Modern Jewish History Seminar 2015

Organized by Institute of Contemporary History (Czech Academy of Sciences), CEFRES and the Prague Center for Jewish Studies at the Charles University

Sessions About

Host Desecration Legends in Czech Medieval Literature: Violence against Judaism, Polemic against Hussitism

4 February 2015 - 5 PM

Daniel Soukup (Palacký University, Olomouc and ÚČL, AV ČR)

The paper focuses on the group of medieval texts related to the cases of the Host desecration accusation in the Czech lands and surrounding regions. In the 15th century the narrative of Jews torturing Eucharist functioned...


“Why Go Be a Beggar in a Foreign Land?” Local Identity in Bohemian Jewish Literary Sources from the 1830-1840s

3 March 2015 - 5 PM

Jindřich Toman (University of Michigan)

In 1828 the young poet L. A. Frankl (1810-1894) left his small Bohemian birthplace, Chrast, and moved to Vienna, where he published a collection entitled Das Habsburglied (1832), essentially a set of eulogies to the ruling...


Myth, Politics and Empire: The Jews of Habsburg Bukovina

1 April 2015 - 5 PM

David Rechter (Oxford University)

Bukovina was ‘created’ in the 1770s, along with Galicia, as part of the Habsburg Monarchy's eastward expansion. At the eastern edge of empire, geography, culture and politics combined to fashion a unique multinational...


Makeshift Economies: On Hunger, Shortage and Supply During World War II

6 May 2015 - 5 PM

Tatjana Tönsmeyer (Bergische Universität, Wuppertal)

Wars – both past and present – go hand in hand with the interruption of economic life. This is especially true of the Second World War, since the German occupiers pursued a rigid policy of exploitation and categorised...


Assets and Liabilities: Synagogues and Cemeteries in the Communist Czech Lands

3 June 2015 - 5 PM

Jacob Labendz (Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung, Berlin)

The postwar Jewish communities in the Czech lands came into the possession of hundreds of cemeteries and former synagogue buildings. Caring for them and determining their fates demanded tremendous attention from Jewish leaders,...



English Česky

The seminar is intended to provide a platform for academic discussion about the latest research on Jewish history especially of the last three centuries. Though primarily focused on the Jews of central and east central Europe, the seminar also includes topics related to the Jews of other regions. The seminar is further enriched by including topics not directly concerned with Jews, but enabling one to see Jewish history from other perspectives (for instance, the perspective of other marginalized communities).

Despite our preference for the methods of historical research, the organizers welcome multidisciplinary approaches to the topics, including those of sociology, political science, religious studies, and art history.

The seminar is held in the library of CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1 always at 5:30 p.m. The language of the seminar is English. The seminar is organized by Kateřina Čapková and Michal Frankl. Since 2018/2019 the seminar is included into the MA program of the Prague Center for Jewish Studies at the Charles University. Due to Michal Frankl’s stay abroad this academic year, all the questions and suggestions should be sent to Kateřina Čapková (

The colloquia are held in the library of CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1.