“Sexual Liberation, Socialist Style. Gender, Sex, and Politics in Czechoslovakia, 1948-1989” by Katerina Liskova

Today, my history professor Anita Kurimay brought visiting guest speaker, and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, Katerina Liskova to our class to sit in on our discussion on how communist leaders, intellectuals, and everyday people responded to the suppression of reform movements in East Central Europe.

unnamedWe focused on anti-politics and ethics as a means for people to stop participating in public life away from Communist party scrutiny. People had stopped believing in “socialism with a human face” and instead turned to private life, religion, culture, moral issues, ethics, and anti-politics.

Katerina Liskova’s area of interest is in sexology, which involves aspects of both private and public life. Her opinion on anti-politics in East Central Europe was that it was sometimes difficult to separate private and public life when the Communist party was heavily invested in the reproductive health of their people as a reflection of the growth and strength of socialism.

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A Talk with Pete Stern, Holocaust Survivor

On Wednesday, my Topics in 20th Century European History: National Proj, Socialist Dream class, along with the Topics In German Cultural Studies: Remembered Violence class, had the opportunity to talk to Holocaust survivor Pete Stern. My history class had just wrapped up World War I, and we are currently learning about the interwar period and the rise of Nazism.

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I designed this GERMB223 poster

Mr. Stern was born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1936. His brother Samuel, born in 1939, was named Samuel because of the Nuremberg Laws, which required all Jewish children to be named after the Bible’s 1st Testament. His father was a well known auto mechanic, a detail which would greatly affect the family’s story. When his father’s auto mechanic place went out of business, he shifted to teaching auto mechanics to the Jewish school.

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