Czech Jews Fear Excesses on April 15; Disorders Sweep Slovak Towns
Menu JTA Search

Czech Jews Fear Excesses on April 15; Disorders Sweep Slovak Towns

Download PDF for this date

A new Nazi salute, “Heil April 15!” is throwing the Jews of Brno and other Czech towns into panic because of the fear of anti-Jewish disorders on that date, according to reliable information reaching here today.

It was revealed that the measures taken over the weekend to avert a threatened pogrom in Prague were partly due to the fears of the German authorities that the excesses might ultimately be directed against the Germans. Therefore, many Czech Fascists and anti-Semites were placed under “preventive arrest.”

The new Czech Party of National Unity issued a warning against uncontrolled elements said to be preparing pogroms. The Committee of National Union declared that such steps would be suppressed with all means at the Government’s disposal. It was generally believed that the warnings against pogroms, published by the anti-Semitic daily, Prazsky List, far from removing the danger of disorders, on the contrary contributed to an intensification of the pogrom atmosphere.

The Jewish community of Brno was ordered to reconstruct, at its own expense, the synagogue burned after the German occupation, and also to clean the windows of the Jewish shops daubed with anti-Semitic slogans. At the same time an official version was circulated that the destruction by fire of a Jewish school simultaneously with the synagogue fire was caused by a short circuit.

A number of Jews were among the passengers on a heavily guarded train which left Prague for the Dachau concentration camp over the weekend. The Prague Municipality has decided to transfer to German firms all contracts let to Jewish firms.

Anti-Jewish pogroms in the towns and townships of Slovakia have been carried out by Hlinka Guards in the course of the past week, according to reliable private advices. Jewish businesses and homes have been raided, property plundered and demolished and thousands of Jews thrown into prison. Of those who fled in terror, a small number succeeded in reaching Bohemia and Moravia. A systematic pogrom was executed in the city of Neusohl, where Jewish houses and shops were destroyed. One band raided a rabbi’s home and destroyed all his belongings.

Official promulgation of anti-Jewish laws in Slovakia, completely excluding Jews from the professions and strictly limiting their participation in trade, is expected within a few days. Meanwhile commissars have been appointed for all Jewish businesses pending their “Aryanization.”

The Jewish position in Bohemia and Moravia, in the meantime, is deteriorating rapidly. Addressing a meeting of Nazis at the German House in Prague, acting Nazi leader Dr. Koellner declared that Germans of the “Protectorate” regarded Jews and not Czechs as their enemies.

Jews have been banned from the yearly market at Tachau, in Bohemia. Issuance of emigration permits to Jews has been stopped. A strict film censorship and banning of all foreign films with Jewish actors have been introduced throughout the country. The director of the economic committee of the Czech National Union has authorized establishment of a special organization to deal with “Aryanization” of Jewish businesses. All Jewish directors have been removed from the executive council of the iron cartel, Vereinigte Eisenwerke, including Dr. Erwin Hexner, managing director, and directors Otto Dub and B. Fruend. With the president of the cartel, Oscar Federer, having “resigned” last week, the organization is now “Judenrein” (free of Jews).

The Daily Telegraph reported that Nazis from Bohemia-Moravia have gone to Vienna to receive instruction on the general treatment to be accorded Jews by application of the Nuremberg race laws.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund