Praha Checks Listing of Jews’ Sudeten Fortunes by Reich; Curb on Lawyers Looms

Countermanding a previous order of the Justice Ministry, the Finance Ministry today warned Sudeten Jewish refugees not to comply with an order for registration of all Jewish fortunes exceeding 5,000 marks, issued in Sudetenland after the German occupation, until such order is duly issued from Berlin.

The Finance Ministry was understood to be unwilling to give up its plans regarding the fortunes salvaged by Jews who fled from Sudetenland, which are now estimated to total up to ten billion kronen. A ministry spokesman explained that the whole question of refugees’ fortunes must wait pending a decision on whether the plan to permit refugees to opt for Czechoslovakia citizenship is carried out.

Meanwhile, the Praha police continued their activities against refugees. Forty Jews were reported to be held in a police cell. Smaller towns were ordering refugees to leave within 24 hours. Most refugees were going to collectives established by various welfare organizations.

The general committee of the Praha Chamber of Lawyers has circularized members calling a general meeting in a fortnight to discuss a numerous Clausus for racial groups and to establish regulations for admission of new attorneys.

The circular letter also announced the resignation from the chamber of the so-called German Committee, II of whose 18 members were Jews. Behind this development is an interesting sequence of events commencing last Saturday when a group of “aryan” lawyers, meeting in a cafe, adopted a resolution to demand restriction of Jewish lawyers to one per cent of the total, after which they took a leading part in anti-Jewish demonstrations on the streets.

At present 65 per cent of the city’s 1,236 lawyers are Jews. It is reliably reported that Jewish lawyers have agreed to a general meeting in the hope that this would placate extremists, at least temporarily. Despite their majority, it is probable that Jews will be forced in self defense to accept some proportionality clause, unless the government steps in meanwhile with a numerous Clausus scheme of its own.

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