Editorial Note

On April 9, 1949, Vlasta Adele Vraz, the head of the Praha office of American Relief for Czechoslovakia, was arrested in Praha by [Page 398] the Czechoslovak police. Miss Vraz appeared to have been arrested on suspicion of alleged “political” activities. On April 13, the Department of State issued to the press a statement describing the known circumstances of Miss Vraz’ arrest and reviewing the many awards and commendations which she had received from the Czechoslovak Government for her relief services in Czechoslovakia. For the text of the statement, see Department of State Bulletin, April 24, 1949, page 536. The Embassy in Praha made repeated representations to the Czechoslovak authorities regarding Miss Vraz’ arrest. On April 12 an Embassy representative was permitted to visit her in the presence of Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry and police officials. Miss Vraz was finally released on April 16 following delivery of a note of protest from Ambassador Jacobs to the Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry. The Ambassador’s note expressed concern over the “sudden and drastic action” taken in arresting Miss Vraz and drew attention to the fact that Czechoslovak authorities had added another case to the increasing number which was arousing American public opinion over the treatment of American citizens in Czechoslovakia. The note demanded a complete report on Miss Vraz’ arrest and her prompt release should charges against her prove to be unsubstantial. Soon after her release Miss Vraz closed the Praha office of her relief agency and returned to the United States.