The Social Vision of Bohemian Jews

Hillel J. Kieval

in Languages of Community

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780520214101
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520921160 | DOI:
The Social Vision of Bohemian Jews

Show Summary Details


This chapter describes the predicament of secular Jewish intellectuals—graduates for the most part of German-Jewish Normalschulen—who in the 1830s and 1840s imagined themselves to be participating in what they presumed to be a shared project in the construction of a “Bohemian” identity, which united German speakers and Czech speakers, Jews and Gentiles. It explains that their confrontation with anti-Jewish popular unrest in the 1840s, as well as with the unwillingness of a segment of the new Czech intelligentsia to entertain an alliance with Jews, led the bulk of upwardly mobile Bohemian Jews to “narrow” their vision of community by tying their fortunes to German liberalism—in effect crystalizing what had been a by-product of absolutist reform into both a political commitment and a cultural identity that would last well into the 1860s and beyond.

Keywords: secular; Jewish intellectuals; German-Jewish Normalschulen; Bohemian identity; Gentiles; absolutist reform

Chapter.  12704 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.