Czechoslovakia Admits Role in Canceling 1,000th Anniversary of Jewish Community

The Czechoslovakian Government, which up to now has insisted that it had no official role in the planned celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of the Jewish community in Czechoslovakia, has admitted for the first time that it did indeed withdraw official sanction from the observance, which was canceled abruptly following the Arab-Israeli war last June. It was reported here that Czech security police secretly warned Jewish community leaders not to go ahead with the celebration without official approval.

The Czech admission was made by Education Minister Jiri Hajek, who told a Western Jewish journalist in an exclusive interview that the celebrations were canceled because representatives of the Czech Jewish community “made demands that the State was not prepared to grant” and asked for financial subsidies “over and above those granted to raise us minorities within normal cultural subsidies.” One of the alleged demands, according to Mr. Hajek, was made by Chief Rabbi Richard Feder “who wanted to invite large Jewish delegations from all over the world, including countries with which we maintain no diplomatic relations.” The latter reference apparently included Israel with which Czechoslovakia severed diplomatic relations during the Six-Day war last June.

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