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Jewish Community in Slovakia Reduced from 130,000 to 25,000; Many Died As Partisans

More than 5,000 Jewish partisans were killed in Slovakia during the underground struggle against the Germans, it was revealed here today by Salomon Weber, President of the Slovakian Jewish Committee, in an interview with the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Reviewing the general situation of the Jews in Slovakia since its liberation, the leader of the central Jewish body estimated that of the 130,000 Jews who lived in Slovakia before the outbreak of the war, there are about 25,000 left. They include about 8,500 who have thus far returned from concentration camps, 1,500 who came out of hiding and 7,000 in territory Hitler assigned to Hungary and which has now been returned to Czechoslovakia. In addition, about 8,000 Jews moved to Slovakia from Carpathe-Russia since that area was ceded by Czechoslovakia to the USSR, several weeks ago.

In the city of Bratislava there are no more than 5,000 Jews, Mr. Weber said. Energetic efforts are being made to revive Jewish community life under the leadership of Max Weiss, president of the local Jewish Community Council. A Jewish hospital with 100 beds is functioning, and five different places have been set aside for Jewish religious services, including three former synagogue buildings. The exterior of these synagogues were not destroyed, but the interior furnishings were wrecked and anything of value that remained was looted by the Germans prior to their withdrawal from the city. Several hundred Jews are being fed in public kitchens. Plans are under way to re-establish the Jewish Home for Aged, a Jewish orphanage and a Jewish sanatorium.

Beside the local community, Jews are distributed over Slovakia as follows; 2,000 in Kosice; 1,500 in Presov; 1,000 in Zilina; 1,000 in Michalovce, and roughly 500 each in Topolcany, Blohovec, Dun-streda, Nitra, Humenne, Komarno, Bardiob and Trnava. The remainder are in various smaller villages.

Of the 130,000 Jews who lived in Slovakia before the war, 70,000 were deported by the Germans to extermination camps, Mr. Weber estimated. He believes that 10,000 Jews emigrated legally from Slovakia before the mass-deportations started and 15,000 left the country illegally. The 5,000 Jewish partisans who were killed participated in the resistance movement during the last few months of the German occupation, the Slovakian Jewish leader pointed out.

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