Topics

Jewish Argentinians #latinamerica


Shelley Mitchell
 

One point in history not frequently discussed was the enslavement of Jewish immigrants from 1870 to WWII. They were forced into prostitution, mostly in Argentina. And many of their “owners” were Jewish. It is for that reason alone, many of these unwilling women will be lost to researchers. It’s doubtful that they were buried where their names would be known. Plus many arrived alone from Germany, Austria, and Western Europe. It’s an embarrassing aspect of our history but it must be studied and understood.
--
Shelley Mitchell, NYC    shemit@...


Alberto Guido Chester
 

Shelley Mitchell has posted a surprising statement (transcribed below) with which I strongly disagree.
 
There are many studies both academic and non academic which can illustrate readers on the (small) magnitude of Jewish prostitution in 1930's Argentina in relation to the (huge) magnitude of Jewish migration into Argentina. 
 
But generalizing dates as she does (1870 to WWII) and places of origin (see quote) and minimizing the enormous number of Jews who made a new decent life in this country is an oversimplification.
 
She ignores the important books and papers on the subject by saying "it must be studied and understood".
 
If Ms. Mitchell can provide bibliography to prove her points I'd be more than willing to read them.
 
I do feel sorry for the women engaged in prostitution in the 1930's by Jewish pimps and the profusely studied Zvi Migdal delictive ring, but her post is doing a disservice by a crude generalization.

Hope this helps to clarify the matter.
 
"One point in history not frequently discussed was the enslavement of Jewish immigrants from 1870 to WWII. They were forced into prostitution, mostly in Argentina. And many of their “owners” were Jewish. It is for that reason alone, many of these unwilling women will be lost to researchers. It’s doubtful that they were buried where their names would be known. Plus many arrived alone from Germany, Austria, and Western Europe. It’s an embarrassing aspect of our history but it must be studied and understood" 
 

Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina
 


Molly Staub
 

For a thorough look at this dark period of our history, read “The Third Daughter.”

Molly Arost Staub
📱


Shelley Mitchell
 

This appeared in a recent posting:
 
"Shelley Mitchell has posted a surprising statement (transcribed below) with which I strongly disagree.
 
There are many studies both academic and non academic which can illustrate readers on the (small) magnitude of Jewish prostitution in 1930's Argentina in relation to the (huge) magnitude of Jewish migration into Argentina. 
 
But generalizing dates as she does (1870 to WWII) and places of origin (see quote) and minimizing the enormous number of Jews who made a new decent life in this country is an oversimplification.
 
She ignores the important books and papers on the subject by saying "it must be studied and understood".
 
If Ms. Mitchell can provide bibliography to prove her points I'd be more than willing to read them.
 
I do feel sorry for the women engaged in prostitution in the 1930's by Jewish pimps and the profusely studied Zvi Migdal delictive ring, but her post is doing a disservice by a crude generalization.
 
Hope this helps to clarify the matter.
 
"One point in history not frequently discussed was the enslavement of Jewish immigrants from 1870 to WWII. They were forced into prostitution, mostly in Argentina. And many of their “owners” were Jewish. It is for that reason alone, many of these unwilling women will be lost to researchers. It’s doubtful that they were buried where their names would be known. Plus many arrived alone from Germany, Austria, and Western Europe. It’s an embarrassing aspect of our history but it must be studied and understood" 
 
 
Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina
 
Mr. Chester, and fellow readers.  I am sorry if I've hurt your national pride but facts are facts.  I in no way condemned the entire Jewish population of Argentina during that period.  Large or small, it is still a fact.
There is much literature on the subject.  For example, 
and
https://books.google.com/books?id=tlEKs-FdyOcC&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=Argentina+prostitution+jewish+women+from+Germany,+Austria&source=bl&ots=Qq1GkPHv5S&sig=ACfU3U1cpgLg-xR1BxpNLZqaLvx2ozWjxA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi946XP_83pAhW1lHIEHemWC2w4ChDoATACegQIChAB#v=onepage&q=Argentina%20prostitution%20jewish%20women%20from%20Germany%2C%20Austria&f=false
and
 
It means that for some, no matter how much we look, there are lives that have been wiped out.  Cemeteries destroyed, names lost in mass graves, names lost to history.  That was the purpose of my comment.  We should understand that as much work as we do on our ancestry, there will always be spaces that cannot be filled.  
 
I'm sorry that this upset you and maybe others.  But unless you can show me these are false stories, I continue to say that we must recognize things that were done in our culture that weren't always perfect.  Despite our flaws, we still stand proudly and in unity with our people.  
 
 
 

 

--
Shelley Mitchell, NYC    shemit@...
Searching for TERNER, GOLDSCHEIN, KONIGSBERG, SCHONFELD, in Kolomyya; PLATZ, in Delaytn; and TOPF, in Radautz and Kolomea.


mpipik
 

There were plenty of Jewish prostitutes all around.

Sholem Ashe's play "Got fun nekome" (The Gold of Vengeance) from 1906 is about a brothel in Poland.

New York City's Lower East Side was full of prostitutes.  In fact, my father told a the story of his first school day. Apparently his parents didn't have time to take him and had left him home so a neighbor volunteered to take him.  He much later found out that she was a prostitute.

A quick search or two on the Internet will provide plenty of information.

jesshschein@... <jesshschein@...>

Signing your full name to all your messages furthers the spirit of community and mutual assistance that our group depends on.    
                        Full name and place of residence & email address is even better.


erikagottfried53@...
 

It's hardly surprising that this would be a problem any immigrant community suffering from extreme poverty, deprivation, and discrimination.  What IS surprising is how many people in these communities were able to escape the snares of crime and poverty and survive to take care of themselves and their families. 

I recommend two additional sources on the subject of Jewish prostitution in the early 20th century:  The Maimie Papers --  a correspondence between a wealthy female philanthropist and Maimie Pinzer, a Jewish prostitute living in Philadelphia and recovering from a morphine addiction. ("The Maimie Papers is Maimie’s side of that correspondence, a ... unique account of the life of a woman of the streets and her inspiring transformation." ); also Hugh Nissenson's (1976) excellent, vividly imagined novel, My Own Ground (set in the Lower East Side). 
--
Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey


Yvonne Stern
 

I endorse Alberto Chester´´statement on the 'Polacas" (as the jewish prostitutes were called ). 
The women mainly came from Poland,Lithuania, Ukraine,  
living in Shtetls in very poor conditions, 
plagued by waves of hunger and  anti-semitic terror.    
Zwi Magdal´s pimps  had little  difficulty  to recruit themoften promissing to marry them. Once crossing the Atlantic , the women were forced to work at  the establishments of the criminal organizantion, mainly in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and New York.  Women from Germany, Austria and Czech Republic didn´t take part of thesgroups
 
 Sexually exploited,  Polacas knew that, according to Jewish Law,  they were considered impure and sinful and thus  be   buried by the wall of the cemetery, at the side  of suicidals . 
This became a major concern to them  To prevent this misfortune and to guarantee their pensions, Polacas of Rio de Janeiro created  a Mutual Assistance Fund (Associação Beneficente Funerária e Religiosa Israelita,)
Thanks to this Fund, the Jewish prostitutes founded  their own synagogue and purchased land for their cemetery, which became the first Jewish cemetery in Rio de Janeiro.
Clarifying  Mrs, Mitchell´s doubt, nowadays Inhauma Cemetery  is open for use by the community at large, but the 700 graves  of those Jewish women and their relatives  are catalogued (by name) and  cared  by the local Chevra Kadisha.
I would like to ask Mrs. Mitchell what led her to make those statements about the Polacas. Instead of books like the 
one she cited  "Sex and Danger in the City of Buenos Aires", she should  read books by  recognized experts in Social Studies and History.
Finally, this is not a matter of national pride, but about showing respect for the memory of Jews.
Yvonne Stern
Rio de Janeiro  
 


Bernard Flam
 

Hi from Paris,
Dear Shelley,

A French investigation journalist reported on "Jewish white slave trade" in Argentina (1927).
 To be compared to Joseph Pulitzer,   Albert Londres (1884 – 1932) was a French journalist and writer
One of the inventors of investigative journalism, Londres not only reported news but created it, and reported it from a personal perspective.
He criticized abuses of 
colonialism such as forced labour.
Albert Londres gave his name to a journalism prize, the 
Prix Albert-Londres, for Francophone journalists (Wikipedia).
 Some of his most important "Reports from foreign countries" have been reprinted in 2017.

 One is "On way to Buenos Aires, 1927" and is dedicated to what was called "White slave trade", the old name for human trafficking of white women to countries out of Europa. Londres started his investigation with gangs from South of France (remember the movie "French connection"), how they take control of young women, how they cross ocean on a ship and how they organize their trade and live in Argentina. 

Some French young women tell their story.
Paper is 145 pages long.

 

As this trade was also organized by a lot of other international criminal gangs, 5 pages are devoted with "(Jewish) Polaks" title to the women concerned by our posts : how they were "negotiated" in Poland with a lot of promises to their families, and how they were exploited by their Jewish pimp in Buenos Aires.

 

These are the facts, not fake news...

 

Unfortunately to you, these pages are in French, nobody is perfect...

But I can scan them and send to you, ask by private mail.

 

In the same 2017 book, there is a large report "The wandering Jew has come home" (1930, 160 pages).
Londres traveled from Poland to Palestine and back, giving words to our "Vanished world" of Roman Vishniac's pictures.

 

Bernard Flam

Archives and history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring (Bund / Workmen Circle) of France

 

Searching :

ZYSMAN, KRONENBERG, ROTTERSMAN around Lodz

FLAM, AGID, STOLTZ around Lemberg

 


Donna Guy
 

I spent 10 years researching this topic in Argentina, Great Britain, and the US.  The Jewish prostitute  and pimp population were a quite visible minority due to legalized prostitution and the fact that many legal prostitutes registered with municipal governments and Jewish groups in Argentina and elsewhere decried the visibility of Jewish pimps and prostitutes to protect the women and lower anxieties about Anti-Semitism.  In fact, the Jewish prostitutes represented about 20% of the prostitute population, and most were Italians, Spanish and native-born. There are many books on this issue in English, Spanish, and Hebrew, and I would recommend them any time over encyclopedia articles.  My book is called Sex and Danger in Buenos Aires: Prostitution, Family and Nation in Argentina.  Other scholars include Sandra McGee Deutsch, Mir Yafitz, Haim Avni, and Edward Bristow.  All have extensive bibliographies.  Please read them.