During the Second World War, Argentina officially remained neutral for most of the conflict. A significant portion of Argentina’s population was of German origin and Nazi propaganda was highly influential, especially in the predominantly German communities in the northeast of the country. In March 1945, Argentina declared war on Japan and its ally Germany, just before their capitulation.

Between 1918 and 1933, 79,000 migrated to Argentina thanks to its relaxed immigration policies. However, rising numbers of Jewish refugees contributed to the tightening of immigration laws in 1938. Shortly before the start of the Second World War, the Argentinian government sent a secret circular to its consuls in Europe ordering them to deny visas to Jewish applicants. The impact was significant; between 1933 and 1943, only 24,000 Jewish refugees were officially admitted into the country, while 20,000 Jews entered Argentina illegally. In 1939, Argentina’s population was 14,397,000. According to the census of 1947, there was a Jewish population of 249,330 out of a total population of 15,893,827.

Archival Situation

The General Archive of the Nation (Archivo General de la Nación) was established in 1821 by a government decree. Archival documents are also stored in provincial and municipal archives and libraries (including the National Library), and in church and parish offices. Jewish community archives may also hold important Holocaust-related collections.

EHRI Research (Summary)

EHRI has identified several Holocaust related archival institutions: Museo y Archivo Histórico Regional de las Colonias Judías, Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA), Archivo de la Fundación IWO-Instituto Judio de Investigaciones, Museo del Holocausto. Relevant Holocaust material is held by Carmen Rosenblatt de Kogan (private collection) and by AMIA - Centro Marc Turkow. However, EHRI is yet to determine the exact nature and significance of Holocaust-related holdings in these institutions, as well as those of the Archivo General de la Nación (General Archive of the Nation) and the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship).