[Jews in Czechoslovakia, 1939-1945] Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of an approximately 400-page manuscript on the experience of Jews in Czechoslovakia from 1933-1945. It seems to have been written by at least two authors, but none are known. Also included are a synopsis of the manuscript's contents and a few pieces of correspondence between Johann W. Brügel and Gary Cohen. Both Brügel and Cohen have written on the political and social history of Czechoslovakia, but the manuscript in the collection could not be attributed to either of them for certain.
- undated, 1978-1980
Language of Materials
The collection is in English, Czech, and German.
This collection is open to researchers.
Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.
Czechoslovakia was created in 1918 when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved; it united the territories of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia. The 1930 census records that over 350,000 Jews were living in Czechoslovakia at the time. In the Munich Pact of 1938, European leaders agreed to allow Hitler to annex Sudetenland, an area along the border of what was then Czechoslovakia. The Jewish population in this area was then subject to National Socialist laws denying them citizenship and basic human rights. In 1941, the Theresienstadt concentration camp was established. While some 26,000 Czechoslovak Jews were able to emigrate before 1941, most of those who remained were transported first to Theresienstadt and then to other concentration camps, where most then perished.
Johann Wolfgang Brügel was born on July 8, 1905 in what is today Hustopeče, Czech Republic (German: Auspitz), then part of the Habsburg empire. He worked in law, journalism, and public service, writing for Social Democratic newspapers, broadcasting on the radio, and eventually serving as a public official under the Social Democrat leader Ludwig Czech. Amid increasing tensions between ethnic Germans and Czechs in Prague, Brügel escaped to Paris, France in April 1938 and then to London, England. There, he worked as a journalist, translator, and interpreter, and starting in the 1950s, Brügel engaged in historical research and scholarship on the history of Czechoslovakia.1
Gary Cohen earned degrees in history from the University of Southern California (B.A. 1970) and Princeton University (M.A. 1972, Ph.D. 1975). He specializes in modern European social history, the history of Eastern Europe from 1740-1939, and the social and political history of Austria and Germany from 1790-1939. He has held positions at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
"The Holocaust in Bohemia and Moravia." The Holocaust Encyclopedia. Washington, DC: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013 from http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007323
Winters, Stanley B. "Eighty Eventful Years: J. W. Bruegel Looks Back and Ahead." East Central Europe 12.1 (1985): 51-58.
Cohen, Gary B. "Gary B. Cohen, Ph.D." Retrieved 4 February 2013 from http://www.tc.umn.edu/~gcohen/
- 1For a list of Johann W. Brügel's publications, see: Winters, Stanley B. "Publications of J. W. Bruegel, 1958-85." East Central Europe 12.1 (1985): 60-64.
0.25 Linear Feet
The bulk of this collection consists of an undated manuscript on the experience of Jews in Czechoslovakia from 1933-1945. The authors of the manuscript are unknown. Also included are a synopsis of the manuscript and a few pieces of correspondence between the historians Johann W. Brügel (1905-1986) and Gary Cohen.
The synopsis of the manuscript’s contents was placed first, followed by the manuscript itself and then the correspondence. Although the manuscript has been separated into smaller sections to ease storage and use, it remains in its original order, which closely follows handwritten numbers on each page.
Issues of the Jewish periodical from Prague Věstnik Židovské obce náboženské v Praze ranging from June 1946 - July 1949 were removed. This periodical can be accessed through the Wiener Library Periodicals at the Leo Baeck Institute as well as the YIVO Library Periodicals Collection.
The following two publications by Gary Cohen were removed from the collection. Both are available through the LBI Library (see Related Material):
- Cohen, Gary. The Prague Germans 1861-1914: The Problems of Ethnic Survival. Diss. Princeton University, 1975. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1976.
- Cohen, Gary. “Jews in German Society: Prague, 1860-1914.” Central European History, 10.1 (1977): 28-54.
Two annual reports (1970, 1971) from the Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews of New York, NY were removed to the Archives of the Society for the History of Czechoslovak Jews (AR 25443) at the LBI Archives
During processing, the title of the collection was changed from the Johann W. Brügel Collection to the [Jews in Czechoslovakia, 1939-1945] Collection because the manuscript written on the subject of Jews in Czechoslovakia from 1939-1945 comprises the vast majority of the collection, and the authors of the manuscript are unknown. Since the exact title of the manuscript is also unknown, the subject matter was placed in brackets in place of a title.
Materials were flattened and placed in acid-free archival folders. The approximately 400-page manuscript was divided into manageable sections for storage and access. The order of these sections follows the original order of the manuscript.
- Guide to the [Jews in Czechoslovakia 1939-1945] Collection undated, 1978-1980 AR 6600
- Processed by Leanora Lange
- © 2013
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Described and encoded as part of the CJH Holocaust Resource Initiative, made possible by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany.
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
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