From the Archives: 1938 anti-Nazi protest

In September 1938, Adolf Hitler demanded the annexation of the Sudetenland portion of Czechoslovakia. A story in the Sep. 18, 1938, Los Angeles Times covered a protest Los Angeles against that move:

Carrying anti-Hitler placards and chanting, “Hands off Czechoslovakia,” a group of fifty youthful members of the American League for Peace and Democracy demonstrated yesterday in front of the office building which holds the German Consulate at 117 West Ninth street.

Undaunted by the absence of Dr. Georg Gyssling, German Consul, who is in Berlin, or the fact that the office was closed for the day, the “pickets” milled around in front of the building for an hour and then dispersed after singing “America.”

They were accompanied by three women, all natives of Czechoslovakia, who were dressed in brilliant red, green and white native costumes. The women, who said they represented the 3500 Czechoslovakians now living in Los Angeles County, were Hattie Mayer, May Mayer, her sister, and Frances Pekarek.

“We were born in Czechoslovakia and we want to keep it free,” said Miss Pekarek.

On Oct. 1, 1938, German troops occupied the Sudetenland. In March 1939, Germany invaded the remainder of Czechoslovakia.

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