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Jewish Nationality in Czecho-slovakia Official Press Agency on the Rights of Non-nationalist Jews

August 20, 1924
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The official Press Agency here, the Czecho-Slovak Korrespondenz, issued a statement on the position of the Jews in the country. The Jews of Gzecho-Slovakia, says the Press Agency, are recognized as a nation, but the assimilationists, too, are not hundered in their activity. The Czecho-Slovakian Constitution provides for no counting of heads of the national minorities for taxation, and the Jews are consequently at liberty to declare themselves members of whichever nationality they choose. With regard to the question of schools, the Constitution recognizes the language of a particular nationality so that in the case of the Jewish schools, public funds can be obtained onlykif the language of instruction is Yiddish on Hebrew. Demands for public Jewish schools with German, Czeck, Slovakian or any other language of instruction would be in contradiction to the Constitution, unless it is a question of purely religious schools. In the whole of the Constitution there is not a world said about a Jewish nation, but ground is given for regarding the Jews as a national minority. Above all, the Constitution declares that all citizens are equal before the law, irrespective of race, language or religion. It allows that the Jews may regard themselves of Jewish nationality, but it does not say that they must so recognize themselves. Officially, the Constitution knows no Jewish nationality. “The political Jewish question” is a very complicated one,” the communique states,” Czecho-Slovakia is not pledged to any Jewish clause, because the responsible authorities knew that such a pledge in regard to Czecho-Slovakis was superfluous. The Czecho-Slovakian Constitution offers all groups of the population lawful opportunities.”

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