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

A lecture by Peter Hallama (EHESS, Paris) in the frame of the seminar on Modern Jewish History of the Institute of Contemporary History (AV ČR) and CEFRES in partnership with the Masaryk Institute (AV ČR).

Where: CEFRES library, Na Florenci 3, 110 00 Prague 1
When: from 5 pm to 6:30 pm
Language: English


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”, as opposed to the homogenizing tendencies of the Communist régime to an ideal of cultural, national, and religious heterogeneity. This lecture will therefore discuss some of the principal ways that Czech Jews and non-Jews re-defined Jewishness, and will seek to avoid a normative assessment of “virtual” Jewish identity as opposed to “authentic.”