.

In 1940 the Arias Montano Institute of Jewish and Near Eastern Studies was established in Madrid under the guidance of distinguished Hebrew scholars; its quarterly publication Sefarad acquired a reputation in the field of Sephardi culture. The Spanish Council of Scientific Research, in conjunction with the World Sephardi Federation, organized an Institute of Sephardi Studies in Madrid for the study of all aspects of Sephardi culture since the expulsion, throughout the world.

In 1964 a Sephardi Center was created in Toledo by a decree of the head of state: its board included the president of the Jewish Community (col. 245)

of Madrid and the professor of Jewish History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, both ex officio, a representative of the World Sephardi Federation, and three outstanding personalities of the Sephardi world. The new climate created in the Catholic world as a result of Vatican Council II made possible the organization of the Amistad Judeo-Christiana [[Jewish Christian Friendship]] with the approval of the Church hierarchy in Madrid and Barcelona. This organization revised school textbooks, eliminating from them passages offensive to the Jewish people and religion.> (col. 246)

[[...]]

<According to an unofficial estimate some 8,000 Jews lived in Spain in 1968, distributed as follows: 3,000 in Barcelona, 2,500 in Madrid, 1,400 in Melilla, 600 in Ceuta, 300 in Malaga, and 50 in Seville. Individual Jews were scattered in many other cities.> (col. 245)

<Spain and Israel Relations.

[No recognition of racist Herzl Free Mason Israeli government]

As of 1969 no diplomatic relations existed between the two countries, as Spain did not recognize the State of Israel. Spain nevertheless maintained a Consulate General in Jerusalem, which existed prior to the establishment of the State of Israel. There was no parallel Israel representation, however, in Spain. In the Israel-Arab conflict, Spain adopted a markedly pro-Arab line. Trade, tourist, and shipping relations between Israel and Spain developed considerably during the 1960s.

[JE.P.] (col. 246)
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Bibliography

MUSLIM PERIOD:
-- Ashtor, Korot
-- E. Ashtor, in: Zion, 28 (1963), 34-56
-- Ibn Daud, Tradition
-- R. Dozy: Spanish Islam (1913)
-- E. Lévi-Provençal: Histoire de l'Espagne Musulmane, 2 vols. (1950)
-- H. J. Schirmann, in: YMHSI, 2 (1936), 117-212; 4 (1938), 247-96; 6 (1945), 249-347
-- idem, in: Zion, 1 (1936), 261-83, 357-76;
-- idem, in: JSOS, 13 (1951), 99-126
-- Schirmann, Sefarad, 1-2 (1960-61), passim
-- L. Torrés-Balbas, in: Al-Andalus, 19 (1954), 189-97
-- A.S. Halkin, in: L. Finkelstein (ed.): the Jews, 2 (1960), 1116-49
-- M. Margaliot: Hilkhot ha-Nagid (1962), 1-11
-- S. D. Goitein: A Mediterranean Society (1967), index

CHRISTIAN PERIOD:
-- Baer, Spain
-- Baer, Urkunden
-- Neumann, Spain
-- H. Beinhart: Anusim be-Din ha-Inkvizizyah (1965)
-- J. Juster, in: Etudes d'histoire juridique offertes ŕ Paul Frédéric Girard (1912), 275-335
-- F. Cantera Burgos, in: C. Roth (ed.): World History of the Jewish People, 2 (1966), 357-81
-- J. Regné: Catalogue des actes de Jaime Ier, Pedro III et Alfonso III, rois d'Aragon, concernant les Juifs (1911-14)
-- I. Epstein: Responsa of R. Solomon ben Adreth of Barcelona (1235-1310) as a Source of History of Spain (1925)
-- I.S. Revah, in: REJ, 118 (1959), 29-77
-- Sefarad, 1 (1941-71)
-- R. Cansinos-Asséns: Espańa y los judíos espańoles. El retorno del éxodo (1917)
-- idem: Los judíos en Sefarad; episodios y símbolos (1950)

HOLOCAUST PERIOD:
-- N. Robinson: Spain of Franco and its Policies Towards the Jews (1953)

CONTEMPORARY PERIOD:
-- J. Goodman; in: AJYB, 68 (1967), 332-41
-- H. Beinart: Ha-Yishuv ha-Yehudi he-Hadash bi-Sefarad, Reka, Mezi'ut ve-Ha'arakhah (1969).> (col. 246)


Sources
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Spain, vol. 15,
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Encyclopaedia Judaica: Spain, vol. 15, col. 220
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Spain, vol. 15,
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Encyclopaedia Judaica: Spain, vol. 15, col. 221-222
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
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Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 223-224
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
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Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 225-226
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
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Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 227-228
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
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Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 229-230
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
                            15, col. 231-232
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 231-232
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
                            15, col. 233-234
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 233-234
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
                            15, col. 235-236
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 235-236
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
                            15, col. 237-238
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 237-238
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
                            15, col. 239-240
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 239-240
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
                            15, col. 241-242
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 241-242
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
                            15, col. 243-244
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 243-244
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol.
                            15, col. 245-246
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Spain, vol. 15, col. 245-246






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