Conference: Community and Exclusion. Collective Violence in the Multiethnic (East) Central European Societies before and after the Holocaust (1848–1948)

Datum konání: 
25. 9. 2016, 0:00 to 27. 9. 2016, 0:00

community-and-exclusion.jpg?itok=-Ap6Ue1d Organizers: Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Ines Koeltzsch, Vratislav Doubek) and the Prague Centre for Jewish Studies, Charles University (Pavel Sládek)


Conference Scholarly Board: Péter Arpor (HAS RCH Institute of History, Budapest), Michal Frankl (Jewish Museum Prague), Grzegorz Krzywiec (Instytut Historii im. Tadeusza Manteuffla PAN, Warsaw), Rudolf Kučera (MÚA AV ČR, Prague), Miloslav Szabó (HÚ SAV, Bratislava).


Prague, September 25 – 27, 2016, Villa Lanna and Hrzánský palác


Physical violence has become a key topic of the historiography of the multiethnic societies in (East) Central Europe in the transition from the imperial to the nation-state order since at least the past two decades. Scholars have pointed out that violence is an inherent part of the conflict in interethnic and interreligious relationships, although violence was not always first marked by ethnic conflicts, but rather social ones, as the example of the food riots in Cisleithania during World War I has shown. To understand the historic region of (East) Central Europe and its cultural, social, and economic plurality it is therefore necessary to apply various concepts of violence, developed partially for Western and Eastern European societies. Researchers on anti-Jewish violence in l9th and early 20th century Germany have suggested the concept of “exclusionary violence” to analyze anti-Jewish riots, which differed from the pogroms in Russia in the absence of the intention to kill the victims. According to Werner Bergmann, Christhard Hoffmann, and Helmut Walser Smith, all forms of “exclusionary violence” share a common notion of the minority group(s) as a collective threat, the asymmetry of power between the rioters and the victims, the rioters’ low level of organization, and the relative absence of state power in times of crisis. In this definition, the pogroms are a specific, but not the only, form of exclusionary ethnic violence that enables one to identify the often fluid boundaries between ethnic riots and pogroms in (East) Central Europe.

Despite these achievements of the historiography on collective violence in modern (East) Central Europe, it seems that different research milieus still remain separate from one another. For this reason, the annual conference of the Centre for Jewish studies in Prague in cooperation with the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences aims to bring together scholars working on collective violence in (East) Central Europe, including anti-Jewish violence, and violence against Roma and other minorities. What do the various forms of exclusionary violence in (East) Central Europe in the period between empire and nation-states, and in the aftermath of the Holocaust when the nation states were reconstructed, have in common? Which discourses, patterns, and rituals did they follow? How did exclusionary violence transform these communities, and how was this violence narrated and remembered afterwards?

When looking at various forms of collective violence it becomes clear that non-genocidal violence – in contrast to the Holocaust – did not mean the end of culturally mixed neighborhoods, but played a major role in the (re)construction of communities, and fundamentally transformed the multiethnic societies from a long-term perspective.


Sunday, September 25

Venue: Vila Lanna, V Sadech 1

15:00–16:00 Registration and Welcome Coffee

16:00–16:30 Introduction (Ines Koeltzsch, Pavel Sládek)

16:30–18.00 Panel I: Anti-Jewish Violence in the 19th Century (and Beyond)

Chair: Werner Bergmann (Berlin)

  • Miloslav Szabó (Bratislava): Topographies of Exclusion – Anti-Jewish Violence in Pressburg/Pozsony/Bratislava (1848–1948)
  • Daniel Véri (Budapest): Musical Patterns of Violence: The Long Shadow of the Tiszaeszlár Blood Libel
  • Darius Staliunas (Vilnius): Anti-Jewish Pogroms and Polish-Lithuanian Conflicts on Language in Churches: A Comparison of two Cases of Collective Violence

18:00–18:15 Break

18:15–19:15 Keynote Lecture (I)

Chair: Pavel Sládek (Prague)

  • David Engel (New York): Thinking about Interethnic Violence in Historical Context

19:15 Reception

Monday, September 26

Venue: Hrzánský palác, Loretánská ulice 9/177

9.30–10.30 Keynote Lecture (II)

  • Werner Bergmann (Berlin): “Out with the Jews!” Exclusionary Violence in 19th Century Europe - Some Theoretical Considerations

10.30–11.00 Coffee Break

11:00–12:30 Panel II: After Violence

Chair: Kateřina Čapková (Prague)

  • Sławomir Kapralski (Cracow/Uppsala): Exclusionary/Structural Anti-Roma Violence in (East) Central Europe and Its Post-Holocaust Consequences for Roma Communities
  • Éva Kovács (Vienna): Parallel Reading. Narratives of Violence
  • Monika Vrzgulová (Bratislava): Liberation and Return Home – Stories with a Happy End?

12:30–14:00 Lunch Break

14:00–15:30 Panel III: Anti-Jewish Violence during World War I and in the Aftermath

Chair: Rudolf Kučera (Prague)

  • Michal Frankl (Prague): Moral Economy of Exclusionary Violence? Pilsen 1917
  • Emily R. Gioielli (Williamsburg/Virginia): ‘Brother Save Us!’: the JDC and anti-Jewish Violence in Post-World War I Hungary
  • Bödők Gergely (Budapest): Violence against Jews during the Hungarian Red and White Terror

15:30–16:00 Coffee Break

16:00–17:30 Panel IV: Ethnic Violence in Interwar Central Europe

Chair: Ines Koeltzsch (Prague)

  • Pavel Baloun (Prague): Included through Exclusion: Discourses on “Gypsies” in Interwar Czechoslovakia and the Case of Anti-Gypsy Violence in Pobedim 1928
  • Natalia Aleksiun (New York): Crossing the Line: Violence against Jewish Women and the New Model of Antisemitism in Interwar Poland
  • Izabela Mrzygłód (Warsaw): Violence and Discipline at two Central European Universities in the 1930’s

19:00 Dinner

Tuesday, September 27

Venue: Hrzánský palác, Loretánská ulice 9/177

9:00–11:00 Panel V: Radicalization and Paramilitary Violence in Interwar Central Europe

Chair: Michal Frankl (Prague)

  • Gábor Egry (Budapest): Armed Peasants, Violent Intellectuals and Political Guards. Trajectories of Violence in a Failing Nation State, Romania 1918–1940
  • Grzegorz Krzywiec (Warsaw): “Przytyk as a heart of Poland”: Rethinking of anti-Jewish Violence in mid-1930s Poland
  • Istvan Pál Ádám (Prague): Anti-Jewish Episodes from the Life of a Hungarian Interwar Militia: the Rongyos Gárda
  • Jaromír Mrňka (Prague): Swept away by a Rage of the People. Public Acts of Collective Violence in the Czech Lands 1938-1948

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30–13:00 Panel VI: Anti-Jewish Violence after the Holocaust

Chair: Natalia Alekisun (New York)

  • Péter Apor (Budapest): Workers, Jews and Rites of Violence: Anti-Jewish Atrocities Against Jews in Provincial Hungary in 1946
  • Ivica Bumová/Michala Lônčíková (Bratislava): Anti-Jewish Violence in Slovakia in 1945. A Comparison
  • Valentin Săndulescu (Bucharest): “Like coals under ashes, ready to scorch the earth once more”: Notes Regarding Anti-Jewish Attitudes in Romania (1944–1947)

13:00–14:00 Lunch

14:00–15:00 Roundtable

Chair: Grzegorz Krzywiec (Warsaw)

Natalia Aleksiun – Péter Apor – Werner Bergmann – David Engel – Michal Frankl – Sławomir Kapralski

15:00 Farewell Coffee


visegrad_fund_logo_blue.jpg?itok=coKEsZRAThe conference is generously supported by Visegrad Fund

and is held under the auspices of

the Minister of the Czech Republic´s Government for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Office of the Government, Jiří Dienstbier


Conference Registration until September 19, 2016:


Poster (pdf)

Conference Schedule (pdf)

Call for Papers (pdf)