10,000–20,000 refugees, including approx. 5,000 Jews. Many of them in transit.
Republic; economic frailty, high unemployment. October 1938: Sudetenland invaded by the Wehrmacht. March 1939: Remaining Czech territories occupied by Germany ("Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia"); Slovakia formally an independent state under German influence.
Conditions of entry:
Visa exemption; tolerant asylum policy. From October 1934 ban on the expulsion of victims of political and "racial" persecution; residence permits also issued to illegal immigrants; provisional passports issued. Only freelance work was allowed.
From 1933, many victims of persecution sought refuge in Czechoslovakia. Aid organisations supported the refugees financially, part of the money also came from the state. Furthermore, in Prague, with its German character, the exiles found a familiar environment which benefitted the creative artists in particular. In addition, supporters of Communism and Social Democracy gathered in the country and tried to exert influence from there, including over Germany. Nevertheless, for many, Czechoslovakia remained only a point of transit, as the threat from Nazi Germany was steadily growing. After the German occupation, the remaining refugees fled to Poland before continuing to Scandinavia or other countries.