Jewish Shopkeepers Hit by Sudeten German Boycott

The economic position of the Jewish population in the Sudeten German districts has become desperate as a result of the systematic boycott campaign carried out by Konrad Henlein’s Sudeten German Party. Any member of the Henlein party who buys from a Jewish tradesman is as a rule fined from 10 Kronen upwards. In many cases, the fines have been followed by expulsions and even by a boycott imposed by the party. by these methods the Henlein party has brought about a complete standstill in the business relations between Jews and Germans in the Sudeten German districts.

Many Jewish businessmen and factory owners are trying to sell out their businesses or to transfer them to Czech districts. Such proceedings, however, involve considerable losses and difficulties. So far as transfers are concerned, there is in addition the language difficulty, which in the case of lawyers, for instance, cannot be overcome. Besides, it is Very difficult for any tradesman to open a shop in a new district, for local competition in Czechoslovakia is very keen. On the whole, the Jewish shopkeeper in the Sudeten German district has the worst of it. He depends for his trade entirely on the German rural population and his annual turnover has shrunk by 70 per cent. He faces ruin if the anti-Jewish boycott continues.

Compared with a year ago, the social life of the Jewish population in the Sudeten German district has undergone a complete change. While last year the Jews formed the majority of theatre-goers, cinema-goers and cafe patrons, the Jews today keep to their own homes and limit their outdoor social activities to a few Czech places of amusement. The cinemas, which show only German films, are avoided by the Jews. The Jewish youth learns Czech and no Jews are expected to apply for admission to German high schools during the coming school term.

NEXT STORY