2016 marked 520 years since the Medieval expulsion of Jews from Styria and thus from Maribor. With this expulsion, the Maribor Jewish community, which was once prosperous, relatively numerous, and influential, even beyond the borders of Styria, most definitely died out.
One can only speculate how the community would have developed and what the city would have been like if the expulsion had not happened. Due to the prohibition of permanent settlement in Styria, Carinthia and Carniola, Jews began to resettle in Maribor as late as the 19th century. However, the short period of the revival of Jewish life in the city was violently brought to a halt by the Second World War. Today, there are only a handful of Jews living in Maribor.
On the occasion of last year’s anniversary, we designed a multi-annual project Tracing the paths of Jews from Maribor, with the intention of honouring the memory of our former fellow citizens as well as presenting their fates and tracing the paths they took after their forced departure from the city on the Drava river. A part of this project is this international professional conference Jews in Maribor and Styria in the Middle Ages, which hosts established experts and researchers in Central European Jewish history from Slovenia, Austria, Croatia and Italy: Dr Janez Premk, Dr Borut Holcman, Dr Martha Keil, Dr Birgit Wiedl, Dr Eveline Brugger, Dr Alessandra Veronese, Boris Hajdinjak, Dr Christian Domenig, Dr Ljiljana Dobrovšak and Dr Andrej Hozjan.
The conference will be held on 23 and 24 April 2017 at two venues:
- on Sunday, 23 April at the Maribor Synagogue, Židovska ulica 4, at 4 p.m.,
- on Monday, 24 April at the University of Maribor Library (Glazerjeva Hall), Gospejna ulica 10, at 9 a.m.
Official language of the conference will be English. The simultaneous translation will not be provided.
Honourable patron of the international conference is Dr Andrej Fištravec, Mayor of the Maribor City Municipality.
The conference is being organised by the Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor and the Institute for Jewish History in Austria, St. Pölten.
Organising committee: Marjetka Bedrač (president), Dr Martha Keil, Dr Andrej Hozjan
The international conference is organised within the framework of the project Tracing the paths of Jews from Maribor. The organisation of the conference was supported by the Maribor City Municipality, Austrian Cultural Forum and Elektro Maribor.
Cover image: A veduta of Maribor from around 1670, Maribor Regional Archives
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