Malte König: Esperanto in der Zwischenkriegszeit. Ein kosmopolitisches Projekt auf dem Prüfstand
News from Feb 08, 2022
Malte König: Esperanto in der Zwischenkriegszeit. Ein kosmopolitisches Projekt auf dem Prüfstand, in: Historische Zeitschrift 314.1 (2022), S. 68-104
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Using Esperanto as an example the study examines the practical effectiveness of cosmopolitan ideas during the interwar period. The goal is to understand cosmopolitanism not as utopia, but as practice. What did „cosmopolitics“ look like, what were its possibilities, its limits?
Since Esperanto was intended to establish a uniform means of communication throughout the world that was both neutral and easy to learn, the language and its movement provide an ideal starting point for tracing how attempts were made to put cosmopolitan ideas into practice and for identifying the intentions, justifications, and instruments used to fight such projects. That it was by no means an unrealistic pipe dream can be seen from the fact that the League of Nations debated at length about recommending Esperanto as a school subject to its member states. At the beginning of the 20th century Esperanto represented a real option to establish a linguistic basis to facilitate the growing together of mankind.