Prof. Dr. Béla Bodó


Institute of History
Department for Eastern European History (OEG)
Konrad-Adenauer-Allee 4–6
D-53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 228 73 5160

Béla Bodó
© Barbara Frommann

Academic Profile

Béla Bodó's current research revolves around the issue of the dependency of Jews on the state and the political and social elites in Hungary and East-Central Europe after 1848 to achieve full emancipation and defeat antisemitism. His publications have dealt with the following topics:

  • The cooperation between the Jewish social and cultural elite and the Hungarian nobility and the Austro-Hungarian state to liberate the Jews after 1848.
  • The successes and failures of Jewish emancipation after 1867 and the changing perceptions and roles of the aristocracy and the gentry in the emancipation process after the Tiszaeszlár Blood Libel Trial of 1883.
  • The withdrawal of the protection of the state and the political elite from Jews and the end of the Jewish-Hungarian condominium in the final phase and the immediate aftermath of World War I.
  • Defensive strategies ranging from cooperation with the aristocracy, the Catholic and Protstant churches to military resistance to encounter violent antisemitism during the White Terror between 1919 and 1922.
  • Anti-discrimination campaigns led in the press to restore normalcy and diffuse tension created by the rise of new and more insidious antisemitic images, such as Jews as Communists, traitors and shirkers of their military duties.
  • Jewish humor as a defensive mechanism to counter "fake news", understand the post-war world, defeat antisemitism, and restore sanity and self-respect after 1918.
  • The widening emotional and political gaps between Jews, who remained dependant on the state for survival, and the political and social elites, who controlled the state, in the interwar period. The end of the cooperation and dependency of the traditional elite after the Nazi occupation of the country in March 1944 as a prelude to the genocide.

Published 2 books (2 more in preparations) and more than a dozen articles on these topics

Ph.D., York University, Toronto, Canada

M.A., York University, Toronto, Canada

H.B.A., University of Toronta, Canada

B.A., Kossuth Lajos University, Debrecen, Hungary

since 2015     
Associate Professor for Eastern European History, University of Bonn, Germany

Imre Kertész Kolleg Fellowship, University of Jena, Germany

Tenured Associate Professor, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, USA

Assistant Professor, Tenure Track, Missouri State University, Sprinfield, MO, USA

Visiting Assistant Professor, California State University, Stanislaus, CA, USA

Visiting Assistant Professor, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI, USA

Visiting Assistant Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Lecturer, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA

Lecturer, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

  • 2013–2014: Imre Kertész Kolleg Fellowship, University of Jena, Germany.
  • 2009: Goethe Institute Professional Development Grant, Munich, Germany.
  • 1994: Research Grant for Ph.D. Candidates and Recent Ph.Ds, German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst).
  • 2023. Black Humor and the White Terror. New York/London: Routledge.
  • 2022. "Die ungarische Räterepublik: Eine Diktatur des Proletariats oder eine proletarische Demokratie?" In Diktatur des Proletariats. Begriff - Staat - Revision, edited by Mike Schmeitzner, 109–134. Hannah-Arendt-Institut für Totalitarismusforschung e.V. an der TU Dresden. Baden-Baden: Nomos. 
  • 2020. "Faith, Family and Fatherland: Conservatism and Right Radicalism in Interwar Hungary." In Conservatives and Radicals: Europe between First and Second World War (1918–1945), edited by M. Bresciani. Routledge.
  • 2019. The White Terror: Political and Antisemitic Violence in Hungary, 1919–1923. New York/London: Routledge.
  • 2019. "International Communities, Democratization and the Fate of Ethnic Minorities in Interwar Hungary." In Interwar Eastern Europe, 1918–1941: The Failure of Democracy–building, the Fate of Minorities, edited by S. P. Ramet. Routledge.
  • 2018. "Actio und Reactio: Roter und Weißer Terror in Ungarn, 1919–1923." In Die Ungarische Raterepublic 1919, edited by C. Koller and M. Marschik. Vienna: Promedia.
  • 2017. "Towards an Interactional Theory of Sexual Violence: The White Terror in Hungary between 1919–1921." In Beyond Defeat and Victory: Physical Violence in East-central Europe, 1917–1923, edited by R. Kučera. Oxford University Press.
  • 2011. "The White Terror in Hungary 1919–1921: The Social World of Paramilitary Groups." In Austrian History Yearbook XLII.
  • 2010. Pál Prónay: Paramilitary Violence and Anti-Semitism in Hungary, 1919–1922. Pittsburgh University Press: Beck Papers.
  • 2010. "Hungarian Aristocracy and the White Terror." In Journal of Contemporary History 45 (4). 
  • 2008. "The Tószegi Affair: Rumors, 'the People's Verdicts' and Provincial Antisemitism in Hungary, 1919–1921." In Yad Vashem Studies XXXVI/II.
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