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History, Memory, and Politics: Central Europe and Israel

Class at Faculty of Social Sciences |


Lecturer:Dr. Joanna Dyduch, Dr. Irena Kalhousová, Dr. Daniel Mahla


Classes: Tuesdays 15:30 – 17:00

Room: via Zoom:

Reading and Online Assignments in Moodle.

Moodle Link:

Important Dates and Deadlines

● First Class: February 27, 2024

● Reading Quiz: April 12, 2024, 21:00 Israel time/22:00 CET

● Last Class: May 21, 2024

● Research Posters Due: May 30, 2024

Course Description:

This collaborative course is offered jointly by Charles, Haifa, and Jagellonian Universities. The students will have a change to meet online colleagues from three universities. Throughout the semester, lectures will be conducted online via Zoom.

The course undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the foreign policy orientations of Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic vis-à-vis Israel.

In the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust, the Federal Republic of Germany accorded paramount significance to its relations with the Jewish State. Conversely, the German Democratic Republic severed diplomatic ties with Israel following the Six-Day War in 1967. The post-1990 era witnessed a pivotal transformation, as relations with Israel assumed critical importance within the context of a unified Germany. Following the regime change in 1989, the Czech Republic and Poland, in particular, strategically deemed their relations with Israel as consequential, frequently characterizing them as 'special relationships.' Noteworthy is their active advocacy of a pro-Israel stance within prominent international organizations such as the EU and the UN. Remarkably, this stance raises intriguing considerations, given that the Middle East does not represent a primary focus for these Central European nations. They neither bear the historical burden of a Middle-Eastern colonial past nor deem the Middle East economically or strategically imperative.

This course invites exploration into the historical underpinnings of the pro-Israeli postures adopted by these three nations, with a distinct emphasis on the role of the politics of memory in shaping foreign policy. Additionally, the course scrutinizes the evolution of diplomatic relations with Israel over the past three decades.