Oděsa česká a židovská: Mezi kosmopolitismem a nacionalismem
Czech and Jewish Odessa: between cosmopolitanism and nationalism
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The study is concerned with selected specific features of Odessa’s urban environment dating back to the end of 19th century. After a brief outline of the demographic development of the city, the study focuses on one marginal group, the local Czechs, and then on one dominant urban ethno-congregational group, the local Jewish community. Czechs living in Odessa are taken as an example of a group that is nationally conscious, but numerically non-distinctive one whose minority life was rather at the level of informal activities. In contrary, the Odessa „Jews“ can be described as one of the most remarkable components of the city’s population for the period under review, population that was at that time undergoing the process of internal identity differentiation. While the Czechs represented only a minor element in the context of the transnational environment of the city, the significance of the Jewish intellectual life far outstripped the local context of the Northern Black Sea. In this context, it can be said that the importance of the Odessa environment at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries is still not justly appreciated as a formative element in the ideological maturation and institutional formation of the Jewish modernity, especially the Jewish national movement.
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