Bohemia 41 (2000), 1

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Bohemia 41 (2000), 1
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München 2000: Oldenbourg Verlag
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Bohemia. Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Kultur der böhmischen Länder
Dr. Stephanie Weiss, Collegium Carolinum e.V., Hochstr. 8, 81669 München
Jaroschka, Gabriele



Hugh Le Caine Agnew
Ambiguities of Ritual: Dynastic Loyalty, Territorial Patriotism and Nationalism in the Last Three Royal Coronations in Bohemia 1791-1836
This article analyzes the symbolic importance and contested meanings of the coronations of Leopold II (1791), Francis II (1792) and Ferdinand (1836), to Czechs as well as to the Habsburg state. Why would the Habsburgs and the Bohemian Estates take the trouble and expense to stage these rituals, and why would Czech patriots hail them as national festivals? The political ritual of coronation did not function purely as a conservative force, legitimizing existing power relations. Thanks to the ambiguities of ritual it was possible for participants to see different, even contesting meanings in a ceremony they all agreed was significant. The dynasty, the Kingdom of Bohemia, and the Czech nation could all be celebrated in one act depending on whether it was viewed from the perspective of the ruler, the Estates, or the national patriots. The aspects of the coronation that emphasized Bohemia's unique status, especially the ritual use of the Czech language, were important to the nascent patriots, and provided common ground between their attitudes and those of the Bohemian Estates. Over time, even the popular festivals surrounding the coronations shifted meanings, as the image of the "happy, contented peasant" gave way to a representation of Bohemia by its common people with their distinct ways. Francis Joseph's refusal to be crowned King of Bohemia only increased the significance of the Crown of St. Václav as a symbol of Czech statehood, a function which it still fulfills today.

Stanley B. Winters
”Tactical Opportunism”: Karel Kramářs Adaption of Palackýs Concept of the Bohemian "Staatsrecht"
František Palacký’s ideas of Austroslavism, empire reform, and the Bohemian Staatsrecht were propagated in Czech political thought and practice from the 1890s until 1914 by the Young Czech politician Karel Kramář. Kramář’s concept of the Staatsrecht was shaped by Palacký’s essay Idea státu rakouského and his own archival research. Kramář used ”tactical opportunism” to adapt Palacký’s ideas of federalism, equal nationality rights, and a restructured Austria to conditions in Bohemia and Austria at the turn of the century. This required a Czech retreat from the demand for the full and immediate recognition of the validity of the Staatsrecht by the regime in Vienna. It coincided with the accommodationist "positive policy" that had been evolving in the Young Czech Party’s program when Kramář rose to leadership. Kramář was strongly influenced by Palacký but not a blind disciple. Like Palacký, he accepted the Czech and Slav need for Austria to exist, but only so long as it offered free, equal. and democratic opportunities to its Slav majority and recognized the historic rights of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown.

Andreas Wolf
The Egerland in the Czechoslovak Context
Among the regions of the 1st Czechoslovak Republic with a significant German population, Eger (Cheb) was the one where for decades hope for unification with nearby Germany was always present. For this potentially irredentist attitude neither the closeness of the frontier nor the insensitive approach of the Czechoslovak administration, the worldwide economic crisis or the rise of Hitler do offer sufficient explanations. Historic events, handed down for ages and conceived as a continuous chain of actions, might, however, have created and passed on to subsequent generations a collective identity which took effect in the guise of political action. That the Egerland, with the Imperial City of Eger at ist centre, was mortgaged in the Middle Ages, with independence from the Bohemian Crown being laid down in the charter, represents an identity-shaping factor which serves, to this very day, as collective perception of history for a community professing traditional affiliation to the Egerland. When a collective, "Sudeten German" identity developed, this "mortgage theory", in explicit juxtaposition to the conflicting Czech "constitutional law" concept, was supplemented by further strands of tradition.

Rike Reiniger
Miracles Today and Every Day
In this contribution, the author illustrates several lines of development of Czech puppet theatre. On one hand, she sketches a tradition of the travelling puppet theatre, starting from its baroque origins. A tradition which, in the context of "national rebirth", was perceived as having an important political and cultural mission. On the other hand, she stresses the importance of individual teacher/puppeteers and amateurs experimenting with educational and artistic approaches. Both lines of tradition are also present in the context of German-, Polish- and Hebrew-language puppet theatre in the Bohemian lands and in Czechoslovakia. The performances of Josef Skupa, however, derive their unmatched individuality from a combination of traditional elements and the innovative, experimental approach of the amateur movement and especially some elements borrowed from cabaret and burlesque. Since the early 20th century, there has been a multitude of institutions which provide an organizational framework for every aspect of puppet theatre culture and thus make it possible to discuss puppet theatre as a contemporary aspect of cultural life.


Karel Hruza
Not a Magnificent
The present article is a critical review of the monograph "The Magnificent Ride. The First Reformation in Hussite Bohemia" (1998) by Thomas A. Fudge. This exhaustive synthesis of Bohemian reformation and Hussite revolution is an ambitious undertaking, its chapters ranging from "Bohemia on the Eve of the Hussite Movement" to the changes that this movement brought about. How Fudge deals with sources and with literature, however, does not always represent current scientific standards. As a result, the whole book is marred by (too many) deficiencies relating to the presentation of facts, to quotations and to the scientific apparatus. The chapters pertaining to structural and intellectual history, albeit raising some intriguing questions and offering new approaches, among them communication science and literacy research, are not entirely convincing either. Moreover, the language is not as clear and to the point as it could be. Summing up, this book is neither a convincing synthesis of contemporary research nor a compelling presentation of individual aspects of the Hussite revolution.

Josef Polisenský
The Czech-German Question with Hindsight
Examining his own biography and those of several members of his family, Josef Políšenský makes it plain that national utraquism and bilingualism were no exception in the Bohemian lands and in Moravia even as late as the interwar period. And when individuals did profess affiliation to one of the two national groups, this was often accidental, resulting from biographic coincidence, and not always was it bound to last a lifetime. The dictatorships under which the Czech society lived from 1938/39 onwards installed national socialism as an instrument of power, the result being a forced separation of Czechs and Germans. In private and in small groups, among historians for instance, national tolerance survived and contacts between the two peoples could be maintained. In very personal reminiscences of these contacts, Políšenský advocates a return to the traditional Czech-German fellowship – devoid of political calculation – which was frequently found in the Bohemian lands before the "national age".

Andreas Ströhl
Homage for Vilém Flusser
Vilém Flusser, born in Prague in 1920, is known above all for his contributions to the theory of mass media. The article briefly sketches his biography and his most important works. Bereft of his Prague world and of his relatives, the Jewish student of philosophy experiences his flight to Brazil, in 1940, as a fall into an abyss. He commits himself to Brazilian culture, becomes professor of philosophy at Sao Paulo and publishes books and philosophic sketches, first in Brazil and then in Germany. In philosophic "scenes" he develops his theory of a sea change just taking place, from history as a product of literacy to post-history characterised by algorithms and technical charts. He attempts to counteract the threat posed by powerful device-operator complexes with dialogue which is to bring about a sense of purpose. In 1972, he goes to France. In 1983, his book "For a philosophy of photography" establishes his reputation as a leading proponent of the philosophy of communications. In 1991, he travels to Prague, his home town, where he delivers a lecture at the Goethe-Institut. On the way back, he is killed in an accident.


Robert Luft
Tätigkeitsbericht des Collegium Carolinum
Robert Luft
Die 7. deutsch-tschechische Schulbuchkonferenz
Sarah Scholl
Das Bohemicum Regensburg
Vít Smetana
Zehn Jahre "Samtene Revolution"
Heidrun Dolezel
Religion und Gesellschaft in den Böhmischen Ländern
Peter Bugge
1999 National Convention. American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
Doris Boden
Tatjana Tönsmeyer
Workshop "Osteuropa-Konstruktionen"
Jaroslav Šebek
Präsentation der Arbeiten des Historischen Instituts der Tschechischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Annett Steinführer
Stadt und Öffentlichkeit. in Ostmitteleuropa
Cornelia Neubert
Das 4. Münchener Bohemisten-Treffen
K. Erik Franzen
Nationalsozialistische Herrschaftssysteme im Reichsgau Sudetenland, im Protektorat und in der Slowakei
Stephanie Weiss
Der Weg der jungen Demokratien nach Europa: Revolution – Transformation – Integration
Christiane Brenner
Die Industriearbeiterschaft in der Tschechoslowakei, der DDR und in Polen 1945-1990
Robert Luft
Widerstreitende Historiographien

Neue Literatur

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