NEW YORK (Jan. 14)
The Czechoslovak Communist Party is mounting a campaign against Jews and alleged “Zionists.” Its apparent purpose is to link Jewish intellectuals with the regime of ousted Party chief Alexander Dubcek and his liberal reform drive of 1968, New York Times correspondent Paul Hoffmann reported from Vienna today.
Mr. Hoffmann wrote that according to “reliable private information” Czech Jews see in these developments an upsurge of anti-Semitism in the Communist Party apparatus and an effort to purge Jewish influence from Czech society. In recent weeks articles in the Party press and broadcasts over the state-owned radio have alleged that Jewish supporters of Dubcek were part of an “international Zionist conspiracy” intended to remove Czechoslovakia from the Communist camp. Mr. Hoffmann said that the charges appear to have stemmed from a secret document on the alleged role of Jews in the Dubcek reforms which was compiled by the secret police with the assistance of Soviet security officers.
“Jews are known to be the prime targets in purges that are being carried out in the party and its affiliated organizations,” Mr. Hoffmann reported. “Some Jewish students and young intellectuals have recently been banned from Prague as ‘parasites’ together with persons suspected of living by racketeering and other unlawful activities. The alleged ‘parasites’ who were removed from the capital must establish a fixed residence in some rural community and under police surveillance,” Mr. Hoffmann wrote. He said Czech workers frequently denounce Jews at Party meetings and the “Zionist” label has been applied even to liberals who are not Jewish. Mr. Hoffmann said that according to the latest official data published last April, only 14,000 Jews remain in Czechoslovakia. 9,000 of them in Slovakia where anti-Semitism is apparently less strongly felt than in Bohemia-Moravia.