Saturday 5 September 2009


Jews are allowed by their "God" to keep slaves. The modern day Israel takes advantage of this divine permission.

"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." (Leviticus 25:44-46)

"Israel has failed to take adequate measures against human rights abuses of women who have been brought here and forced to provide sexual services", Amnesty International charged. "This is so," a special Amnesty report on the trafficking of women from the former Soviet Union said, "even though many of them have been subjected to human rights abuses such as enslavement or torture, including rape and other forms of sexual abuse, by traffickers, pimps, or others involved in Israel's sex industry." ... One of the main problems is that there is not a law in Israel against selling women ... According to Amnesty International, hundreds of women are brought to Israel from
the former Soviet Union every year
~ The Jerusalem Post, May 19, 2000

By Noor
Snippits and Slappits
September 6, 2009

Recently the history of the Zwi Migdal, a Jewish association of pimps involved in women trade and rape, operating in Argentina in the late 19th and early 20th century, has come to light. Of course the story has been silenced because, although the Jewish community in Argentina remembers it well, they strongly wish to keep it under wraps because it is a disgrace. But, to be honest, this was an international sex trade involving many countries. Argentina is not the only country to be touched the this evil. There is very little material in Hebrew about this affair so the tale will not be spread around by international Jewry.

Buenos Aires, 1864: "La gran aldea" was marked by colonial architecture, narrow, muddy streets, and often insalubrious climate.Buenos Aires, 1864: "La gran aldea" was marked by colonial architecture, narrow, muddy streets, and often insalubrious climate.

Argentina of the second half of the 19th century was an attractive destination for Jews who fled Russian and Polish pogroms and poverty, heading for the New World. Buenos Aires grew rapidly and with it, the Jewish community. A Hevra Kadisha was established and a newspaper named Mundo Israelita was published as the Jewish community members strove to settle down and become part of the new place. They wished to establish themselves as law-abiding and moral people.

This, however, did not apply to all of the Jews. Hundreds of Jewish immigrants chose a different path and became rufianos ~ pimps, prostitution peddlers. Given that at the time, there was one woman for 10 men, sexual services were in high demand. The temptation to make a profit in this area was plain to see. So the Jewish rufianos stepped in, supplied the demand, and soon enough seized control over the entire prostitution business in Argentina.

The Jewish sex slave trade was international in scope. When the mass exodus of Jews out of Czarist Russia began in the 1880s the Jewish pimps and procurers soon found greener pastures in South America. A vast transatlantic trade in prostitutes began along the Warsaw to Buenos Aires route.

Adolf Weissman, Sigmund Reicher, Adolf Dickenfaden, the "King of the Traffickers", Noe Traumann, the Goldenbergs, the Springfeder brothers of Warsaw, the Goldstein brothers, Jacob Zabladovitch and his three sons and many, many others, including Israel Meyrowitz plied the transatlantic trade. These Jews eventually established the Zwi Migdal Society which institutionalized the prostitution business in Argentina until its power was broken in the 1930s.

A partial list of Zwi Migdal's formal directorate of 1926 is revealing: Zacharias Zytnitski, president; Felipe Schön, vice-president, Max Salzman, secretaty; Simon Brotkevich, treasurer; Abe Marchik; Jacob Zabladovich; Sally Berman; and Marcus Posnansky. These Polish and Hungarian Jews were known to police on two continents as they made annual trips back and forth to Eastern Europe to trick, kidnap and recruit fresh faces for their brothels.

Originally called the Warsaw Jewish Mutual Aid Society, the organization changed its name to Zwi Migdal on May 7, 1906, after the Polish ambassador filed an official complaint to the Argentine authorities regarding the use of the name Warsaw. Zwi Migdal means "strong power" in Yiddish and also honoured Zvi Migdal, known as Luis Migdal, one of the founders of the organization.

"Jews were very prominent among women traders, both as dealers and as employers of prostitutes, particularly in Argentina, Brazil, Poland, and Galicia (Russia)," wrote Yehuda Rimerman in "Prostitution and the Deviant Girl," a book that reviews the history of Jewish prostitution in the modern era.

One of the rufiano.

The Argentinean pimps created a total, most effective world, with predefined code words, rules, and methods of operation. For example, a trip abroad to bring a new shipload of fresh girls was called remonta, a term taken from the horse market.

This despicable organization lured decent girls and young women from Europe in many inventive and deceitful ways.

For instance, a well-mannered and elegant-looking man would appear in a poor Jewish village in Poland or Russia. He would advertise his search for young women to work in the homes of wealthy Jews in Argentina by posting an ad in the local synagogue.

Fearful of pogroms and often in desperate economic circumstances, the trusting parents would send their naïve daughters away with these men, hoping to give them a fresh start.

In the port of Buenos Aires, 1890, immigrants disembark, seeking work and a new life. Except of course for the broken Polaca kept very close to their owners.

Another popular ruse was to find pretty girls and offer to marry them, usually in a ceremony known as a "stille chupah", a quick wedding ceremony performed without a rabbi. At other times, the recruiter would arrange for a fake wedding with a fake rabbi.

The girls, aged mostly 13 to 16, packed a small bag, bade their families farewell and boarded ships to Argentina, believing that they were on their way toward a better future. However, they soon learned the bitter truth. Their period of training as sex slaves, which began on the ship, was cruel and brutal. The young virgins were "broken in" ~ raped, beaten, starved and locked in cages.

Some of them were married off to local men so that they could obtain entry to Buenos Aires. Far from their families, without friends or knowledge of the language, they were forced to serve men many men per day, their bodies belonging to the Jewish rufianos.

The first boatload of young Jewish women arrived in Brazil in 1867. In 1872, the imperial Brazilian government extradited some Jewish pimps and prostitutes, but the criminal activities continued.

By 1913, there were 431 brothels controlled by the Zwi Migdal in Rio de Janeiro. They were concentrated in a few streets near downtown, in the Mangue neighborhood, a city zone where prostitution was commonplace and legally authorized.

The Zwi Migdal organization operated from the 1860s to 1939. In its heyday, after the First World War, it had four hundred members in Argentina alone. Its annual turnover was fifty million dollars at the turn of the century.

Its center was Buenos Aires, with branch offices in other locations in Argentina, Brazil; New York City, NY; Warsaw, Poland; South Africa; India; and China. This way, in many countries, they were able to provide variety in women for their clients.

The Zwi Migdal Organization reached its peak in the 1920s when some 430 rufianos, or pimps, controlled 2,000 brothels with 4,000 women in Argentina alone. The network was well organized and its members cooperated closely to protect their interests. Members were bound by rules that were "based on order, discipline, and honesty."

The largest bordellos of Buenos Aires housed 60 to 80 sex slaves. There were bordellos all over Argentina, but most of them were in the big city, in the Jewish quarter, on Junin Street.

Prostitutes who failed to satisfy their clients were beaten, fined, or taken to work in provincial houses. Every business transaction was logged. The rufianos even held a meat market where newly arrived girls were paraded naked in front of traders in places such as Hotel Palestina or Cafe Parisienne.

In one brothel, the Madam, an observant Jew, would not let her women work on Fridays but instructed them herself in the art of lovemaking.

These activities went on undisturbed because they were frequented by government officials, judges, and reporters. City officials, politicians, and police officers were paid off. The pimps had powerful connections everywhere.

The prostitutes, who were mostly illiterate, destitute and despised by the mainstream Jewish community, banded together to form their own mutual-aid societies.

In 1906 in Rio de Janeiro, they formed the Chesed Shel Emes or Society of True Charity, formally registered as Associação Beneficente Funerária e Religiosa Israelita ~ ABFRI (Jewish Benevolent Association for Burial and Religion). Despite their troubled lives and soc handicaps, they never forgot that they were Jews.

Although this organization was created and run by women who were being exploited by Zwi Migdal and other Jewish crime syndicates, they had no other connection to criminal activities.

The cemetery the Polaca (slave women) purchased for themselves.

Yet, as the whorehouses and pimps prospered, the Jewish community still rejected these men. Articles in the local press condemned them and, in 1885, the community established a Jewish Association for the Protection of Women and Girls. Ads posted on the walls in the Jewish quarter called on the locals not to rent their shops to the rufianos.

"The Jewish communities used to throw fund-raising parties, importing European star performers. The pimps would show up every night because they intended to show off their merchandise, wished to maintain their status, and also wanted be like everybody else.

This is why they made donations, which made the community deliberate whether it wanted their money. On the one hand, the community needed money to build public buildings, but on the other hand, it was 'dirty' money and by taking it they feared they would be legitimizing or tacitly accepting the criminals' exploitation of women.

This ended one night when Nahum Sorkin, a well-known Zionist activist, stood outside the theater and physically stopped the rufianos from entering. Next, they were banned from the synagogues, and to top it all, they were refused burial in the Jewish cemetery.

Jewish cemetery in Buenos Aires

This was too much for the rufianos. It is one thing to be banned from the theater or community balls, but eternal rest is a different story. They formed an association of charity among its members. On 7 May 1906, when there were already half a million Jews in Argentina, the Jewish pimps registered legally as the Zwi Migdal Association.

Naturally, the group later split and the splinter, led by Simon Rubinstein, established its own society named Ashkenazum. Once officially recognized, both associations bought plots of land on the outskirt of Buenos Aires and established their own cemeteries there.

The rufianos' audacity eventually led to their demise. It happened when they refused to forgo their income from the work of one woman, Rachel Lieberman from Lódž, Poland. She, like so many others, was tempted to travel to Buenos Aires answering a matrimonial ad, but was taken to Jonin Street where she was forced to prostitute.

Passport of Rachel Liberman with her 2 young sons.

After five years she had enough money to go into the antique furniture business to support herself and her sons but the rufianos made it impossible for her. They did not want her to set an example to their other slaves. But this woman had never been broken.

In desperation, she contacted Superintendent Julio Elsogray. She had heard his name mentioned on the street as one who would not take Zwi Migdal's money and was actually looking for ways to destroy the organization. She slipped into his office one day and gave a detailed account of the connections among the various pimps in the organization management.

Her testimony was reason enough to launch an extensive investigation. This time, unlike on previous occasions that led to nothing, the findings reached Dr. Rodriguez Ocampo, a judge who would not take Zwi Migdal bribes either.

The lengthy trial ended in September 1930, with 108 detainees. "The very existence of the Zwi Migdal Organization directly threatens our society," the judge wrote in his verdict, handing down long prison terms.

Nevertheless, while in prison, the pimps pulled some old strings, appealed their sentences in January 1931, and senior Justice Ministry officials left only three of the convicts in jail, discharging the rest.

When the media reported this, the public was very upset and pressured the authorities to reverse the discharge decision. Thereafter, hundreds of pimps were deported to Uruguay. "Over the years, they slowly returned one by one, but the era of the huge brothels ended," Sheinfeld summed up this story.

Four young men waiting to visit the Polaca.

Thus, in 1930 Lieberman and Alsogaray managed to shut down the only association of Jewish panders in the world after 60 years of activity.

The Zwi Migdal group was an organization that traded in women while its members wore tefillin and built themselves a synagogue. Their history is an embarrassment to all decent Jews. It involved loads of money, corrupt politicians, violent sex, international women trade, hard brutality, rape, and cheating, all lightly spiced with yiddishkeit and God-fearing traditions Among those traditions, according to Jewish beliefs as expressed in the Torah, is that it is perfectly fine to keep slaves so long as they are not Jewish. Yet these Zwi Migdal also enslaved Jewish girls and a great many who ran the bordellos were Jewish women.

Rabbi wearing tefillin.

In other words, like Rabbi Rosenbaum the organ dealer, and the money laundering New Jersey group busted a few months ago, to the unsuspecting, they appeared to be devout Jews with their curls, beards, fedoras and long dark clothing. Their victims, however, knew otherwise.


Zwi Migdal was featured in I.B. Singer's "Scum" and Sholem Aleichem's "The Man from Buenos Aires." Zwi Migdal is also treated in a recent novel by Tomas Eloy Martinez: The Tango Singer (El Cantor del Tango), Buenos Aires (2004) Grupo Editorial Planeta S.A.I.C. Zwi Migdal's cemetery is the center of Nathan Englander's The Ministry of Special Cases, NY, Knopf ed. The life of one of the women exploited by Zwi Migdal is the center of Ilan Sheinfeld's "The Tale of a Ring", only available in the original Hebrew
מעשה בטבעת, Jerusalem, Keter publishers.


See also Patricia Suarez's trilogy Las polacas, Colección teatro vivo, Buenos Aires 2002, several versions of which appeared on the Buenos Aires stage.

Also treated in a 1994 novel by Horacio Vázquez Rial: Frontera Sur (Southern Frointier)

Film References

The plot of the 1991 film Naked Tango directed by Leonard Schrader is based on the activities of Zwi Migdal. The film's heroine assumes the identity of an Eastern European woman traveling to Buenos Aires to meet a prospective husband and in the process gets herself caught up in the prostitution network. The film, however, is motivated more by sensationalism than by indignation.

The 2001 Brazilian film Sonhos Tropicais (Tropical Dreams) directed by Andre Sturm and based on a book written by Moacyr Scliar depicts the hardships of an innocent eastern European Jewish girl, played by Brazilian actress Carolina Kasting, lured by fake promises of a marriage in Rio de Janeiro who ends up in Zwi Migdal prostitution network against a backdrop of the turbulent political agitation that swept Rio de Janeiro in the early 1900´s known as "Revolta da Vacina" (Vaccine Revolt).

External links

Vincent, Isabel ~ Bodies and Souls, Harper Collins ed., New York. ISBN 0060090235 / ISBN 978-0060090234

Kushnir, Beatriz ~ Baile de Máscaras, Imago Editora, São Paulo. ISBN 8531204852

Glickman, Nora ~ The Jewish White Slave Trade and the Untold Story of Raquel Liberman ISBN 0-203-90512-1 ISBN 978-0-203-90512-8


  1. Comment on Tzwi Migdal.
    This has been enlightening info. Being an Argentina born israelite, I had no more than a vague idea on tha "trata de blancas", a term I used to hear more than once as a child in Buenos Aires, in the early 50`s of the 20th century. TXS. I shall recommend this site to my contacts for the extent and clarity of info offered.


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