the blood libel
the hilsner case
the town of polna
how to use
This is the beta-version of an interactive exploration of a major historical media event, the so-called
. The various media that appeared during the murder trials (1899 and 1900) of the Bohemian casual labourer, Leopold Hilsner, are presented here and analysed in order to form a cultural background to key events in 20
century Europe. It is
anti-Semitic fantasy of "Jewish ritual murder"
transformed and channelled
modern discourse (in medicine, law, criminology) and media (the press, cartoons, postcards, photographs, posters)
, into a primitive force, temporarily invalidating the rules of law and scientific reasoning. Presenting the documents in this way provides a striking example how language and images, combined with advanced media and communication techniques, can be used to reject modern, civilized society and create a neo-archaic society based on violence and cruelty. The examination of the visual and linguistic techniques used in the Hilsner case provides crucial insights into key historical events of central Europe in the 20century.