Czech Jews Forced by Nazis to Cross into Russia Are Now Fighting Against Germany
Menu JTA Search

Czech Jews Forced by Nazis to Cross into Russia Are Now Fighting Against Germany

Download PDF for this date

Czech Jews who were forced by the Nazis at the outbreak of the present war to cross into Russia are now fighting side by side with the Red Army against the Germans, it is related in the Soviet press today.

In November of 1939, hundreds of Jews in Prague and other Czech cities were ordered to appear at a central railway station, where they were told they were going to be sent to Poland as agricultural laborers. About 1,500 Jews, men and women who were assembled at the Prague station were taken to nearby barracks, ordered to strip and were then herded into cattlecars. After several days of travelling, they reached the small Galician town of Nisko, not far from what was then the Soviet-German border.

At Nisko, the Jews were ordered out of the cars and told to run towards the Soviet border without looking back. To emphasize their commands, the Nazis opened fire on the deportees with machineguns, killing 200. The others ran for about four kilometers until they reached Russian territory, where they were given asylum. Many of these are now in the Czech divisions attached to the Red Army.

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