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The Plight of Jewish Refugees from Czechoslovakia in the U.S.S.R.: Research Based on Survivors’ Testimony
Following the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, some 5,000 Jews fled to Poland. After the outbreak of war, these Jews moved to Russian-occupied Poland and settled in Lvov. From there the N.K.V.D. (Soviet police) imprisoned many and transported them to forced labor camps in faraway places like Siberia or Uzbekistan in Central Asia, where conditions were extremely severe and death rates were high due to illness and executions. A select few were freed from the labor camps and permitted to join the free Czech forces. About 5,000 Czechs were imprisoned in Soviet labor camps during the war of whom 2,500 survived.