PRAHA (May. 16)
The 22,000 Jews in the Sudeten German districts of Czechoslovakia are being terrorized by Konrad Henlein’s Nazi party, it was disclosed today at a conference of the Jewish Party in Brno.
The Government, it was stated, is helpless to check Jew-baiting in the German districts. Local Henleinist leaders, particularly in Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad), Eger and Teplitz, are forcing Jews to sell business concerns and real estate for insignificant sums under threat of confiscation once the Henleinists assume power.
In Karlovy Vary, Vice-Mayor Franz Ulberg, writing in Henlein’s newspaper, Zeit, openly announced that this watering place would become a resort of the greater Reich, with which, it was hoped, the city would be practically merged.
Anti-Semitism in the Sudeten area is forcing Jews to move to Praha and other Czech cities. In the Czech districts, the Jewish population is contributing to State defense funds and Jewish youth is joining voluntary military organizations. The Brno conference adopted a manifesto declaring that it stands for justice, humanity, democracy and unreserved loyalty to the Republic.
The conference sent messages to President Eduard Benes and Premier Milan Hodza, assuring them of Jewish fidelity to the State. It was urged that the rights granted by the constitution to the 350,000 Czechoslovak Jews should be confirmed in the new statute on nationalities which the Government is working out to meet the various minorities’ demands.
Meanwhile, Czechoslovak authorities pressed an intensive search for the source of a flood of subversive pamphlets printed abroad and distributed by Sudeten Germans throughout Czechoslovakia over the weekend. At least four persons were arrested on Sunday and thousands of the pamphlets seized, notably in Moravia, where large quantities were distributed to that region’s German population.
The pamphlets were described by authorities as a bold attempt to weaken the Czechoslovak state and its allies, particularly France. Their distribution coincided with the return to Czechoslovakia of Sudeten leader Konrad Henlein from London via Berlin.
The C.T.K. (Czechoslovak News Agency) declared tonight that “the bad Czech in which the pamphlets were written leave no doubt of their origin, and the faulty typography shows they were printed abroad.” Some of the pamphlets were placed in letter-boxes, while others were flung in streets to be picked up by passersby. At Melnik, Helmuth Palme, a Sudeten-German partisan and printer of the newspaper Cezke Lipa, was arrested after having been surprised while distributing the pamphlets from an automobile.
Two Sudeten Germans were arrested at Rakovnik. They admitted having received the pamphlets from a “correspondent of the Party” — presumably in a foreign country. At Plzen (Pilsen) two other individuals were surprised distributing the pamphlets, but escaped, leaving 10,000 copies behind in two packets. In Praha, 150 pamphlets were found in a square.