Lichtenstein, Tatjana. “‘An Athlete Like a Soldier Must Not Retreat’: Zionists, Sport, and Belonging in Interwar Czechoslovakia.” Shofar 34.1 (2015): 1-26.
This article examines Zionists’ politics of belonging in interwar Czechoslovakia. It shows that the Jewish sports and gymnastics organization Maccabi was a vehicle for Zionists’ efforts to construct Jews’ belonging as individuals and as a collective in the new, multinational state. While Jews’ civic equality was formally guaranteed by the Czechoslovak constitution, actual, social and civic equality depended on a broader, public identification of Jews as legitimately belonging in Czechoslovakia. For Zionists, making Jews insiders, individuals that were respected as equal and loyal citizens, was contingent on Jews’ simultaneous belonging to a Jewish national and a Czechoslovak civic collective. Drawing on the ideal of the Zionist “new Jew” and on local traditions for minority nationalism, activists sought to create a symbiosis between Zionism and Czechoslovak patriotism in the 1920s and 30s.