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Franz Kafka's Trial and the Antisemitic Trials of His Time

  • 105 S State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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Franz Kafka's Trial and the Antisemitic Trials of His Time with Guest Speaker Michael Löwy

Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial (1915) is open to many interpretations. One aspect which has not been taken sufficiently into account is it’s relation to the antisemitic trials of his times, where Jews were accused of treason or “ritual murder” : the trials of Tisza (Hungary, 1882), Dreyfus (France, 1894-1899), Hilsner (Czechoslovaquia, 1899-1900) and Beiliss (Russia 1912-13). Kafka knew about them and made comments in his correspondence or diaries. This “Jewish moment” is essential for the understanding of the novel. However, Joseph K. has no religious or ethnic identity: Kafka discovers in the Jewish experience the quintessential human experience of Injustice.

The University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts greatly values inclusion and access for all. We are pleased to provide reasonable accommodations to enable full participation in this event. Please contact js-event-coord@umich.edu to request disability accommodations or with any questions/concerns. Please provide advance notice to ensure sufficient time to meet requested accommodations.

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