This book is about encounters, real or imaginary. Similarly to the many women and men, whose life trajectories have crossed in this book and who often, consciously or otherwise, impacted each other’s lives, also the research behind this manuscript was interwoven with interactions with people. Many have supported our research over the last years, as our departmental chairs, scholars, archivists, librarians, or administrators at both Charles University in Prague and unsw Sydney. While there is no room to thank them all, we wish to acknowledge here how much we appreciate their words of encouragement, their constant care, and interest in our project. We also greatly appreciate all discussions – at times even quarrels – at workshops and conferences, with our friends and colleagues, that have inspired us, challenged us, pushed us further, and provided us with valuable feedback.

Many scholars and institutions have influenced and enabled our work on this project. We were not only fortunate enough to present our preliminary results at academic events around the globe, but we also convened two workshops and conferences, both supported by external insitutions. In 2012, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hosted our summer research workshop on Confronting the Holocaust in Postwar Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary. We are indebted to Krista Hegburg, an excellent scholar and a true friend, for encouraging us to put this workshop together and making it happen. It was thanks to this workshop that the authors of this monograph had the opportunity to meet for the first time and discuss the initial ideas that eventually developed into the now completed project. We have been fortunate enough that modern technology has allowed us to collaborate from the antipodean sides of the globe, in spite of the enormous time differences that complicated our communication. We got used to waking up to emails with a long list of tasks we had to address during the work day before we again passed the baton either to Prague or to Sydney.

In May and June 2014, we convened a conference on Jews and Gentiles in East-Central Europe in the 20th Century in Prague, which was attended by scores of excellent scholars from all over the world. We are grateful for having been able to invite so many sharp minds, whose projects and methodological approaches tremendously influenced our work.

Personal thanks are due to the many archivists and librarians who have assisted us with locating documents and other material, and who provided us with photocopies and scans of key documents. Among these, personal thanks should go to Monika Baďurová, Aleš Komárek, Vendula Hustáková, and Jitka Slabochová from the Masaryk Library of Social Sciences in Jinonice, Charles University, Vincent Slatt, Megan Lewis and Michlean Amir from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the staff of the yivo Archives, the Nation’s Memory Institute, the Security Services Archives, the National Film Archive, the Slovak National Archive, the Yad Vashem Archives, the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem, and many others.

Thanks are due to the Czech Science Foundation for providing the funding for this project through its postdoctoral grant (13-15989P). Here we also wish to thank Eva Horníčková, the head of the Research Office at the Charles University’s Faculty of Social Sciences, who has taken much of the administrative burden from our shoulders, enabling us hence to focus on our work.

Special thanks go to the editors at Brill, especially Meghan Connolly, for walking us through the whole publishing process, providing us with care and support in every step. Petr Brod read and marked almost every single page of the first version of our manuscript and we are profoundly grateful for his generosity and all support. Furthermore, Jacob A. Maze and Derek Paton read parts of the manuscript and edited it for clarity and flow.

Last but not least, our gratitude goes to our respective families and friends for their patience, support, and love.

Hana Kubátová and Jan Láníček

September 2017

The Jew in Czech and Slovak Imagination, 1938-89

Antisemitism, the Holocaust, and Zionism


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