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Judith Szapor

Senior Fellow (01/2018–05/2018)


Gender, Race, and the Jewish Family in Hungary after the First World War. Women and the Numerus Clausus 1919–1928


SZAPORThis research project focusses on the impact of the so-called numerus clausus law on young Hungarian Jewish women. Introduced in September 1920, the law limited the admission of Jewish students at Hungarian universities to six per cent, the percentage of Jews in the general population. Jewish women were disproportionally affected as it resulted in a de facto ban on women’s enrolment until 1923 and because of the high ratio of female Jewish students at Hungarian universities until the end of the First World War. The legal and political history of the law – which, by normalising the breach of the principle of equal citizenship, prepared the ground for the Holocaust in Hungary – has been well established.


Research has also been emerging on the so-called numerus clausus refugees, the Jewish students who left Hungary to study at universities in Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, and elsewhere. Yet no study has explored women students’ specific experience or even established their approximate numbers. This project will explore archival and oral history sources to highlight the social and gender history aspects of this phenomenon, including the personal and family strategies involved and the impact on life choices, from marriage to emigration.


Judith Szapor is Assistant Professor of Modern European History at McGill University in Montreal. Her publications include the edited volume (with Andrea Pető, Maura Hametz, and Marina Calloni) Jewish Intellectual Women in Central Europe. Twelve Biographical Essays and the forthcoming monograph Hungarian Women’s Activism in the Wake of the First World War. From Rights to Revanche.

June 2024
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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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