Czech Decrees Hit Jews Mainly; Exiles Face Fines, Jail Under Custer Edict

The Government today made public details of two important decrees regulating the position of persons who acquired citizenship after 1918, of former inhabitants of ceded areas and of political refugees. While the decrees do not formally violate the constitutional principle of racial and religious, they will chiefly affect Jews.

The first decree orders revision of citizenship held by persons in the following three categories: (1) Those naturalized after Nov. 1,1918, or residing on Jan. 1,1938, in places ceded to a foreign country after last September; (2) divorced wives who acquired citizenship by marriage after Nov. 1, 1918, and foreign wives who may be divorced in the future; (3) natural and adopted children of persons in the first two categories. Decision on individual denaturalization is left to the discretion of the provincial administration.

The second decree defines refugees as non-citizens who are unable to prove they are of Czechoslovak nationality and are threatened with the worst consequences if they return to their home country. The refugees, who are ordered to leave within one to six months, may be confined to certain areas pending their expulsion. Those overstaying their time limit will be fined up to 100,000 kronen (about $3,500) and will be given jail terms up to six months Exemptions from expulsion will be granted in cases deemed worthy of special consideration.

(In yesterday’s JTA NEWS, it was incorrectly reported that persons denaturalized under the new citizenship revision decree would be required to leave the country in from one to six months. That requirement applies only to the refugees.)

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