Jewish Community Leaders in Czechoslovakia Seek Emigration; Refuse “to Bow to Communists”

At least 1,000 Czech Jews have fled Czechoslovakia since the recent change of government, Gisela Tauber, a Jewish journalist, declared today upon her arrival here from Prague. She crossed the border illegally.

Miss Tauber said that the membership of the Jewish Community Council of Prague and the Federation of Jewish Communities has been cleared of most persons who “refuse to bow to the Communists.” She added that most of the positions on both bodies have been filled by Communists as a majority of the former leaders of the groups fled the country, mostly to Paris.

Administrative barriers have virtually halted emigration to all countries except Israel, Miss Tauber asserted, adding that as a result many Jews in Prague have applied for Israeli visas. The Jewish communities of many provincial centers, such as Teplitz and Reichenberg, have been depleted by legal and illegal emigration, she said. The transfer of valuable property such as Jewels, silverware, furs and rugs is frequently prevented by officials, in the absence of regulations governing their export, Miss Tauber reported.

She also said that many Jewish refugees from other Eastern European nations arriving in Prague are “not permitted to receive” relief assistance on orders of Egon Kohn, whom Miss Tauber identifies as a leading member of the Prague Jewish Community and the Communist Party. She also confirmed that Oscar Krasnansky, head of the Czech Zionist movement, has bean arrested.

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