Skip to Main Content

Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive: Czechoslovakia

Quick Links

Log In to the VHA Database - You will need to create a new account, this will not be your Clemson ID and Password.

University of Southern California Shoah Foundation

Email the Curator



Founded in 1918 after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czechoslovakia comprised three distinct areas: the Czech lands, Slovakia, and Podkarpatská Rus province (Subcarpathian Ukraine). In the context of the Holocaust, Czechoslovakia has a diverse and regionally specific history, and each area is well represented in the interviews of the Visual History Archive.

Over 5,300 interviewees were born here: around 1,000 in the Czech lands; 1,900 in Slovakia, and 2,400 in Podkarpatská Rus. More than 10,600 witnesses discuss their experiences in Czechoslovakia before, during, and after the war. The USC Shoah Foundation conducted 567 interviews in the Czech Republic, 664 in Slovakia, and around 90 in Subcarpathian Ukraine. The collection includes 566 interviews in the Czech language and 573 in Slovak.

The territorial ambitions of Nazi Germany had a decisive impact on Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II. The country was partitioned into three distinct parts as a result of German involvement, either directly or indirectly. In October 1938, Nazi troops occupied the Sudetenland (the annexation is described at length in 77 testimonies); in March of the following year, Hitler proclaimed the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (220 testimonies). Also that March, Slovakia declared independence, becoming a puppet state of Nazi Germany. The separation was complete when in November 1938 and March 1939, Hungary annexed the whole of Podkarpatská Rus province and a strip of southern Slovakia (described specifically in 668 testimonies).

Many fled. Some of those who reached the United Kingdom, where the government-in-exile was established, went on to fight in Czechoslovak units of the British Army; others who went east enlisted with the Czechoslovak division set up in the Soviet Army in 1941. These units are discussed in 161 testimonies.

For testimonies about the Czech Lands and Sudetenland, see the entry for Czech Republic.

For testimonies about Slovakia, see the entry for Slovakia.

For testimonies about the Hungarian-annexed areas of southern Slovakia (Felvidék), see the entry for Slovakia and Hungary. For testimonies about the Hungarian-annexed areas of eastern Czechoslovakia (Podkarpatská Rus province, aka Subcarpathian Ukraine or Kárpátalja), see the entry for Ukraine and Hungary.


See also: Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine



Selected Indexing Terms

"Aktion Albrecht 1" (September 1, 1939)

"Der Führer schenkt den Juden eine Stadt"


"Munich Crisis" (March-September 1938)

“Prague Spring”

Banské Belé (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Bar Kochba Student Association (Prague)

Beit Theresienstadt

Benes, Edvard

Benesová, Hana

Birkenau boys

Bratislava-Patronka (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Brünnlitz (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Carpathian Sich

Catlos, František

Ceská spolecnost prátel Izraele

Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia (February 1948)

Czech and Slovak Legion

Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust

Czech resistance fighters

Czech resistance groups

Czechoslovakian units

deportation centers

deportation from Prague (Czechoslovakia)

deportation of "alien" Jews (Hungary 1941)

Deutsche Partei

Edelstein, Jacob

Fleishmann, Gisi

Freiwillige Schutzstaffel (FS)

Frieder, Armin

Fritta, Bedrich

German annexation of Bohemia and Moravia (March 15, 1939)

German annexation of Sudetenland (October 1, 1938)

German invasion of Hungary (March 19, 1944)

German invasion of Slovakia (August 28-29, 1944)

ghetto crematoria (Theresienstadt)

ghetto intake procedures (Theresienstadt)

ghetto latrines (Theresienstadt)

Havel, Václav

Hitaḥdut Yotzei Czechoslovakia

Hlinka Guard

Hlinka, Andrej

Hlinková Mladez

Hungarian annexation of Carpatho-Ruthenia and Felvidék (November 1938 and March 1939)

Hungarian forced labor battalions

Ilava (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Jungfern Breschan (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Jurgów (Poland)

Kamenets-Podol'skii Massacre

Krása , Hans

Lanik, Josef

Lidice (Czechoslovakia)

Mach, Alexander

Masaryk, Tomas

military labor conscription

Mukacevo (Czechoslovakia : Ghetto)

Musy Transport

Narodni hnuti pracujici mladeze

Nitra (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Nováky (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Pankratz (Prague, Czechoslovakia: Prison)

Petschek Palace (Prague, Czechoslovakia : Prison)

Polish annexation of the Teschen region (October 1938)

Poprád (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Pracovná Skupina

Prag-Ha-Gibbor (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

PRAGUE 2 Nove Mesto-Karlovo namesti (Czechoslovakia : Prison)

Prague Uprising (May 5-9, 1945)

Rosin, Arnost

Schaechter , Rafael

Seidl, Siegfried

Senica (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Sered (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Slovak concentration camps (generic)

Slovak forced labor battalions

Slovak National Uprising (Aug 28 - Oct 27, 1944)

Slovak occupation conditions

Slovak police and security forces

Slovak resistance fighters

Slovak resistance groups

Slovak soldiers


Sudetendeutsche Partei

Svaz protifasistickych bojovniku

Svoboda, Ludvik


Terezin Memorial

Terezínská Iniciativa

Theresienstadt (Czechoslovakia : Ghetto)

Theresienstadt Familienlager

Theresienstadt ghetto beautification

Theresienstadt-Small Fortress (Czechoslovakia : Prison)

Tiso, Jozef

Topolcany pogrom (September 1945)

Tuka, Vojtech

Ustredna Zidov

Uzhorod (Czechoslovakia : Ghetto)

Vašek, Anton

Velvet Revolution (November 16 - December 29, 1989)


Vrba, Rudolf

Vyhne (Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Wachholz Trial (East Germany)

Weissmandel, Michael Dov

Wisliceny, Dieter

Zenkl, Petr

Zilina (Slovakia, Czechoslovakia : Concentration Camp)

Zuckor, Otto


Visual History Archive Curator

Profile Photo
Anne Grant
Cooper Library
Room 405