Edgar Semmel on the arrest of his father post WWII

After the end of WWII, the Jews in Bohemia were taken care of by the Social Welfare Department of the Council of Jewish Communities. Most of these services were financed by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, also known as the JDC or simply the “Joint”. The work of this American voluntary agency became the main target of attacks once the Communists seized all power in Czechoslovakia in 1948. In 1950 the JDC was expelled, but the need for social work remained. Distributing social assistance to survivors of the Holocaust was regarded as Zionist espionage by the Communist regime. From 1953 to 1957, dozens of Jewish Community activists, themselves survivors, were arrested and tried for conspiracy and treason. Zikmund Semmel was one of them. His son Edgar describes the circumstances of his father’s arrest.

Language: Czech