Jewish “Homelessness”, Geopolitics, and Migration, 1905-1960
This research project consists of two parts. The first of these two sub-projects is an ongoing book project that deals with the history of the Jewish Territorialist Movement as both an expression of twentieth-century Jewish political behavior and as a product and reflection of larger geopolitical trends and discourses. As of 1905, the Jewish Territorialists searched for areas outside Palestine in which to create settlements of Jews. My study analyzes both Territorialist ideology and the place the movement occupied within a broader Jewish political and cultural narrative during the first half of the twentieth century. I also argue that Territorialism was relevant beyond a specifically Jewish historical analytical framework: Territorialist thought and discourse reflected several more general contemporary geopolitical trends and practices. The most notable of these trends was inspired by the international policymakers’ approach to peoplehood, territory and space, before, but also directly following the Second World War.
The post-war geopolitical dimensions of Territorialism and the larger Jewish political context in which the movement existed connect my first book project to my proposed follow-up project. In this work I argue that the Jewish Displaced Persons (DPs) in Austria directly and indirectly influenced the development of migration and refugee policies, discourses and ideology during the post-Second World War period. I will demonstrate this by analyzing the interactions between the Jewish DPs in Austria and Jewish welfare and lobby organizations, as well as between these organizations and the architects of postwar refugee policies. I make the case that Austrian DP history deserves attention in its own right, because of several unique features that set it apart from the history of Jewish DPs in Germany, with which the Austrian story has so far been conflated in scholarship on Displaced Persons.
Mihaly Kalman was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Jewish Studies at CEU. Arriving from Harvard University, Kalman wrote his dissertation on Jewish soldiers' organizations and paramilitaries during the Russian Civil War, and the transplantation of self-defense activists' experiences to Mandatory Palestine. Apart from a number of forthcoming articles on these topics, he has also published on the interwar debates around Hungarian-Jewish Olympians