Michal Frankl Lectures on Jewish Refugees on the Borders of East-Central Europe, 1938

Dr. Michal Frankl, the 2016 Sorrell and Lorraine Chesin / JDC Archives Fellow, gave a public presentation entitled, “No Man’s Land: Jewish Refugees on the Borders of East-Central Europe in 1938.” Throughout that year, a new territory rapidly appeared along the borders of East-Central European states: the No Man’s Land, where unwanted Jewish refugees and expellees were trapped. These Jews were forced to camp alongside roads, in the fields, in dilapidated buildings, between border posts, or they were interned behind wires. Frankl presented new perspectives on the large-scale expulsions of Jews, reactions of states in the region, and the introduction of ethnic categorization of refugees. It explored the meanings of the No Man’s Land, from a physical space between the lines to a figurative one amounting to revocation of rights and citizenship.

Dr. Michal Frankl is a Researcher at the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences. He used his fellowship toward his research on citizens of the No Man’s Land and the transformation of Jewish citizenship in East-Central Europe in 1935-1939, and on the role of Jewish aid organizations.

The JDC Archives Fellowships allow scholars engaged in graduate level, post-doctoral, or independent study to conduct research in the JDC Archives, either in New York or Jerusalem. All fellows give a public presentation on their research; watch more of these JDC fellowship lectures here.