862.4016/2118: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

537. This morning’s Berlin papers carry brief summaries of an order issued yesterday in Prague by the Reich protector which is designed to “Aryanize” the economic life of the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and which it is stated will replace miscellaneous provisional measures hitherto taken to eliminate Jewish influence in that region.

This order which enters into effect today provides that Jews, Jewish undertakings or Jewish associations require the express written Approval of the Reich protector to have the right of disposal over real property, business partnerships, stocks and bonds and leased properties irrespective of the legal nature of Jewish interests in such matters. For the administration of Jewish businesses the Reich protector may appoint special trustees who shall be responsible to the Reich protector himself and may recall agents or administrators who have already been named for this purpose. In the case of enterprises employing less than one hundred workers or having an annual turnover of less than 3 million crowns, with the exception of banks and insurance companies, the powers of the Reich protector in the above respects may be entrusted to the Oberlandraete.

Jews are required to register with the National Bank by July 31, 1939 their holdings of precious metals and stones, it being stated however that a surrender of these valuables is not envisaged.

Transfers of property made by Jews subsequent of March 17, 1939 are declared to be legally invalid unless approved by the Reich protector or the competent authorities.

Attempts to circumvent the order may be punished by imprisonment up to 10 years as well as by confiscation of the property in [Page 588] question. Cases of this nature will be dealt with by the German Courts in the protectorate on the basis of the general provision of German law and the German penal code.

The definition of Jews under the order is substantially the same as that set forth in the Nuremburg Racial legislation of 1935, that is “Jews” are persons with three or more full blooded Jewish grandparents or persons with two Jewish grandparents who belong to the Jewish religion or are married to full blooded Jews.

Repeated to London for Pell.56

  1. Robert Pell, Assistant to Director of the Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees.