Book presentation

Book presentation: Gregor Gatscher-Riedl “Von Habsburg zu Herzl. Jüdische Studentenkultur in Mitteleuropa 1848–1948”

Museum Dorotheergasse
© Kral Verlag
Until the first half of the last century, the couleur-bearing student with a ribbon and cap was considered the ideal-typical embodiment of academic life in German-speaking countries. However, the number of students who did not join any corporation at all times outweighed those who were organized in student societies. Against this backdrop, it is almost inevitable that Jewish national self-consciousness organized itself in student associations and laid claim to the university floor.
Franz Kafka, Egon (Erwin) Kisch, Theodor Herzl, Sigmund Freud, Paul Celan and Max Brod all were members of the one or the other student societies.
Gregor Gatscher-Riedl wants to point out a dynamic: While Jewish students, through their engagement, initially aimed to “become invisible” in the Habsburg multi-ethnic state, the self-perception as an ethnic group formed within the national movements of the second half of the 19th century, which Theodor Herzl’s mapped-out path to state independence adopted as its own. Around 300 student organizations at the secondary school and university level that existed in Austria and Hungary made a significant contribution to the Zionist awakening. They formed a networked milieu and an educational landscape, the buried remnants of which and the impact on the emergence of the State of Israel are now being traced.
Gregor Gatscher-Riedl, Mag. phil. Dr. phil., PhDr., MPA, was born in 1974 and studied history and political science in Vienna and Nitra (Slovakia). From 2000 to 2001 he worked at the Austrian Biographical Encyclopedia Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Since 2003 he has been the archivist for the town of Perchtoldsdorf. In 2011 he received the Theodor Körner Prize for the Promotion of Science and the Arts. He is the editor of the “Heimatkundliche Beilage zum Amtsblatt der Bezirkshauptmannschaft Mödling” and a columnist for the Mödling-Perchtoldsdorf edition of the “NÖ Nachrichten. He has authored numerous publications on regional history, most recently: “Wiener Feld, Niederösterreichische Kulturwege, Vol. 33,” St. Pölten: Niederösterreichisches Institut für Landeskunde, 2014.
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