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Michal Frankl

Research Fellow (10/2018–03/2019)


Citizens of No Man’s Land. Jewish Refugees and Erosion of Citizenship in East-Central Europe, 1935–1939


FRANKLThroughout 1938, a new territory rapidly formed along the borders of East-Central European states: a No Man’s Land for refugees. Smaller or larger groups of people were forced to camp alongside roads, on fields, in dilapidated buildings, between border posts, or in internment behind the lines. Starting with the exploration of this No Man’s Land, this project examines the development of restrictive refugee policies in East-Central Europe and analyses the shift towards ethnic citizenship in the second half of the 1930s. Specifically, it focuses on the prehistory, implementation, and consequences of four large-scale cases of expulsion of Jews that led to border closures and the adoption of harsher policies towards Jewish refugees in 1938 and the denaturalization of Jewish citizens. It seeks to provide a better understanding of the interplay between the marginalisation of Jewish non-citizens and refugees and the erosion of the citizenship status and rights of the remaining Jewish community.


Michal Frankl is a senior researcher at the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences and is a work package leader in the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure. He has published widely on the history of antisemitism, refugee policies, and the Holocaust in the Bohemian lands and East-Central Europe.

July 2024
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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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