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Czech Consulate Explains Praha’s Stand on Jews

The Czecho-Slovakian Consulate today issued a formal statement declaring “erroneous” the assumption that the Praha Government was anti-Semitic and asserting the position of the Czech Jews was not “such as to give justified reason for fears among world Jewry and in the democratic nations.”

Without referring to recent decrees calling for revision of citizenship and expulsion of political refugees, which chiefly affect Jews, the consulate asserted that the reduced size of the country made imperative the solution of two problems in Czechoslovakia “even if they mean the imposition of certain limitations upon the people concerned.” The problems were described as those arising from an influx of immigrants from ceded territories and “the national orientation of the German minority left in Czechoslovakia,” which required acquiescence to demands for dismissal of Jewish instructors from German schools.

The statement cited absence of discriminatory acts against Jews in the Czech district and a declaration by Prime Minister Rudolf Beran on Dec. 13, in which he said “the attitude of the Government towards the Jews who have been settled for a long time in the present Czech territory and who show a positive understanding of the country’s needs will not be inimical.” It described as “of a passing nature” anti-Semitic incidents in Slovakia following dismemberment of the Republic, declaring they have now been checked and predicting “gradual liquidation of anti-Semitism” there as the new conditions are consolidated. “The Jewish population all throughout the Czechoslovak Republic,” the statement concluded, “enjoys full legal protection.”

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