Only 5,000 of Bohemia-moravia’s 126,000 Pre-war Jews Remain First Postwar Meeting Hears

Only 5,000 of the 126,000 Jews who resided in Bohemia and Moravia before the war are presently living in the two provinces, it was disclosed ## at the opening of the first post-war Congress of Jewish Communities, Together with the 7,000 Jews who have moved hore from the Carpathian Ukraine, the total J wish population is 12,000.

In the major address at the first session, which was attended by 132 delegates, ##mst Frischer, chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities, reviewed the situation ## of the Jewish community since the liberation, touching on political, economic and social questions. He stated that the government had scrupulously enforced full political and economic rights for Jews and had acted fairly in the question of granting ## citizenship to former Sub-Carpathian Jews and those of German nationality. However, individual Jews are encountering considerable difficulty in the matter of restitution.

The return to Jews of houses taken from them during the German occupation has been accomplished without too much difficulty, but restitution of industrial holdings ## is lagging badly, Frischer said. He warned that a catastrophic situation would develop within a month unless the government reversed its decision to include heirless Jewish property in the Currency Stabilization Fund. Another hardship is the maintenance of the German ruling that persons who fail to practice their professions for six months are deprived of their license. The rigid interpretation which has been given this regulation has resulted in persons who were unable to practice during the occupation because they were Jews being refused new licenses.

The community chairman reported that close and effective relations have been established with Jewish organizations abroad. He laid particular stress on the aid extended Czech Jews since the end of the war by the Joint Distribution Committee.

The opening session was attended by representatives of the Foreign, Education and Information Ministries and by the mayor of Prague. Spokesman for the government and for the Catholic Church recalled the role of the Jews during the occupation and pledged a continued fight to stamp out anti-Semitism.