Czechoslovakia, as well as other Central European countries, had a large Jewish community before the Second World War. Many of its Jewish citizens perished in concentration camps and survivors had to face up to the horrors of what they had been through.
According to the 1930 census, 356,830 persons in the Czechoslovak Republic identified themselves as Jews by religion: 117,551 in Bohemia and Moravia, 136,737 in Slovakia, and 102,542 in Subcarpathian Rus.
After the breakup of Czechoslovakia, approximately 118,310 persons defined as Jews lived in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. During the Holocaust, the Germans and their collaborators killed approximately 263,000 Jews who had resided in the territory of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1938.
Deportations from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
In November 1941, RSHA chief Reinhard Heydrich ordered the creation of a camp-ghetto at Theresienstadt, 60 km north of Prague. Between 1941 and late 1944, the German authorities deported 73,603 Jews from Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc, and other towns of the Protectorate to Theresienstadt. Most stayed only briefly in Theresienstadt, which served as a transit camp for Protectorate Jews. SS and police personnel deported the vast majority to killing sites in the Baltic States and transit camp-ghettos in District Lublin in occupied Poland in 1941-1942 and, from 1942 on, to the Auschwitz killing center.
Of 82,309 Jews deported from the Protectorate, the Germans and their collaborators killed approximately 71,000 in the Holocaust. The occupation authorities and their Czech collaborators killed another 7,000 Protectorate Jews in Bohemia and Moravia. By 1945, some 14,000 Protectorate Jews remained alive in the Czech lands.