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Sufferings of Protectorate Jews Described in Memorandum of Czechoslovak Government

A memorandum on the reign of terror in Bohemia and Moravia was issued here today by the Czechoslovak Government.

The memorandum includes a chapter devoted to the persecution of the Jews. The Jews in the Protectorate, the memorandum states, were intended to supply a lightning conductor to which might be diverted the tension and nervousness of the public.

The regime, inaugurated by Reinhard Heydrich, meant a serious deterioration of the situation of the Jews in the Protectorate, the memorandum declares. An intense radio and press campaign was opened against the Jews who were “indiscriminately declared to be the real culprits of the whole misfortune which was afflicting the Czech people. They stood behind the Czechoslovak Government in London, they spread whispered propaganda in the Protectorate, and played a prominent part in the underground activities. They stood at the head of the economic sabotage and organized the starving of the people.”

The memorandum enumerates the measures taken against the Jews under the Heydrich regime, pointing out that these measures did not prevent the Czech population from continuing to associate with their Jewish fellow-citizens. A special order had to be given to the police to take into protective custody all those Czechs “who of late have publicly expressed their friendship for Jews and may in this way have wished to show their hostile attitude to the Reich.”

After the introduction of the yellow badge a number of Czechs were severely punished for wearing the star of David in sympathy with the Jews, and a warning was issued through the press that Czechs still sympathizing with the Jews must bear “all the merciless consequences” of such an attitude. They would be treated as Jews and subjected to the same restrictions. Lists of persons known for their friendly conduct towards Jews were published under the heading “Pilloried.” The campaign culminated with the decision that Jews were not allowed either directly or through the intermediary of other persons to buy Protectorate newspapers. The memorandum quotes an article published on this occasion in the pro-Nazi newspaper Ceske Slovo, stating that “recent events have intensified the traditional Czech dislike for the Jews to such an extent that it will never again be possible to bridge over this gap. The Jews are responsible for all Czech tears.”

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