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World Jewish Congress Warns Czech Govt. Against Anti-semitism

The European branch of the World Jewish Congress executive today warned the Czechoslovak Government that the path it took at the Prague trial leads to the kind of race hatred that was responsible for the destruction of the historic Czech town of Lidice.

In a resolution on the Prague trial, the W.J.C. pointed out that it had once been Czechoslovakia’s “proud claim” that anti-Semitism like other forms of racial discrimination was forbidden by basic law. “It is therefore with deep distress and anxiety for the future,” the resolution said, that the Congress “notes that during the trial the prosecutor persistently underlined the Jewish origin of many of the defendants and accused the Zionist movement of being an instrument of certain states against other states, and has treated the idea of Jewish nationhood as inconsistent with civil loyalty and a crime against the state.”

There is “no vestiage of justification” in these charges, the Congress said, warning that the effects of the charges on the public mind can “only produce racial prejudice and hatred of the most dangerous kind” and would put “ammunition of the most explosive kind in the hands of anti-Semites in Czechoslovakia and throughout the world.” To pursue the line of the trial “will lead the world back to the horrors and barbarism from which in 1945 all had hoped it had freed itself forever.”

(In New York, the World Jewish Congress office today reported that messages received here “reveal that Jewish communities throughout the world have been deeply disquieted by the plainly anti-Semitic character of the Prague trial and the consequent suicide of leading Jews there.” Dr. Maurice L. Perlzweig, W.J.C. leader, said that events in Prague inducate that Jews in Czechoslovakia and other Soviet dominated countries “will now become the victims of a regime of suspicion and mounting discrimination.”)

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry today denounced the Prague trial as an attempt to use the Jews as a “scapegoat” to divert the attention of the Czech masses from internal matters. The council issued a statement declaring; “In conformity with the pattern put to such dread use by Hitler and Goebbels, the Communists, masters of once-free Czechoslovakia, have chosen the Jews as scapegoats in the Prague trial. It is clear that their object is to rally the masses and divert attention from internal administrative problems. Information reaching Sydney indicates this may be only the beginning of a direct attack on 2,500,000 Jews isolated behind the iron curtain.”

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