LONDON (Mar. 17)
The anti-Jewish campaign in German-occupied parts of former Czechoslovakia gained momentum today, to the accompaniment of increasing arrests and suicides.
Escape by emigration was prevented as German troops closed the borders, as was done in Austria a year ago. Various reports told of border riots as Jews and others sought to escape, the halting of 300 Jews at Maerisch-Ostrau and 100 at Lobositz, and the detention of 200 Jews who sought to emigrate to San Domingo with an equal number of poorer Jews.
Jewish suicides were said to be reaching great proportions, but no figures were available. Four Jews in one house were reported to have killed themselves by leaping from the window. Newspapers reported 20 suicides of Jews, including Eugen Zucker, retired director of the Anglo-Bank; Rudolph Wahle, a retired judge, and Paul Donner, former director of the Czech radio system.
The ousting of Jews from the country’s economic life went forward rapidly. Jewish physicians and lawyers were forbidden to practice. The Prague Merchants’ Association expelled all Jewish members, their shops already taken over by Nazi commissars. It was announced that all Jewish employes in the film industry had “resigned.”
Arrests of Jews and anti-Nazis were estimated at various figures, the highest being 12,000, as Nazis searched Jewish homes for “Communist arms caches.” In Slovakia, Hlinka guards confiscated Jewish money and valuables and took over Jewish-owned automobiles and trucks. In Bratislava, sentries were posted in front of apartment houses to prevent Jews from leaving with parcels. The few Bratislava Jews permitted to cross the Danube into Hungary were allowed to take only 500 crowns ($17).