Holocaust Memory, Jewish Life, and Generational Dimensions. Czechoslovakia in the 1980s

19 June 2018 - 5 PM

Peter Hallama (Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris)

This lecture will reconsider the growing interest in Jewish culture, religion, and history in the last decade of State Socialism in Czechoslovakia. It will focus on three aspects: generational conflicts within the Jewish community and the younger generation’s questioning of their families’ pasts and religiousness; the dissident appropriations of Jewish history and culture; and the beginning of nostalgia for “Mitteleuropa”, idealizing its cultural, national, and religious heterogeneity as opposed to the homogenizing tendencies of the Communist régime. One of the starting points of the analysis is the first meeting of the so-called « Terezín children » in September 1986 (see photo, taken from the film Terezín Diary).


Modern Jewish History Seminar

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 (capkova@usd.cas.cz).