14 September 2010

Slovakia: History of Jewish Bratislava-Pressburg-Pozsony

Do you have roots in Bratislava (Pressburg, Pozsony)? A new book may shed light on family history.

A. Robert Neurath, who lived in the city for 31 years has written a soon-to-be-released book about the history of the city: "Bratislava / Pressburg / Pozsony: Jewish Secular Endeavors (1867-1938)" (Xlibris).

It was in Austro Hungary, but is now the capital of Slovakia.

According to the press release:

Unknown to many, Bratislava, presently the capital of Slovakia, used to be in the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, a multi-national city. German, Hungarian and Slovak speaking residents represented the majority of the population, explaining why the city had multiple names – Pressburg, Pozsony, and Bratislava. But it took a long time before the Jewish community in this city was given the same privileges and rights that other religious groups enjoyed. Legal emancipation of Jews was achieved in 1867, after the conversion of the Empire into the Dual Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (Bratislava being in the Hungarian part).

Neurath attempts to tell the story of the emanicipated Jews of Bratislava and their contribution to its economy, culture, education and political life. it begins with architecture providing documents “written in stone,” and continues with arts, sports, politics, business and medicine.

Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, Neurath graduated from the Technical University there in 1957, immigrated to the US in 1964, and received a doctorate in microbiology at the Technical University (Vienna) in 1958.

For more than 45 years he conducted virus research - influenza, rabies, hepatitis B, human immunodeficiency virus I - and on vaccines against them. Neurath authored 250 scientific papers, including monographs and book chapters, and 23 patents.

Following the fall of communisim, he visited Bratislava and read new books about the city's past Jewish community, which he felt did not give enough credit to the secular endeavors and achievements of local Jewish professionals and businessmen prior to WWII. The present book, according to the release, attempts to correct those deficiences by relying on pre-war information and input from family and friends.

For more information, contact Xlibris (888-795-4274), or contact the author for more information.

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