(AKA: Warsaw Jewish Mutual Aid Society)
Edited by The Awareness Center - October 1, 2009
WARNING: Some photographs in this article contain nudity
"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
Buenos Aires, 1864: "La gran aldea" was noted of having
colonial architecture, narrow and muddy streets.
|Port of Buenos Aires, 1890, immigrants disembarking|
|Rufiano (pimp) connected to the Zwi Migdal Society|
|Zwi Migdal Society|
|Women held hostage by the Zwi Migdal Society|
|Kidnapped and raped Zwi Migdal Society|
|Rachel Lieberman and two of her children|
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.
Also treated in a 1994 novel by Horacio Vázquez Rial: Frontera Sur (Southern Frointier)
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).
For more information on the Zwi Migdal Society: CLICK HERE
- An article in Ynet about Ilan Sheinfeld's book.
- An article from the Canadian Jewish News about Vincent's book.
- A blog on Sheinfeld's book.
- Entry on Ilan Sheinfeld.
- 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