Germany establishes the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic.

It was established on March 15, 1939 by proclamation of Adolf Hitler from Prague Castle following the declaration of establishment of the independent Slovak Republic on 14 March 1939.

Bohemia and Moravia, like the General Government carved out of Poland, were autonomous Nazi-administered territories which the Nazi government considered part of "Greater Germany". This came to an end with the surrender of Germany to the Allies of World War II in 1945.

Western region of Czechoslovakia, occupied by German troops on March 15, 1939 and declared by Adolf Hitler to be a German "protectorate" (a euphemistic term for a subjugated state) belonging to the Reich. On the eve of the German occupation, 118,310 Jews lived in the region, whose capital was Prague.

Immediately after the occupation, a wave of arrests began, mostly of refugees from Germany, Czech public figures, and Jews. Fascist organizations began harassing Jews: synagogues were burnt down and Jews were rounded up and attacked in the streets. In June Adolf Eichmann arrived
in Prague to establish the Central Office for Jewish Emigration (Zentralstelle Fuer Juedische Auswanderung), to encourage the Jews to leave the country. In fact, 26,629 Jews managed to emigrate, legally or not, before emigration was completely banned in October 1941.

Also in June, a decree was issued barring Jews in the protectorate from almost all economic activity, and much Jewish property was seized. Jewish businesses were "bought" by Germans using force and threats. In all, the Germans seized about a half-billion dollars worth of Jewish property in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.