Jews in Czechoslovakia Perturbed over Premier’s Anti-jewish Speech

The approximately 15,000 Jews still residing in Czechoslovakia are greatly perturbed over the anti-Jewish note struck by Czech Premier Antonin Zapotocky in a speech delivered this week at a meeting of the central executive committee of the Czechoslovak National Front, it was reported here today.

The text of the speech, published yesterday in the Prague newspapers which reached here today, indicates the Czechoslovak Communist government is embarking on an outspoken anti-Jewish policy following the arrest of Rudolf Slansky, former secretary general of the Communist Party, and a number of Jewish high government officials. It was for the first time that anti-Jewish remarks were made publicly by any leader of the present regime in Czechoslovakia.

Declaring that Slansky was trying to help the Western powers, the Czech Premier said: “We shall not tolerate any foreign influence in our affairs, whether from Washington or London, Rome or Jerusalem. When negotiations were being carried on before February, 1948, for nationalization of capitalist enterprises, those who are emigrants today wanted to give back the nationalized concerns to the Jewish and other capitalists under the camouflage of restitution.”

(The New York Times, in a cable from Vienna today, says: “It was not believed that Premier Zapotocky could have spoken as he did without the assurance that he would be backed by Moscow. But this raises the question of what is to become of Matyas Rakosi and Erno Geroe in Hungary, and Anna Pauker in Rumania, who are also Jewish and hold party and government posts as high as were those of M. Slansky. It had been known that the Soviet Union, which long discouraged anti-Semitism, now was letting it have its head. This trend, however, did not prevail until now in the Soviet satellites.”)

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