Dominican Island Republic finds new prosperity as exiles' home

Material Information

Dominican Island Republic finds new prosperity as exiles' home
Alternate title:
Dominican Republic Settlement Association 1st Anniversary scrapbook
Phillips, Anna Jane ( author )
Wagg, Alfred ( compiler )
Place of Publication:
[Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (1 volume)
Physical Location:
Box 1


Subjects / Keywords:
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) ( fast )
Jewish refugees ( fast )
World War (1939-1945) ( fast )
Dominican Republic Settlement Association, Inc. ( fast )
Rosenberg, James N. (James Naumburg), 1874-1970 ( fast )
Trujillo Molina, Rafael Leónidas, 1891-1961 ( fast )
Scrapbooks ( lcgft )
clippings (information artifacts) ( aat )
black-and-white prints (prints on paper) ( aat )
Temporal Coverage:
World War ( 1939 - 1945 )
Spatial Coverage:
Dominican Republic -- Puerto Plata -- Sosúa
19.751 x -70.516


A scrapbook commemorating the 1st Anniversary of the founding of a Jewish refugee settlement at Sousa, in the Dominican Republic, in January 1940. Included in this scrapbook are programs, invitations, dinner menus, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other material documenting the anniversary commemoration and its various festivities. Of special interest is a report written by James N. Rosenberg to the Dominican Government about the status of the settlement and a letter from Generalissimo Trujillo addressed to Rosenberg. There are also photographs (likely publicity shots) depicting daily life in the settlement.
Grant: Presidents Fund for the NEH project.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Judaica Collections at UF
Rights Management:
The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services ( with any additional information they can provide.

Full Text
9ominican Island


New Prosperity as Exiles'

Natives Get Work And
Cash as Result Of
Leon Falk in Pittsburgh
Plans Expansion Of
By Anna Jane Phillips
Post-Gazette Staff Writer
The Dominican Republic has already discovered that its first citizen, General Rafael Trujillo, knew what he was talking about when he said that European refugees would bring a new prosperity to the island where poverty in its hardest form is the lot of the majority.
The refugee settlement on a 26,000-acre tract at Sosua Bay is just six months old. There are now only 300 refugees living and working there. Only a few of the carefully laid plans to make the colony self-supporting have been put into motion. Yet already the natives are finding that they have more work and more money in their pockets. Here in Pittsburgh this week still more plans for this colony of .hope are being made.
On the desk of Leon Falk, Jr., in his office in I he Farmers Bank building, lie outlines of half a dozen new Industries, based on agriculture. Next week, Mr. Falk, a director of the colony, will return to the island in the Caribbean to watch these plans become realities.
Gift From Westinghouse
Among the papers on his desk is a document, signed by Andrew W. Robertson, president of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, which gives the colonists the right to use Westinghouse's patented "tenderay process." This gift is the great Pittsburgh company's contribution to the resettlement of men and women whom Nazi religious and political intolerance has made homeless.
It means that soon the colonists will operate a slaughter house and meat packing plant in conjunction with their dairy and that, through the Westinghouse process, will be able to turn tough, tropical beef into delicious meat,
Out at Car~negie Institute of Technology, Dr. Ernst Berl, once a German refugee himself, now a valuable and honored citizen of the United States, is working to perfect his process for making gasoline from molasses.' His work is being financed by Mr. Falk and James N. Rosenberg, president of the Dominican Republic Settlement Association, Inc. No one can foresee what new avenues of employment Dr. Berl's process will open when it is turned over to the colonists.
Lemon Grass Cultivated
Already at the settlement, lemon grass is under cultivation and will be used to make a perfume oil which now must be imported from the Orient. Soon there will be a pressing plant for castor beans and peanuts, a wood drying and processing .plant.
Thus the colonists-young men and women from every Germaninvaded land of Europe, of almost every religious faith-hope to win not only economic security for themselves but through their efforts, to raise the entire standard of living of the republic which has offered them a permanent home. So that all future developments at the settlement will be based upon as scientific planning as possiblie, the Falk Foundation has arranged through the Brookings Institution for a survey of the Dominican Republic from both an econqmic and social viewpoint. The survey will be made by Dr. Danna Munro, of the school of International Relations, Princeton University.

Ho mne.,

Refugees Create Industries

-Conrado Photos
A half dozen industries, centering around more will go as soon as transportation can be agriculture, will be established at the settlement arranged. Already a cheese industry has been in the Dominican Republic where 300 refugees set up in connection with the dairy farm. The
from German Invaded lands are now building a r'efucee lad, top, works with the herd while the
new life for themselves and where thousands young men, below, construct a cheese press.

All planning, Mr. Falk explained, will take into consideration not only the welfare of the colonists but of the entire island. The Republic
has promised the settlers complete religious and economic freedom. They may become full citizens within two years instead of the usual five years. Thus they feet that their prosperity is bound up with the prosperity of the entire country.
At the present time the economy of the small republic is based on sugar, cacao and tobacco. The majority of the natives are so poor that they have never seen a fork or spoon. More than 80 'per cent of the population of less than 1,500,000 is completely illiterate. Wars of conquest and revolutions hAVA fn- +),. I-An ~i-rce h ear-

Co-Oeraionby nite Sttes ihave torn the landasince the early
Co-Operation by United States sixteenth century, destroying any The United States is co-operat-culture that might have been deing to the fullest. It has sent veloping. Government experts to help with Home Offered 100,000
planning. Atherton Lee, head of General Trujillo, a former presi. the, United States agricultural ex- dent of the Republic and still its perimentation station in Puerto leading citizen, realized that not Rico, has guided the colonists over until the land was developed and many tropical pitfalls. Men from industries established could a stable the United States forestry de- prosperity come to his people. partment have helped in a survey When, after th Spanish war, refuof the valuable timbe'l- on the gees began to arrive in this counmountain sides and will assist in try he watched them closely. When drawing up a program for its use Hitler's wild hate began driving without the evils of exploitation, still mor people to his island, he Meanwhile a study is being made watched, them. What they did of tariffs in South America and seemed good to him. The result other Caribbean islands to see how was that, through his efforts, the best an export trade can be devel- republic offered a home to 100,000 oped. refugee settlers.

There are now approximately 3,000 refugees in the republic, exclusive of the 300 carefully selected young meQ and women at the Sousa Bay settlement. Many of these are older people, their spirits crushed by hardship, who find themselves unable to adjust to the climate and new conditions of life. But some of them already have
contributed to the prosperity of the island.
For instance, the settlement is buying its furniture from a refugee, now established as the best furniture maker in Ciudad Trujillo. This man is pre-Hitler Germany was tl; president of one of the largest printing firms in Europe. He wa wealthy and respected. When Hitler came into power, all he had war taken from him. Penniless, he fled to the Dominican Republic. There in Ciudad Trujillo he and his wife found a small cottage. But this mar who all his life had been busy couldn't sit quietly in idleness. His hobby was carpentry. He set up a small workshop and began making furniture for his home. It was handsome furniture of native mahogany. A Dominican woman saw a set he had finished and bought it. And thus he found himself in the furniture business. Now he employs a half-dozen Dobinicans at good wages. His intelligence and skill have created work for others.

To Raise Island Standards
The pictures accompanying thi article were taken by a man who once was a physician in Germany Photography was his hobby. Friend in Ciudad Trupillo lent him $300 to buy photographic equipment. To day he is the best photographer on the island and sells his pictures no only to native newspapers but to publications in the United States.
Mr. Falk is sure that the refugeecreated industries at the settle. ment will raise standards throughout the Republic. He feels thai already the colonists themselVe, have given an affirmative answer to the principal question standing in the way of success. That question was whether Europeans cguld adjust themselves to life in the sub-tropics.
"They can. We are sure of that now," he said yesterday. "Difficulties of Europeans in the tropics in the past usually came from.the fact that they were bosses and not workers. They went into the tropics to make money so that they could go home rich. These people are in the Dominican Republic to build homes and work. They are not isolated. They have a community life."

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