Czechs, Slovaks and the Jews, 1938–48: Beyond Idealisation by Jan Láníček (auth.)

By Jan Láníček (auth.)

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Extra info for Czechs, Slovaks and the Jews, 1938–48: Beyond Idealisation and Condemnation

Sample text

120 Participation by the Slovak population both in Aryanisation and in subsequent crimes committed by the Tiso regime, was widespread. 121 Ordinary people willingly accepted the spoils stolen from their unfortunate neighbours now relocated ‘somewhere’ in Poland. 122 The Tiso government cleansing of Jews and the instalment of a ‘new and just’ order was in many cases approved both by oppositional factions and the Slovak people. 124 This pact, however, was to be sealed under completely different circumstances and with a different social and political structure in Slovakia.

49 These reports can hardly be seen as expressing the opinion of the nation as a whole. They revealed the sentiments of specific resistance groups, very often consisting of several tens or maybe hundreds of people, pursuing their own policy and trying to influence the exiles. 51 It is apparent that these reports impacted on the exiles’ perceptions of the situation in the Protectorate and caused them anxieties about the possible effects of anti-Semitic propaganda on ordinary Czechs. For example, the Association of Czechs-Jews, the organisation of exiled Jewish assimilationists, argued in 1942 that Protectorate propaganda stories about the Jewish role among the exiles impacted on the policies of the Beneš government.

G. Masaryk) in early 1940. Masaryk, who later became the Czechoslovak exile Foreign Minister, had assured a public gathering in London that all Jewish émigrés would eventually come back with him to liberated Czechoslovakia (Illustration 2). This statement received wide publicity and was taken up by the German authorities who used it to win public support in the Protectorate by warning Czechs that thanks to the exiles, the Jews would come back and reclaim all their property. As a consequence, according to Akzin, ‘these liberal Czechs’, concerned about the response at home, began to search for a place that would accommodate most of the Jews living in the Czech lands.

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