The Jews and Peron: Communal Politics and National Identity in Peronist Argentina, 1946-1955

by Bell, Lawrence D.

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation considers the question of Jewish ethnic politics in Argentina under the Peronist regime from 1946-1955. Like other Latin American populists, Peron combined a corporatist conception of the state with ideals of popular democracy and social mobilization throughout most of his first two terms as President of Argentina. As such, his regime attempted to integrate a number of traditionally excluded groups, including Argentina’s 250,000 Jews, into its socially and politically inclusive national vision. Yet, unlike many other communities, the Jews of Argentina generally resisted the encroachments of Peronism, and instead struggled to forge a compromise relationship with the state. Led by a federation of Jewish institutions, known as the Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas (DAIA), the Jewish community offered public shows of loyalty and support for the regime, while at the same time struggling to retain its political autonomy and independence. In particular, I argue that the key to the DAIA’s success in this endeavor lay in its ability to reconcile the external world of Argentine national politics with the internal organization of the Jewish community itself, based on a European Jewish political model very different from that of the surrounding society. Ultimately, it was the ideology of Zionism, which found its fullest expression during Peron’s presidency with the creation of Israel in 1948, that provided both a locus of resistance within the community to Peronist co-optation as well as a common point of reference for increasingly positive relations with the regime by 1955. Utilizing sources such as Argentine census data, voting returns, institutional records, community newspapers, and archival documents, this project expands our understanding of political culture in Latin America by considering the ways in which traditionally marginalized and subaltern groups responded to the message of populist leaders after 1930. In addition, it integrates new sources, especially Yiddish language documents, to build upon a small but growing historiography on the subject of the Argentine-Jewish community under Peron.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:argentina peron peronism jews history delegacion de asociaciones israelitas argentinas daia


Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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