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 society that was destroyed with the collapse of the Habsburg state at the end of the First World War in 1918. For Jews, as for Romanians, Ukrainians, Poles and Germans, the province has long occupied a privileged place in collective memory, nostalgically viewed as a society which provided unparalleled opportunity and security. This talk explores the myth and reality of Bukovina and its Jews, a 140-year long Habsburg experiment in national, cultural and religious diversity.