From 1960s’ youth activism to post‐Communist reunions: generational community among Czech and Slovak Jewry
Using historical data, material from relevant Internet forums and websites, as well as personal experiences and observations, this article examines 12 Czech/Slovak Jewish reunions that have taken place since Communism collapsed and the country split into two separate states. Many of the participants have known each other since they were adolescents or young adults in the 1960s when, as part of their search for a Jewish identity, they joined several Jewish youth groups then in existence. The reunions have involved both those who emigrated (after the August 1968 Soviet invasion) and those who remained. They have entailed memorial journeys both in time and space. The reunions are analysed as case studies of autobiographical occasion, commemoration, reflective nostalgia and diasporic practice, addressing questions of identity, memory and group dynamics. Since the transnational generational community of Czech and Slovak Jews of the first post‐Holocaust generation is essentially a latent community based on shared experiences unique to that group, the reunions have played an important role in resurrecting the past, both historical and biographical. Neither the memory nor the strong emotion surrounding the generational experience can be successfully transmitted trans‐generationally. Thus, as the group members age and die off, this generational community is bound to disappear. In the meantime, however, it serves its current members rather well.
Link to article (paywalled), From 1960s’ youth activism to post‐Communist reunions: generational community among Czech and Slovak Jewry
From 1960s’ youth activism to post‐Communist reunions: generational community among Czech and Slovak Jewry. 2009: 265-288. https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1080/13501670903016357