In the aftermath of World War I, the largely Hungarian-speaking Jews in Slovakia faced the challenge of reorienting their political loyalties from defeated Hungary to newly established Czechoslovakia. Rebekah Klein-Pejsova examines the challenges Slovak Jews faced as government officials, demographers, and police investigators continuously tested their loyalty. Focusing on "Jewish nationality" as a category of national identity, Klein-Pejsova shows how Jews recast themselves as loyal citizens of Czechoslovakia. Mapping Jewish Loyalties in Interwar Slovakia traces how the interwar state saw and understood minority loyalty and underscores how loyalty preceded identity in the redrawn map of east central Europe.
"After WW I, former Hungarian territory became part of the newly established state of Czechoslovakia. Jews who had lived under Hungarian rule faced the problem of status and identity in a new state... The overall picture the author presents is skillfully balanced by effective individualized treatments of individuals and events.... Recommended."* Choice *
"This book makes a crucial contribution to the question of minority loyalties in Central Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. It points to a dramatic divergence of the constructions of loyalties between the majority and minority populations."* Slovakia *
"Rebekah Klein-Pejsova's well-researched volume focuses on Slovakia between the two world wars, critically examining the position of Jews between the demise of Austria-Hungary and the proclamation of formally independent-but in reality, collaborationist-Slovakia."* Holocaust and Genocide Studies *
"Klein-Pejsova has contributed a succinct and sophisticated profile of an understudied community, one that can help us understand the impossible dynamic faced by all Jews who lived among multiple nationalities with competing national claims."* Slavic Review *
Rebekah Klein-Pejsova is Jewish Studies Assistant Professor of History at Purdue University.
Note on Place-Names and List of Place-Name Equivalents
Introduction: Seek the "Right Path": The Jews of Slovakia in Remapped Post-World War One East Central Europe
1. From Hungary to Czechoslovakia: Jewish Transition to the Consolidating Czechoslovak State
2. Nationality is an Internal Conviction: Jewish Nationality and Czechoslovak Statebuilding
3. Contested Loyalty: Proving Slovak Jewish Loyalty to Czechoslovakia
4. Between the Nationalities: Statist Slovak Jews, Separatist Slovaks, and the Revisionist Threat
Conclusion: Mapping Jewish Loyalties