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‘aryan Clause’ Rules Screen in Czechoslovakia, Says Critic

The “Aryan” paragraph of the Nazis is enforced throughout the Czechoslovakian film industry and this country is one of the best markets for Hitlerist motion pictures, according to William Haas, critic.

Writing in the Prager Presse, Haas narrates that two Viennese film artists have brought suit against a local company for dismissing them on account of being “non-Aryans.”

“The way the report was published,” Haas comments, “could easily have given the impression that this case was an exception. It has to be stated, however, that the whole Prague film industry … may be looked upon as completely governed by Nazi principles.”

The writer cites official statistics to show that last year eighty-nine pictures were imported into Czechoslovakia from the Third Reich—more than from all other countries.

“Czechoslovakia today,” he asserts, “can be regarded as one of the strongest supports of the German film export in Europe.”

One newspaper printed a story praising a company which, according to the journal, was to be praised for its independence in standing firm against Nazism.

“The effect this article produced,” Haas says, “was just as astonishing as it was humorou. Great commotion showed itself in the studio of the lauded company which, with all its powers, protested against the abominable indictment that it did not follow strictly the directions given by the Berlin official bureaus and that it employed Jewish directors and actors.”

An interesting legal question is now raised, he continues. Is an actor obliged to give correct information to the questions put to him regarding his eligibility under the “Aryan paragraph?” Can the firm sue for damage on the grounds of prejudice to its interests, in case the information supplied is incorrect?

“We think that such a lawsuit must be unsuccessful,” writes Haas. “According to our laws, the conditions of the German ‘Aryan paragraphs’ must be regarded as immoral.

“An employer whose business is suffering on account of such statements cannot, according to our opinion, claim more injuries than, for instance, the owner of a night club who sees his income impeded by an employe refusing to prostitue herself to the guests, although it was agreed upon beforehand.”

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