Central European Jews ‘key to formation of European identity’

The idea of a European identity developed by Jewish intellectuals in Central Europe up until the 1930s was an important factor in the eventual setting up of the European Union, according to research.

A study by academics in the United Kingdom and United States has suggested that intellectuals from the Jewish community who met in the coffee houses of Prague, Vienna, Berlin and other major cities were among the first people who considered their identity European, rather than national or ethnic.

According to Dr Cathy Gelbin from the University of Manchester, who co-authored the study with Professor Sander Gilman from EmoryUniversity in Atlanta, United States, these German-speaking Jews “had a powerful impact on the thinking which spawned post-1945 European unity, especially the EU.”

For the full story, please visit The Prague Post.

(Photo, of the old Jewish cemetery in Prague: postdlf)