History of the Jews in Czechoslovakia

  (Redirected from Czechoslovak Jews)

Historical demographicsEdit

Historical Czechoslovakian Jewish population

table 1. Jewish population by religion in Czechoslovakia[1][4]: 353 

1921, absolute no. 1921,% of total population 1930, absolute no. 1930,% of total population
Bohemia 79,777 1.19 76,301 1.07
Moravia 37,989 1.09 41,250 1.16
Silesia 7,317 1.09 (with Moravia) (with Moravia)
Slovakia 135,918 4.53 136,737 4.11
Carpathian Rus 93,341 15.39 102,542 14.14
Total 354,342 2.6 356,830 2.42

Table 2. Declared Nationality of Jews in Czechoslovakia[4]: 355 

Ethnonationality 1921,% 1930,%
Jewish 53.62 57.20
Czechoslovak 21.84 24.52
German 14.26 12.28
Hungarian 8.45 4.71
Others 1.83 1.29


For the Czechs of the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia, German occupation was a period of brutal oppression. The Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia (117,551 according to the 1930 census) was virtually annihilated. Many Jews emigrated after 1939; approximately 78,000 were killed. By 1945, some 14,000 Jews remained alive in the Czech lands.[5] Approximately 144,000 Jews were sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp. Most inmates were Czech Jews. About a quarter of the inmates (33,000) died in Theresienstadt, mostly because of the deadly conditions (hunger, stress, and disease, especially the typhus epidemic at the very end of war). About 88,000 were deported to Auschwitz and other extermination camps. When the war finished, there were a mere 17,247 survivors. There were 15,000 children living in the children's home inside the camp; only 93 of those children survived.

Communist periodEdit

The aftermath of the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état saw the control and repression of the Jewish religious community by the communist government, which essentially completed the destruction of the Jewish religious landscape.[6] The communist party was ambivalent in mentioning that the majority of Czechoslovakians who were victims of the fascists were in fact of Jewish origin and the government undertook a de-Judaization of school textbooks.[7] Orthodox Jews refer to that 40 year period as a "Communist holocaust".[6]

Czech National ArchivesEdit

In 2011 the Czech National Archives digitized all volumes of the Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of Jewish communities (1784-1949), except those needing substantial preservation and restoration. In accordance with the Register of Births, Marriages, and Deaths Act (N.301/2000 Coll.) only entries older than 100 years from the last entry in the Births Registers and 75 years from the last entry in the Marriages and Deaths Registers will be made accessible. The restriction does not apply to the Jewish control registers owing to the time range of entries.[8] As of 2015 the digitization of the entire collection is complete and, within the given restrictions, accessible online.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Petr, Brod; Čapková, Kateřina; Michal, Michal (2010). "Czechoslovakia". YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
  2. ^ "Statistics of Jews". American Jewish Yearbook. vol. 48, p. 606 (statistics for 1946); vol. 53, p. 234 (statistics for 1950-1951). Retrieved from Berman Jewish Databank 2015-05-06.
  3. ^ "World Jewish Population." American Jewish Yearbook. vol. 61, p. 351 (statistics for 1959); vol. 71, p. 539 (statistics for 1969); vol. 81, p. 285 (statistics for 1979); vol. 92, p. 500 (statistics for 1990). Retrieved from Berman Jewish Databank 2015-05-06.
  4. ^ a b Yahil, Chaim; et al. (2007). "Czechoslovakia". In Berenbaum, Michael; Skolnik, Fred (eds.). Encyclopaedia Judaica. Vol. 5 (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference. pp. 353–364. ISBN 978-0-02-866097-4.
  5. ^ "The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia" (last updated June 20, 2014). Holocaust Encyclopaedia. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  6. ^ a b Soukupová, Blanka (2020). "Jewish religious landscape in the Czech lands after the Shoa, as one of the cornerstones of current minority memory". Etnologické rozpravy (Ethnological Disputes). 27 (1): 30–45.
  7. ^ Shafir, Michael (2002). Between Denial and "Comparative Trivialization": Holocaust Negationism in Post-Communist East Central Europe. ResearchGate. p. 5.
  8. ^ Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Jewish Religion Communities from the years 1784-1949: Information for the Users. Národní archiv. Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  9. ^ Register of Jewish Religious Communities in the Czech regions: "Basic information." Paměťové instituce. Retrieved 2015-05-06.


External linksEdit