Refugee Camps in Bohemia and Moravia during WWI

22 October 2019 - 5:30 PM

Alena Jindrová (Muzeum Vysočiny Havlíčkův Brod)

During WWI, refugees came mainly to the central parts of monarchy – Bohemia, Moravia and Austrian lands (Carinthia, Carniola, Lower Austria, Higher Austria). As the war broke out, the first camps were hastily built and transports of refugees were organized by the authorities. But many people fled their houses in chaos and were unable to support themselves. My research project focuses on the refugee camps in the Czech lands and the institutions that were in charge of refugees. So far, no summarizing study deals with the history of refugee camps in the area of the present Czech Republic, such as the large camps in Havlíčkův Brod, Choceň, Kyjov, Mikulov, Pohořelice, Moravská Třebová and Uherské Hradiště. Especially the history of the Moravian camps remains undocumented and we miss even basic a knowledge about when and how they were founded, built, and administrated, and for how many refugees they were intended. I also examine state attempts to control and support refugees and the organization of the aid. Baron Hirsch Fund, Israelitische Alliance in Wien and some regional societies played an important role in providing for the refugees. But in spite of efforts of government and activists, many difficulties remained: research project also focuses on the problematic aspects of the refugee relief, including the history of camps and fates of refugees towards the end of the war.

About

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. In the academic year 2019/2020 Michal Frankl is the primary organizer of the seminar. Your suggestions of speakers should be sent to frankl@mua.cas.cz.

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