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Abstract

Franz Kafka's novel The Trial--one of the most famous literary works of the 20th century--was, at least to some extent, inspired by contemporary historical events. The great antisemitic trials of his time were a blatant example of state injustice. The most (in)famous were the Tisza trial (Hungary 1882), the Dreyfus trial (France 1894-1899), the Hilsner trial (Czechoslovaquia, 1899-1900) and the Beiliss trial (Russia, 1912-13). Despite the differences between the various State regimes--absolutism, constitutional monarchy, republic--the judicial system condemned, sometimes to capital punishment, innocent victims whose only crime was to be Jews.

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