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Českožidovské Listy


Organ of the Czech Jewish movement. The first issue of Českožidovské listy (Czech Jewish Press) was published in 1894 under the editorship of Moric Schönbaum, who was succeeded by Jakub Scharf in 1896. The impulse for creating the journal came from the Národní Jednota Českožidovská (National Czech Jewish Union), which was founded in 1893.

In contrast to Českožidovský kalendář (Czech Jewish Almanac), which focused on the literary achievements of the Czech Jewish movement and managed to cooperate with the Czech gentile cultural elite, the aim of the fortnightly Českožidovské listy was to discuss political issues. In its first years of publication, its contents mainly consisted of news from different Czech Jewish associations. The introductory articles, written by the chief editor, focused for the most part on the need to use the Czech language in synagogues and Jewish schools, and included polemical debates with German Jews, Zionists, and Czech antisemites. Beginning in 1897, the journal contained a literary supplement called “Belletristická příloha” (Belletristic Supplement).

The journal remains an important source for studying the rise of antisemitism in Czech society between 1897 and 1899, as well as for documenting the negative effect it had on the Czech Jewish movement. From 1904 on, the journal was a platform for discussions between the older and more nationalistic Czech Jews and the so-called progressive generation, who had a more critical and self-confident attitude about the role of Jews in national politics.

In 1904, the leader of the progressive Czech Jews, Viktor Vohryzek, founded his own journal, Rozvoj (Progress), in Pardubice. In June 1907, Českožidovské listy merged with Rozvoj. Viktor Teytz became the chief editor of the journal, and the editorial offices moved from Pardubice to Prague.