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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute

Ostrava and its Jews: Central European History and the Holocaust in miniature Seminar

Reverend Dr James Parkes
2 May 2017
Lecture Theatre C, Avenue Campus SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email The Parkes Institute at .

Event details

Part of The Parkes Institute's Research Seminar Series for 2016/2017

Ostrava and its Jews: Central European History and the Holocaust in Miniature

The story of Ostrava and its Jews encapsulates in a small space (10 miles across) and a short time (ca 150years) a miniaturised history of Central Europe.  It covers industrialisation and massive economic growth, immigration and emigration, intolerance and tolerance, multi-culturalism and nationalism, high culture and social welfare, the Holocaust, communism and the diaspora.  The lecture will draw on family histories and eye-witness accounts, many unpublished, and will be illustrated.

Of the ca.10,000 Jews in Ostrava before the Second World War, fewer than 300 survived and returned.

The second theme of the talk will be how a classic academic research project transformed what was effectively a dead community into a live one in virtual and actual reality.

In conclusion, the meta-theme of the lecture is to ask how far the Ostrava story can provide lessons or guidance to 21st century political issues in the UK.

There will be time for questions and discussion, which will be welcomed.

Dr David Lawson at the Embassy of the Czech Republic
Dr David Lawson

Speaker information

Dr David Lawson , Kingston Ostrava Group. David Lawson is a management consultant specialising in strategy, commercial and organisational effectiveness, now retired. He is married with two married daughters and two grandsons. For the past 13 years, inspired by a sefer torah in his synagogue that came from Moravská Ostrava, David has been researching the history of Ostrava and its Jewish community in collaboration with the Jewish Museum in Prague. He has written and lectured widely on the subject. The book he has written on this subject, with Mgr Hana Šústková and Libuše Salomonovičová, will be published shortly.

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