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Czech Agency Pushes Travel for 1,000th Anniversary of Jewish Life; Prague is Vague

Cedok, the Czechoslovakia Travel Bureau, is continuing to market its tour program in connection with next year’s 1,000th anniversary of Jewish life in Czechoslovakia, although the Czech Government apparently dropped its plans for an official celebration of the event after severing relations with Israel following the Six-Day War.

Cedok’s New York advertising and public relations representatives issued a press release announcing four day all-expense tours in Czechoslovakia which take in Prague’s 13th Century synagogue, the Jewish Museum and other historic Jewish landmarks, as well as the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Theresienstadt, which the Czechs preserve as a museum.

Cancellation of the Czech Government’s participation in the anniversary celebrations was first reported by the American Jewish Congress on September 5. The AJC had the information from “reliable sources” which it would not identify. This was later denied by Josef Richter, executive vice-president of Cedok, who contended that plans for the celebration rested entirely in the hands of the Czech Jewish community, and that his government never had an official role in the planning. The AJC pointed out, however, that Cedok authorities had placed “great emphasis” on plans for a “major” celebration of the millennial anniversary when an AJC delegation visited Prague in August, 1966.

A spokesman for the publicity agency told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the role of the Czech Government in the anniversary plans had always been vague “before, during and after” the Israel-Arab war last June. She said that Karel Masek, North American director of Cedok, is leaving for Prague tomorrow to try to get clarification from the Czech Government.

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