321 East 73rd Street, 3rd Floor

New York City, NY 10021

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Masaryk, Czechoslovak Jews, and Liberal Democracy

talk 05 November, 2018 - 7:00 PM

[BBLA at Bohemian National Hall]


Lecture by Hillel J. Kieval, Goldstein Professor of Jewish History and Thought, Washington University in St. Louis. With the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the First Czechoslovak Republic, questions concerning the future of the democratic order in Europe and beyond abound. Do nationalist and populist movements pose a threat to democratic constitutions? What is “illiberal democracy?” Do victorious nationalisms inevitably oppress their minorities?


The Jewish experience in Czechoslovakia and the story of the often close, and sometimes contentious, relationship between Tomas G. Masaryk and Czech and Slovak Jews may shed light on these questions. Masaryk’s own life as a minority—several times over; his campaigns against myth and falsehood within Czech culture; his interest in the writings of the Jewish nationalist Ahad Ha’am; and his vision for a liberal democracy after 1918 give reason for hope.


BBLA at Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10021


This event is organized by the Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews, with support by BBLA, Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York and Consulate General of Slovakia in New York.

Bohemian Benevolent & Literary AssociationHospodaThe National Czech and Slovak MuseumAmerican Friends of the Czech RepublicCzech CenterConsulate General