The German Social Democrat refugees needed help when they first arrived in Czechoslovakia. Someone had to take care of them, and above all to find them accommodation in the city. Later they also needed to find work.
The hotel, built in 1923-1924, served later as a rest home for Czechoslovak veterans from the First World War. After 1933 refugees from Nazi Germany were accommodated here.
As the result of the Munich Agreement of 30 September 1938 the German-speaking areas of Czechoslovakia were annexed to Nazi Germany. Many social democrats and communists from these areas who had taken a stand against the Nazis had no choice but to flee to the Czech interior. Together with many Jews and Czechs, they mostly fled to Prague. They were all aware that they would not be safe in Prague for long. They suspected that sooner or later Hitler would subsume the rest of the Czechoslovak state into German territory, which for them represented a threat to their lives.
British volunteer Doreen Warriner was the main person in charge of the efforts to obtain visas for the Sudeten German refugees. From her office in Slezská street she organised their onward journeys. On 15 March 1939, however, German troops arrived in Prague and some days later Doreen Warriner’s office, set up by the Sudeten German social democratic party DSAP, was searched by the Gestapo and its contents confiscated, including refugees’ passports.
As a result of the Munich agreement, many Sudeten German opponents of Nazism, social democrats and communists, Czechs and Jews fled from the border areas of Czechoslovakia into the safe interior of the country, above all to Prague. However, it was clear to the Sudeten German social democrats that the Nazis would sooner or later reach Prague, too. With the help of British volunteers, they organised emigration to safe target countries. These included Sweden, Britain (from whence emigrés later continued to Canada), Norway, and Belgium.