LECTURE SERIES on Nationalism in the Lands of the Habsburg Monarchy: The Challenge to Jewish Identity 1

Presented by Society for History of Czechoslovak Jews

Thursday, FEBRUARY 10, 2011 at 7.00 pm – Lecture 1

Hillel Kieval“Imperial Embraces and Local Challenges:
The Politics of Jewish Identity in Bohemia, 1867-1914”

Hillel Kieval, Washington University in St. Louis
When Jan Neruda’s Pro strach židovský (For Fear of the Jews) appeared in book form in 1870, his publisher Eduard Grégr-in language that would be picked up over and again-referred ominously to the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia as “our fiercest enemies.” Were Jews the enemies of Czech nationalism? Did they champion German cultural and political hegemony in the Bohemian lands?  What role did Austrian imperial policies play in structuring Jewish identities? And how did Jews come to express their own sense of self over the course of the 19th and early 20th century?

Taking up themes first addressed in The Making of Czech Jewry, Hillel Kieval revisits the position of Jews in the Czech and German national conflict, their identification with Austria and the Habsburg dynasty, and their changing attitudes toward the question of national belonging.

Hillel Kieval is the Gloria M. Goldstein Professor of Jewish History and Thought at Washington University in St. Louis and is the author of Languages of Community: The Jewish Experience in the Czech Lands (University of California Press, 2000) and of The Making of Czech Jewry: National Conflict and Jewish Society in Bohemia, 1870-1918 (Oxford University Press,1988).

The event takes place at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York, NY.