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Czech Government Abolishes All References to Race, Religion in Official Papers

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References to religious preference or racial origin Czechoslovak citizens will no longer be made on official forms of Government agencies in Bohemia and Moravia, Minister of the Interior Vaclav Nosek announced here today.

In instructions to all administrative agencies and national committees, Nosek said: “Reference to racial origin or religious denomination in official communications ? contrary to the democratic spirit of equality of all citizens in a free country and must be considered a survival of the ideology introduced by the fascist occupation forces.”

The instructions emphasized that “in the Czechoslovak Republic the concept of ‘aryans’ and ‘non-aryans’ does not exist,” and that “the rights and duties of Czechoslovak citizens is unaffected by their racial origin or religious denomination.” Those who were persecuted by the Nazis for religions and racial reasons are placed on an equal footing with those persecuted for political reasons. Those who in the 1930 census declared themselves of Jewish nationality, and who did not commit any acts against the Czechoslovak Republic, will retain full Czechoslovak citizenship, Nosek addressed.

Evidence at the war crimes trial here of Karl Herman Frank, former Reich protector for Bohemia and Moravia, revealed that Theresienstadt was far from the model” concentration camp the Nazis boasted it was, and that Jews were constantly being tortured.

Witnesses testified that Jews were questioned for long periods and frequently eaten during interrogation. One routine used in the camp was to ask an entering Jew hat his profession was. If he replied “lawyer,” or “doctor,” or “teacher,” he was eaten for not stating “simple worker.” If he said he was a “worker,” he was knocked own for attempting to conceal his former profession. Fourteen Czechoslovak guards were executed at Theresienstadt for humane treatment of Jews, one witness told the court.

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