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1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 156 
A poster advertising a "Pro-American Rally" sponsored by the German-American Bund was distributed throughout New York City. With the event scheduled to be held in Madison Square Garden, organizers hoped to attract thousands of sympathizers. Most of the 20,000 people who attended the event were members of Father Charles Coughlin's right-wing Christian Front.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
A crowd of sullen-faced Czechs looks on as German motorized divisions enter Prague on March 15, 1939. The occupation of the remaining independent Czech lands openly violated the accords reached at the Munich Conference six months earlier. At those meetings, Hitler had assured the naive prime minister of Britain, Neville Chamberlain, that he had no desire for further territorial expansion. The fact that no nation took forcible action against his moves in Czechoslovakia greatly emboldened Hitler.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
The Occupation of Prague

When German troops marched into Prague, Czechoslovakia, on March 15, 1939, Hitler declared that history would remember him as the greatest German of all time. To Prague, certainly, he was the most destructive of interlopers.

By seizing the Czech provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, Hitler delivered 120,000 Jews into the hands of the SS. Half of Prague's roughly 50,000 Jews were refugees from Germany. Forced to flee again, many sought refuge in Poland and Hungary. Thousands appealed in vain for asylum in Western Europe. Within a half-year, more than 30,000 Jews were forced to emigrate. Of the 90,000 who remained, only 10,000 would survive Nazi rule.

Nazi ordinances stripped Czech Jews of their livelihoods. Laws excluded them from professions, shut down businesses, froze bank accounts, and allowed for confiscation of property. SS terror campaigns featured staged anti-Jewish riots, antisemitic exhibitions, and systematic beatings of Jewish children in city parks. Strict curfews with heavy fines prompted special "hunts" for violators.

The Gestapo's mass expulsion policy demanded the emigration of 70,000 Jews within one year. Rounded up from the provinces and herded into Prague, a quota of 200 had to leave daily--and pay a "flight tax." With no place to go, many were loaded onto trains, transported to unknown destinations, or dumped at borders.

 February 9, 1939: Anti-Jewish legislation is passed in Italy.
 February 10, 1939: Pope Pius XI dies. His unpublished encyclical on racism and antisemitism does not go beyond the Vatican's traditional policy concerning Jews. This policy is based on the doctrine of St. Augustine that the Jews are Cains who must not be killed but who must wander in suffering for all eternity, until they see the light and choose conversion to Roman Catholicism.
 February 20, 1939: The German-American Bund stages a rally in New York City. About 20,000 enthusiasts attend; they come mostly from Father Charles Coughlin's Christian Front.
1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 156 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.