PRAHA (Oct. 24)
The Czechoslovak Government today took action to suppress anti-Semitic disorders, while Minister Without Portfolio Stanislav Bucovsky advanced a program for expulsion of thousands of Jews and restriction of the economic activities of the others, and autonomous Slovakia planned to curb admission of Jews to schools.
It was announced that 17 persons have been sentenced to prison terms varying from 7 to 14 days for anti-Jewish demonstrations Saturday night. The prisoners are subject to further punishment if found guilty of violating the laws prohibiting insults to national minorities. The incidents were repeated last night, but they were so minor that they passed unnoticed.
Slovakia’s Premier Joseph Tiso was reported to have informed the Jews that he intended to restrict entry of Jews to higher schools to the proportion of five per cent of the schools’ total enrollment. The Jews form five per cent of Slovakia’s population.
A radical solution of the newly-discovered Jewish problem in Czechoslovakia was proposed last night by Minister Bucovsky; who is in charge of public education, in an address to the executive committee of the Sokol, youth Athletic organization.
“The Jewish question should be regarded on the basis of the national social structure of our nation as it was before the year 1914,” he said. “Immigrants arriving since 1914 must return to their land of origin. Other Jews, those who were here before 1914 and who affirmed Czech nationality in the 1930 census, must return to the nation to which they affirmed their nationality. Jews remaining here may retain their position in the economic life of the nation, but only according to the proportion of their numbers in relation to the whole population of the State.”
The proposal fails to indicate what would be done with the approximately 200,000 persons who in the 1930 census chose Jewish nationality, whereby they enjoyed a minority status in Czechoslovakia similar to other national minorities. Of the total 356,830 Jews in Czechoslovakia, according to the 1930 census, 204,427 affirmed Jewish nationality, the remainder being divided as follows: Czechoslovakian, 87,489; German, 45,732; Hungarian, 16,187; Ruthenian, 11,086, and other nationalities, 1,289.
Bucovsky’s proposal, which would have the effect of expelling approximately 70 per cent of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia, made a profound impression on Jewish circles. It was understood that his suggestions were regarded with disfavor by the Interior Ministry. Jews, however, were dismayed because Bucovsky is a very popular figure and hitherto has been regarded as a “moderate” anti-Semite.
Tonight, Stribrny, a leading anti-Semite and one of the founders of the Republic, published an article demanding expulsion to Palestine of the 37 per cent of the Jews in Bohemia and Moravia who registered Jewish nationality, and also a proportionate restriction for the remaining Jews in business and the professions.
Jewish circles were anxious for prompt opening of the immigration gates of other countries to decrease the pressure created by the influx of Jewish refugees since the Sudeten crisis in order to enable the Czechoslovak Government, which is not anxious to take anti-Semitic measures, to avoid drastic demands from the very articulate section of the population which is seeking such action.