The Holocaust in Czechoslovakia
(Photo shows civilians in Prague Protesting German Aggression)
Czechoslovakia in 1933 (above)
German Annexation of Sudentenland in 1938 (below)
The Munich agreements are considered to be a centerpiece of the failure of appeasement. Hitler occupied Bohemia and Moravia just 6 months after receiving the Sudetenland, despite saying that he would not seek any further expansion in Europe.
(Photo shows Jews from Mukachevo circa 1938)
The narrative continued, though, with Slovakia assisting Germany in their invasion of Poland. This allowed them to gain some territory back.
Jews in Slovakia
Jews living in Slovakia were unfortunate in comparison to their peers in Hungary – Slovakia willingly and gladly took part in the deportation of Jews from their country. The deportations of Jews from Slovakia started on 25 March 1942, but stopped on 20 October 1942 after a group of prominent Jewish citizens were able to stop the process through a mix of bribery and negotiation. By then, though, 58,000 Jews had already been deported from Slovakia to Auschwitz. Slovakia was actually paying for each Jewish person to be taken by the Nazis. The Slovakian National Uprising occured, which was a nationalist movement for Slovakian reunification with the Czechs, in 1944 and Slovakia was subsequently occupied by Germany. This was because the Germans no longer trusted the Slovak Republic. Unfortunately for Slovakian Jews, deportations resumed on September 30, 1944.
Slovakia was the first Axis-satellite state to agree to deport its Jews in the name of the Final Solution. Even Romania was less eager to get rid of its Jews than the newly formed Slovak state.
(Photo shows anti-Semitic grafitti in Bratislava in the 1920s.)
The turbulent region of Carpatho-Ukraine was the center of the Pale of Settlement at one point, and it had a huge Jewish population that was completely destroyed. Although it was only a country for a few days, the rich Jewish cultural history and complicated diplomacy has resulted in a very interesting chapter in Holocaust history which I’ve detailed below.
Dismembering the Democracy
The Mass Deportations
Czechoslovakia was liberated on May 5, 1945. At that time, only 2,803 Jews
were left in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Of the 92,199 Jews
living there before the deportations began, 78,154 died during the Holocaust
and 14,045 survived.