The best places for Jews after 1867 were Budapest and Vienna. 1867 was the year Jews were given equal rights in Austro-Hungary as Christians had. The 1918 defeat of the Empire in World War I, and its subsequent dismemberment, impacted negatively upon the Jewish population. The new republics, Austria and Hungary, suffered from political conflicts after the war and rightist (fascist) governments were established.
On the other hand, the Hungarian city Pozsony (Pressburg in German) became part of democratic Czechoslovakia, and was named Bratislava. There the flourishing of emancipated Jews endured until 1938 when Czechoslovakia was dismembered.
This picture book is dedicated to accomplishments by the city’s Jewish community in architecture, the visual arts, literature, science, medicine, sports, commerce etc. Images of the professionals and their work or their businesses are shown. Their brief life stories commonly end with the words “perished in the Holocaust”. Others were dispersed or imprisoned after the 1948 communist putsch in Czechoslovakia or the 1968 Soviet invasion of the country. Hence, the book is a unique resource describing Jewish professional achievements, and symbolizes a memorial for the Jewish population of Bratislava.
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