The Jews of Bohemia and Moravia


The Jews of Bohemia and Moravia

Facing the Holocaust

Livia Rothkirchen

Comprehensive History of the Holocaust Series

464 pages


May 2012


$45.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Published by the University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, and Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

“We were both small nations whose existence could never be taken for granted,” Václav Havel said of the Czechs and the Jews of Israel in 1990, and indeed, the complex and intimate link between the fortunes of these two peoples is unique in European history. This book by one of the world’s leading authorities on the history of Czech and Slovak Jewry during the Nazi period is the first to thoroughly document this singular relationship and to trace its impact on the fate of the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia during the Holocaust.

Livia Rothkirchen provides a detailed and comprehensive history of how Nazi rule in the Czech lands was shaped as much by local culture and circumstances as by military policy. The extraordinary nature of the Czech Jews’ experience emerges in chapters on the role of the Jewish minority in Czech life; the crises of the Munich agreement and the German occupation; the reaction of the local population to the persecution of the Jews; the policies of the London-based government in exile; the question of Jewish resistance; and the Theresienstadt ghetto. The Jews of Bohemia and Moravia is based on a wealth of primary documents, many uncovered only after the 1989 November revolution, and includes an epilogue on the post-1945 period.

Author Bio

The historian Livia Rothkirchen has worked for the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem for more than twenty-five years. She is the author of The Destruction of Slovak Jewry and was awarded the Max Nordau Prize for history.


“The Jews of Bohemia and Moravia will certainly be inspiring for all readers with an interest in the history of the Jewish presence in the Czech lands. It has a highly detailed system of footnotes and a wide bibliography, allowing readers to find other publications and studies for the individual periods under description.”—Petr Bednarik, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

“An extensive bibliography and list of footnotes are included. Vivid and sobering, this book covers much ground. An essential addition to academic libraries with Holocaust collections.”—Hallie Cantor, Association of Jewish Libraries

Table of Contents

Prologue: Prague and Jerusalem: Spiritual Ties between Czechs and Jews
1 The Historical Setting
2 Years of Challenge and Growth: The Jewish Minority in Czechoslovakia (1919-38)
3 The Aftermath of Munich: The Crisis of the Intellectuals
4 Under German Occupation (1939-45)
5 The Protectorate Governments and the "Final Solution"
6 The Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile in London: Attitudes and Reactions to the Jewish Plight
7 Jews in the Czech Home Resistance
8 The "Righteous" and the Brave: Compassion and Solidarity with the Persecuted
9 Gateway to Death: The Unique Character of Ghetto Terezin (Theresienstadt)
10 The Spiritual Legacy of the Terezin Inmates
Epilogue: Between 1945 and the Velvet Revolution of 1989


2006 Outstanding Academic Book, sponsored by Choice magazine

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