The German Chargé (Thomsen) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: By direction of the German Government, I have the honor to notify the Government of the United States of America of the following decree of March 16 of the Government of the Reich on the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia:84

  • Article 1. The areas of the former Czechoslovak Republic occupied by German troops belong from now on to the domain of the Greater German Reich and come under its protection as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
  • Article 2. The German inhabitants of the Protectorate become nationals and, under the provisions of the Reich Citizens Law of September 1935, citizens of the Reich. With respect to them, therefore, the provisions for the protection of the German blood and the German honor also apply. They are subject to the jurisdiction of German courts. The other inhabitants become nationals of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
  • Article 3. The Protectorate is autonomous and administers its own affairs. It exercises its rights of sovereignty granted it within the framework of the Protectorate in harmony with the political, military and economic requirements of the Reich. The rights of sovereignty will be exercised by its own organs and its own authorities with officials of its own.
  • Article 4. The head of the autonomous government of the Protectorate enjoys the protection and the honors of the head of a state. The head of the Protectorate must have the confidence of the Fuehrer and Chancelor of the Reich for the exercise of his office.
  • Article 5. As protector of the interests of the Reich, the Fuehrer and Chancelor of the Reich appoints the Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia, whose seat is Prague. The Reich Protector has the duty of seeing to the observance of the political policies of the Fuehrer and Chancelor of the Reich. The members of the Protectorate government are confirmed by the Reich Protector. The latter is empowered to have himself informed regarding all measures of the government of the Protectorate and to give it advice. He may veto measures capable of injuring the Reich, and in case there is danger in delay, he may take the measures necessary for the common interest. The promulgation of laws, regulations and other legal prescriptions, as well as the execution of administrative measures and court orders having the force of law is to be suspended if the Reich Protector interposes a veto.
  • Article 6. The Reich takes charge of the foreign affairs of the Protectorate, and in particular of the protection of its nationals in foreign countries. The Reich will conduct foreign affairs in accordance with the common interests. The Protectorate is given a representative near the Reich Government with the official designation of Minister.
  • Article 7. The Reich grants military protection to the Protectorate. In the exercise of this protection, the Reich maintains garrisons and military establishments in the Protectorate. For maintaining internal security and order, the Protectorate may organize its own units. Their organization, strength, number and armament are determined by the Government of the Reich.
  • Article 8. The Reich exercises direct supervision over transportation, mail and telecommunications.
  • Article 9. The Protectorate belongs to the customs territory of the Reich and is under its customs sovereignty.
  • Article 10. Until further notice, the crown is legal tender together with the Reichsmark. The relation of the two currencies to each other is determined by the Reich Government.
  • Article 11. The Reich can issue legal regulations valid for the Protectorate, in so far as the common interests so require. In so far as a common need exists, the Reich can transfer administrative branches to its own administration and provide the officials belonging to the Reich who are needed therefor. The Government of the Reich can take the measures necessary for the maintenance of security and order.
  • Article 12. The law now in effect in Bohemia and Moravia remains in force, in so far as it does not contradict the sense of the assumption of protection by the German Reich.
  • Article 13. The Reich Minister of the Interior issues, in agreement with the Reich Ministers concerned, the legal and administrative regulations necessary for the execution and supplementing of this decree.”

Under Article 6 of this decree the German Reich takes charge of the foreign affairs of the Protectorate, in particular, of the protection of its nationals in foreign countries. The former diplomatic representatives of Czechoslovakia in foreign countries are no longer qualified for official acts.

Accept [etc.]

  1. The preamble to this decree was transmitted by the German Chargé to the Secretary of State in a note of March 18, p. 51.