PRAHA (Aug. 10)
The Interior Ministry today extended the residential permits of 400 Jewish refugees from Austria, saving them from deportation ordered when their permits expired on Aug. 8.
The Government’s action followed last-minute intervention by Town Councillor Captain Gruen of Brno on behalf of the World Jewish Congress and HIAS-ICA, Jewish emigration aid society.
At the same time, the authorities permitted 180 refugees detained at the border town of Lundenburg to remain in the country.
The Foreign Ministry, it was learned, is examining 70,000 applications of Austrian Jews for visas and has instructed officials to grant visas if the applicants have property in Czechoslovakia or if persons residing abroad undertake to support them and transmit money for that purpose to the Czechoslovak National Bank.
It was learned, also, that the severe measures applied by the Brno police against illegal entry of refugees was prompted by the practice of the Gestapo (German secret police) in smuggling Jews from concentration camps and prisons into Czechoslovakia with the warning that they would be interned indefinitely or shot if they returned. Other refugees, under threat of arrest cross the frontier illegally, paying 180 marks each to a professional smuggler who acts with the consent of the Gestapo.