The North Coast Feature

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A Caribbean Jewish Refuge

One of the best things the infamous dictator Rafael Trujillo ever did for his country was to inaugurate an immigration plan for certain ethnic groups, including Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. In 1938 he granted visas to about 5,000 Jews from Nazi-occupied lands in Europe. In 1939 the Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA) acquired land held by the United Fruit Company, and in 1940 the first refugees arrived and settled the land, followed by many others in the coming years. After World War II ended in 1945, many of the refugees left the island for the United States, Mexico, or Europe to seek professional employment. Those who remained turned their attention to dairy farming, which was their primary means of employment in SosĂșa. The families that stayed prospered, and a few of the families live on in SosĂșa today.

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