History of the Jews in the Bohemian Lands

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In History of the Jews in the Bohemian Lands, Martin Wein traces the interaction of Czechs and Jews, but also of Christian German-speakers, Slovaks, and other groups in the Bohemian lands and in Czechoslovakia throughout the first half of the twentieth century. This period saw accelerated nation-building and nation-cleansing in the context of hegemony exercised by a changing cast of great powers, namely Austria-Hungary, France, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union. The author examines Christian-Jewish and inner-Jewish relations in various periods and provinces, including in Subcarpathian Ruthenia, emphasizing interreligious alliances of Jews with Protestants, such as T. G. Masaryk, and political parties, for example a number of Social Democratic ones. The writings of Prague’s Czech-German-Jewish founders of theories of nationalism, Hans Kohn, Karl W. Deutsch, and Ernest Gellner, help to interpret this history.
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Biographical Note

Martin Wein, Ph.D. (2007), teaches history at New York University and Tel Aviv University. He has published Czech and Jews: A Slavic Jerusalem (Routledge, 2015), and many articles on related topics, including “Chosen Peoples—Holy Tongues: Religion, Language, Nationalism and Politics in Bohemia and Moravia in the Seventeenth to Twentieth Centuries” ( Past and Present 202:1, 2009, 37-81).

Review Quotes

'Dem Autor gelingt es in dieser sehr dichten Studie, die Entwicklungen der tschechischen Nationswerdung und die Implikationen für die jüdische Minderheit im Detail aufzuarbeiten. Er zeigt dabei, wie der Nationalisierungsdiskurs beziehungsweise die Nationalisierungsdiskurse, im Kontext der europäischen Geschichte den Umgang mit Minderheiten beeinflussten. Für die Erforschung der jüdischen Geschichte erweist es sich als besonders gewinnbringend, dass Wein den Handlungsspielraum und innerjüdische politische Entwicklungen als Teil dieser Prozesse zur Sprache bringt. Auch wenn sich die Studie ihrer Dichte wegen teilweise etwas schwer lesen lässt, ist dem Verfasser eine Arbeit gelungen, die über die jüdische Geschichte hinaus als Standardwerk gelten muss.'
Stefanie Mahrer, in: Sehepunkte 17 (2017), Nr. 11, URL: http://www.sehepunkte.de/2017/11/31029.html [viewed online: 15.11.2017].

Table of contents

Preface ... ix
Acknowledgements ... xi
List of Figures and Tables ... xiii
Archival Abbreviations ... xiv

1 Introduction ... 1
Prague as a Theoretical Starting Point ... 3
History and Theory of Nationalism ... 8
Nation-cleansing ... 14
Christian-Jewish Relations ... 17
About This Book ... 20

2 The Great Fin-de-Siècle Crisis, 1897–1900 ... 22
Language Ordinances and the Political Parties ... 23
Party Politics ... 26
Press Incitement ... 30
Economic Boycotts and “Sanitation” ... 35
Riots and Blood Libels ... 38
The Hilsner Trial ... 40
Leopold Hilsner ... 42
Karel Baxa ... 43

3 Fallout: The Impact of the Crisis, 1900–1914 ... 46
From German-Liberalism to Zionism in Prague ... 47
Berta Fanta ... 54
Czech-Jews Revisited ... 55
Jewish Allies Reconsidered ... 58
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk ... 60

4 World War I and the Founding of Czechoslovakia, 1914–1920 ... 64
Christians and Jews in the Great War ... 65
Ostjuden ... 68
The Czechoslovak Exile ... 70
The Prague Revolution ... 74
Czechoslovakia’s Borders ... 76
“Pogromstimmung” ... 82

5 The First Republic and the Minorities, 1920–1938 ... 89
From French to Nazi German Czechoslovakia ... 93
Slovakia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia as Czech Colonies? ... 100
Jews and Other Minorities ... 103
The End of German-Liberalism ... 106
Czechoslovakia’s Hungarian-speaking Minority ... 109
International Minority Politics ... 111
German and Austrian Refugees in Czechoslovakia ... 114

6 Jewish Religion in Czechoslovakia, 1920–1938 ... 119
Jewish Religion in the Bohemian Lands ... 120
Jiří Langer ... 124
Alfred Fuchs ... 127
Christians and Jews in Slovakia ... 130
Christians and Jews in Subcarpathian Ruthenia ... 135
Hayim Eleazar Shapira ... 141

7 Jewish Politics in Czechoslovakia, 1920–1938 ... 147
Red Jews—Green Jews ... 149
Two Missions to the East ... 157
Zionist Internal Colonialism ... 159
Slovak-Jews ... 161
Jewish Education in Subcarpathian Ruthenia ... 164
Hayim Kugel ... 169

8 The Munich Agreement and the Second Republic, 1938–1939 ... 172
Road to Munich ... 173
In the No Man’s Land ... 178
“Czecho-Slovakia” ... 181
Czech Fascism? ... 184
The First Transfer Agreement ... 189
Marie Schmolková ... 192

9 Nazi Germany’s “Protectorate,” 1939–1945 ... 195
Fascist Slovakia and Subcarpathian Ruthenia ... 197
The “Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia” ... 199
The Nazi Genocide in the “Protectorate” ... 201
Resistance and Collaboration ... 204
Milena Jesenská ... 208

10 World War II and the Czechoslovak Exile, 1938–1945 ... 212
Familiar Exiles ... 213
Return to the Native? ... 216
The Czechoslovak Army-in-Exile in Poland ... 218
Svoboda’s Army ... 220
Liberation? ... 224

11 The Reconstitution of Czechoslovakia, the Third Republic, and the Rise of Communism, 1945–1948 ... 228
A Historical Opportunity? ... 230
Czechoslovakia’s Great Nation-Cleansing ... 233
The Pitter-Fierz Reports ... 238
The Romany Survivor Community ... 240
Making of a Communist State ... 242
A New Dictatorship ... 245

12 Czechoslovakia’s Jewish Survivor Community, 1945–1948 ... 249
A Demography of Survivors ... 251
Jewish Population Movements ... 253
Restitution and Riots ... 257
Organizations, Press, and Education ... 262
Crackdown ... 264
The Second Transfer Agreement ... 266
“Crossbreeds” ... 268
Closed Gates ... 270

13 Conclusions ... 274

Appendices ... 279
Appendix A: Terminology ... 279
Appendix B: Population Statistics of Czechoslovakia ... 289
Appendix C: Jewish Religious Movements in Czechoslovakia ... 291

Bibliography ... 292
Index ... 320

Readership

Anyone interested in the modern history of the Bohemian lands, Czechs, or Czechoslovakia, as well as anyone concerned with Jewish Central European history, or (history of) theory of nationalism.

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