Nationality conflicts and the rise of antisemitism in the Habsburg monarchy, Abstract by Michal Frankl
The paper analyses, mostly based on case studies from Bohemian Lands, the relationship between the nationality conflicts in the Hasburg monarchy and modern antisemitism. While often assumed in the studies into antisemitism, the connection between the nationality conflict and modern antisemitism is neither self-evident, nor is there a clear causal relationship between those phenomena. The discursive construction of the outside and the inner enemy often used different codes and symbolical languages, and followed other political goals.
For many researchers, the Habsburg Monarchy (and especially the Bohemian Lands) became a historical laboratory of the effects of modern nationalism. While much attention was devoted to the study of the national struggle at the “linguistic border”, tension surrounding children and school and the building up of the conflict in individual regions, the role of antisemitism in this context hasn’t been explored in its very complexity.
While starting from the difference between the discourses of modern antisemitism and of the nationality conflict, the paper suggests historiographic pathways to connect and integrate both perspectives, especially with view to the nationalist and antisemitic day-to-day practices which aimed to transform the society and exclude the alleged enemies of the nation.
Michal Frankl is the Deputy Director and the Head of the Department of Jewish Studies and of the History of Antisemitism in the Jewish Museum in Prague. His research interests include modern antisemitism, refugee policy, and the Holocaust. He was the co-editor of two volumes of the Theresienstädter Gedenkbücher and is the author of „Prag ist nunmehr antisemitisch“. Tschechischer Antisemitismus am Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts (Metropol: Berlin 2011), Unsichere Zuflucht. Die Tschechoslowakei und ihre Flüchtlinge aus NS-Deutschland und Österreich 1933-1938 (Böhlau: Köln 2012; with Kateřina Čapková), edited Jan Neruda a Židé. Texty a kontexty [Jan Neruda and the Jews. Texts and contexts] (Akropolis: Praha 2012, with Jindřich Toman) and of numerous articles. He has extensive experience with educational projects and with digitisation of archival documents and their publication online and serves as the leader of the work package „New views on digital archives“ in the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure. Currently, he is a visiting fellow at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
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