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Scholar to Deconstruct Refugee Policy towards Jews in Austria-Hungary in First World War

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 29, 2014

(MAHWAH, NJ) –Dr. Rebekah Klein-Pejšová, assistant professor of history at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, will discuss “The World War One Jewish Refugee Crisis in Austria-Hungary” on November 11 at 1 p.m. in the Trustees Pavilion (PAV1). The Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies is a sponsor of the event.

Galician Jews by the thousands crossed the border into the Kingdom of Hungary as Russian troops advanced on the Eastern Front in September 1914. The influx of these Jews from historically Polish territory marked the beginning of a large-scale Jewish refugee crisis in Austria-Hungary. This group was a significant segment of the total population displaced by the First World War. Studies of the wartime Jewish refugee crisis in Austria-Hungary have typically focused on refugee migration into majors centers westward, such as the imperial capital of Vienna, or Bohemia’s provincial capital of Prague, and its relationship to the development of Jewish national politics and culture.

This lecture focuses on wartime Hungary and will examine the connection between citizenship and resource distribution. In addition, the lecture will look at local Hungarian Jewish community strategies of intervention with the administration on behalf of the refugees and the political, cultural, and regional diversity of Hungarian Jewry before 1918.

Rebekah Klein-Pejšová is the Jewish Studies assistant professor of history at Purdue University. She is the author of the forthcoming book “Mapping Jewish Loyalties in Interwar Slovakia.” Her recent publications include articles in Austrian History Yearbook, Shofar, and AJS Review. She presented work from her current “Across the Iron Curtain” project at the March 2014 “Holocaust in Hungary: 70 Years Later” conference at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and at the 2014 National Endowment for the Humanities Institute’s conference, “America’s East Central Europeans,” held at Columbia University. She is a contributor to the Europe on the Move, 1914-1918, a collaborative book project that explores the First World War refugee crisis.

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