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).
Having lived in this city for thirty–one years, author A. Robert Neurath, through this book, valiantly attempts to capture the story of the emancipated Bratislava Jews and their vital contributions to the city’s economy, culture, education, and political life. A richly layered book about history and non–religious endeavors, BRATISLAVA PRESSBURG POZSONY: Jewish Secular Endeavors (1867-1938) offers a fascinating narration that begins with architecture providing documents “written in stone”, and continues with the arts, sports, politics, business, and medicine. It is an informative page–turner perfect for teachers, students, and anyone who wants to learn about the history of a captivating city and its extinguished and dispersed Jewish population.