The Politics of Disability in Interwar and Socialist Czechoslovakia
The Politics of Disability in Interwar and Socialist Czechoslovakia
Segregating in the Name of the Nation
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Acknowledgements List of archives and used abbreviations List of illustrations Introduction: The Politics of Disability: Structure and Agency in nation building in Czechoslovakia (Victoria Shmidt) Part 1 Building the Czechoslovak nation and sacralizing peoples' health: The vicissitudes of disability discourse during the interwar period Chapter 1 Establishing national public health in interwar Czechoslovakia: Contexts and contests (Karel Pancocha and Victoria Shmidt) Chapter 2 The discourse of disability: A Noah's ark for the new Nation? (Karel Pancocha and Victoria Shmidt) Chapter 3 Politics concerning the Roma during the interwar period: therapeutic punishment vs. benevolent paternalism (Victoria Shmidt) Part 2 Post-war institutionalization of care for the disabled: Towards a universalized discourse of "defective Gypsies" Chapter 4 Special education in Czechoslovakia between 1939 and 1989: Towards multilevel hierarchy of defectivity (Frank Henchel and Victoria Shmidt) Chapter 5 The Intersectionality of Disability and Race in Public and Professional Discourses about the Roma in socialist czechoslovakia: between Propaganda and race Science (Victoria Shmidt) Chapter 6 The forced sterilization of Roma women between the 1970's and 1980's: Ultimately eugenic socialism (Victoria Shmidt) Conclusions: On the way from the knowledge about the violent past to its acknowledgement (Karel Pancocha and Victoria Shmidt) Bibliography Index

Reviews and Features

"Die Stärke der Studie liegt darin, dass sie Phänomene zusammendenkt, die in der Regel getrennt betrachtet werden. Indem sie die Politik gegenüber Behinderten und gegenüber Roma wie zwei Folien übereinander schiebt und darüber hinaus die Gleichzeitigkeit unter-schiedlicher Einflüsse in den Blick nimmt, gelingt ihr eine überzeugende Darlegung, die auch jenseits der engeren Fragestellung wichtige Erkenntnisse zur Sonderschulerziehung, zur Politik gegenüber den Roma und zum eugenischen Diskurs bietet. Das Wagnis aus der Sozialwissenschaft heraus eine historische Studie zu verfassen, hat sich gelohnt; herausge-kommen ist ein gut recherchiertes und empfehlenswertes Werk!"
- Natali Stegmann, Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung / Journal of East Central European Studies 3/2020

"The combination of study the politics of disability in past, the geographical placement with actual topic on mechanisms of producing inequalities has resulted in an excellent book. It has both academic and societal relevance."
- Prof. Elena Marushiakova, School of History, University of St Andrews, Scotland

"This remarkable volume analyses almost a century of Czechoslovakian eugenics which emerged in the 1920s. Its objects were disabled people as well as ethnic minorities considered to be ‘inferior’ or ‘asocial’, in particular the ‘Gypsies’. One of the great merits of this important and exciting book is its focus on a gender perspective."
- Gisela Bock, Freie Universität Berlin

Victoria Shmidt (ed.)

The Politics of Disability in Interwar and Socialist Czechoslovakia

Segregating in the Name of the Nation

By focusing on the politics of disability as a pillar of Czechoslovak identity, The Politics of Disability in Interwar and Socialist Czechoslovakia: Segregating in the Name of the Nation reflects upon the vicissitudes of nation building over the twentieth century that led to extreme forms of institutional violence against minorities, mainly the Roma, such as forced sterilization. The authors trace the intersectionality of ethnicity and disability, which proliferated across diverse realms of public life, positioning the continuities and ruptures of interrogating propaganda and racial science during the interwar and post-war periods as establishing and reinforcing the border between a healthy Czech majority and a disabled Roma minority. The book critically revises this border that remains observable but unapproachable until it operates as a part of constructing the authenticity of a nation.

Victoria Shmidt

Victoria Shmidt has a PhD in Social Work (2012, Masaryk University). Since 2011, she has been working on the issue of the policies concerning ethnic minorities in the Czech lands.