Prague: Nákladem "Času", 1899. Octavo (24.6 × 16.2 cm). Original staple-stitched printed wrappers; 16 pp. A very good copy; small chip to upper right corner of front wrapper.
Scarce Czech edition of a pamphlet, later confiscated, through which Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk sought to intercede in the Hilsner Affair, which provoked the most scandalous demonstration of anti-semitic views in Bohemia in the nineteenth century. Leopold Hilsner (1876-1928) was a Jew from the small East Bohemian community of Polná, who was accussed and later convicted of murdering nineteen-year-old Anežka Hrůzová in 1899, and later a second girl. The prosecution's strategy involved blood libel, which led to great conflicts in the region and beyond. Because he failed to produce an alibi, Hilsner was convicted and sentenced to death. It was only because of future Czechoslovak president T. G. Masaryk intervened that the sentence was commuted. Masaryk's calm and objective analysis of the case was a reaction to what he saw as a "Czech and Austrian Dreyfussiade," caused by the "false and seditious" rhetoric of the local press. Masaryk's pamphlet was also published in German: "Die Nothwendigkeit der Revision des Polnaer Processes," in Vienna. It was confiscated and he lost his teaching position as Professor of Ethics at Prague University over the scandal. One of the leading opponents in the debate was the Czech Catholic priest and publicist Rudolf Vrba, who authored a brochure in the same year which asserts the ritual murder accusation against Hilsner. Hilsner's fate was the subject of a silent film in 1918 and of a recent motion picture (2016). In 2008 he was officially rehabilitated by the Austrian minister of justice. Rare; KVK, OCLC only show copies at TH Berlin, Herder, the British Library, Ljubljana, Columbia, Indiana, Utah.
Book ID: P4917