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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Vienna 03: 1815-1938

Vienna Congress 1815 - emancipation step by step - new intellectual generation - immigration from Eastern Europe - personalities and institutions - nationalism and Herzl Zionism

Encyclopaedia Judaica: Vienna, vol.16, col.129:
                synagogue of 1858: The Leopoldstaedt synagogue, the
                second to be established by the Vienna community, built
                in 1858. Like all but one of the city's synagogues, it
                was destroyed by the Nazis.
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Vienna, vol.16, col.129: synagogue of 1858: The Leopoldstaedt synagogue,
the second to be established by the Vienna community, built in 1858. Like all but one of
the city's synagogues, it was destroyed by the Nazis.

from: Vienna; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 16

presented by Michael Palomino (2007)

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[Vienna Congress 1815: The Jewish rights after the partly emancipation of the Jews under Napoleon are not renewed]


international congress held in Vienna, September 1814 to June 1815, to reestablish peace and order in Europe after the Napoleonic Wars. the congress met in the Apollosaal [[Apollo hall]] built by the English-born Jew, Sigmund Wolffsohn, and the delegates were often entertained during the course of the proceedings in the (col. 131)

*salons of Jewish hostesses, such as Fanny von *Arnstein and Cecily *Eskeles.

The Jewish question, raised explicitly for the first time at an international conference, arose in connection with the constitution of a new federation of German states. The Jews of Frankfort and of the Hanseatic towns of *Hamburg, *Luebeck, and *Bremen had previously attained equal civil rights under French rule. The Hanseatic cities were annexed to France in 1810, and Jewish emancipation in France was effective ipso facto there. The Frankfort community paid the French staff of the duke a vast sum of money in 1811 in return for being granted equality. They now sent delegates to the Congress to seek confirmation of their rights, as well as emancipation for the Jews of the other German states.

The delegates for Frankfort were Gabriel Oppenheimer and Jacob Baruch (the father of Ludwig *Boerne), while the Hanseatic towns were represented among others, by the non-Jew Carl August *Buchholz. They succeeded in gaining the support of such leading personalities as Metternich (Austria), Hardenberg, and Humboldt (Prussia). In October 1814 a committee of five German states met to prepare proposals for the constitution of the new federation. Bavaria and Wuerttemberg, fearing the curtailment of their independence, opposed Austria, Prussia, and Hanover, specially on the question of Jewish rights.

At the general session of the Congress in May 1815, the opposition to Jewish civil equality grew, despite favorable proposals by Austria and Prussia. On June 10, paragraph 16 of the constitution of the German Federation was resolved:

The Assembly of the Federation will deliberate how to achieve the civic improvement of the members of the Jewish religion in Germany in as generally agreed a form as possible, in particular as to how to grant and insure for them the possibility of enjoying civic rights in return for the acceptance of all civic duties in the states of the Federation; until then, the members of this religion will have safeguarded for them the rights which have already been granted to them by the single states of the Federation.

This formulation postponed Jewish equality to the far distant future, while by changing one word in the final draft to "by", instead of "in the states", a formulation arrived at only at the meeting on June 8, a loophole had been left by which the states could disown rights granted by any but the lawful government, namely, those bestowed by the French or their temporary rulers. The Congress, therefore, did nothing to better the status of the Jews but, in effect, only worsened their position in many places.

The Jewish question arose again at the Conference of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818), when the powers met to determine the withdrawal of troops from France and consider France's indemnity to the allies. Various Jewish communities turned to the conference for relief, and Lewis *Way, an English clergyman, presented a petition for emancipation to Alexander I of Russia. Despite a sympathetic reception, however, there were no practical results.

M. J. Kohler, in: AJHSP, 26 (1918), 33-125
-- L. Wolf: Notes on the Diplomatic History of the Jewish Question (1919), 12-15
-- S.W. Baron: Die Judenfrage auf dem Wiener Kongress (1920)
-- M. Grunwald: Vienna (1936), 190-204.

[S.ETT.]> (col. 132)

[since 1815: Emancipation of the Jews in Vienna step by step - Haskalah and flow of Jews from Galicia - new generation of Jewish intellectuals]

At the time of the Congress of Vienna in 1815 (see *Vienna, Congress of) the salons of Jewish hostesses served as entertainment and meeting places for the rulers of Europe. In 1821 nine Jews of Vienna were raised to the nobility.

From the close of the 18th century, and especially during the first decades of the 19th, Vienna became a center of the *Haskalah movement. The influence and scope of the community's activities increased particularly after the annexation of *Galicia by Austria.

Despite restrictions, the number of Jews in the city rapidly increased. Several Hebrew authors, including the poet and traveler Samuel Aaron *Romanelli, the philologist Judah Leib *Ben-Zeev, the poet Solomon Levisohn, Meir *Letteris, etc., wrote their works in Vienna. Some of them earned their livelihood as proofreaders in the city's Hebrew press. The character of Haskalah and the literature of the Jews of Vienna was gradually Germanized. There emerged a generation of intellectuals, such as Ludwig August *Frankl, Moritz *Hartmann, Leopold *Kompert, and Ignaz *Kuranda, that did not know Hebrew. The first Jewish journalists, such as Isidor Heller, Moritz Kuh, and Zigmund Kulischer, inaugurated an era of Jewish influence on the Viennese press.

[Inner Jewish struggle about religious reforms in Vienna - Isaac Noah Mannheimer]

At a later period the call for religious reform was heard in Vienna. Various maskilim, including Peter Peretz *Ber and Naphtali Hertz *Homberg, tried to convince the government to impose Haskalah recommendations and religious reform on the Jews. This aroused strong controversy among the Vienna community. The appointment of Isaac Noah *Mannheimer as director of the religious school in 1825 was a compromise between the supporters of reform and its opponents.

In 1826 a magnificent synagogue, in which the Hebrew language and the traditional text of the prayers were retained, was inaugurated. It was the first legal synagogue to be opened since 1671. Mannheimer and the hazzan [[cantor]] Solomon *Sulzer tried to improve the decorum of the services in the new synagogue, which became a model for all the countries of the Austrian empire.

[1850-1920: Significant Jewish immigration to Vienna from the eastern regions of Austria-Hungary - figures]

During the second half of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, the Jewish population of Vienna increased as a result of immigration there by Jews from other regions of the empire, particularly Hungary, Galicia, and Bukovina. There were 3,739 Jews living in Vienna in 1846, 9,731 in 1850, and about 15,000 in 1854. After 1914 about 50,000 refugees from Galicia and Bukovina established themselves there, so that by 1923 there were 201,513 Jews living in Vienna, which had become the third largest Jewish community in Europe. In 1936 there were 176,034 Jews in Vienna (8% of the total population).

Jews in Vienna
number of Jews
Table by Michael Palomino; from: Vienna; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 16, col. 124

The occupations of the Jews in Vienna became more variegated. Many of them entered the liberal professions: out of a total of 2,163 advocates, 1,345 were Jews, and 2,440 of the 3,268 physicians were Jews. Prominent as a financier and industrialist was Moritz Pollak (1877-1904) who was a member of the Vienna city council and president of the Jewish community.

[Jewish outstanding personalities and Jewish institutions before 1933]

Before the Holocaust there were about 59 synagogues of various religious trends in Vienna. There was also a Jewish educational network. The rabbinical seminary, founded in (col. 124)

1893, was a European center for research into Jewish literature and history. The most prominent scholars were M. *Guedemann, A. *Jellinek, Adolph *Schwarz, Adolf *Buechler, David *Mueller, Victor *Aptowitzer, Z. H. *Cahjes, and Samuel *Krauss.

There was also a "Hebrew Pedagogium" for the training of Hebrew teachers. Many charitable and relief institutions existed in the town, including the Rothschild Hospital and three orphanages. Vienna also became a Jewish sports center; the football team Ha-Koah and the *Maccabi organization of Vienna were well known. A Jewish daily newspaper in German, Wiener Morgenzeitung [[Vienna Morning Post]], was published from 1919 to 1927.

Viennese scientists, musicians, and writers of Jewish origin (Jews and apostates) achieved world fame, including the authors Arthur *Schnitzler, Franz *Werfel, Richard *Beer-Hofmann, Jakob *Wassermann, Stefan *Zweig, and Felix *Salten, and the musicians Gustav *Mahler, and Arnold *Schoenberg. Many Jews were actors and producers. Scientists, researchers, and thinkers included Sigmund *Freud, Heinrich Neumann, Joseph *Unger, and Joseph *Popper-Linkeus. Among Jews active in general politics were Adolf *Fischhof, Victor *Adler, Max *Adler, and Otto *Bauer. The leading newspaper, Neue Freie Presse, to which Theodor *Herzl contributed, was owned in part by Jews.

Encyclopaedia Judaica: Vienna, vol.16,
                            col.129, Sephardi synagogue of 1887: The
                            Moorish-style Sephardi or
                            "Turkish" synagogue in Vienna,
                            designed by Hugo van Wiedenfeld and built in
                            1885-87. Etching by S. Wolf. Jerusalem, Sir
                            Isaac and Lady Wolfson Museum in Hechal
                            Shlomo. Photo David Harris, Jerusalem. Encyclopaedia Judaica: Vienna, vol.16, col.129, Sephardi synagogue of 1887: The Moorish-style Sephardi or "Turkish" synagogue in Vienna, designed by Hugo van Wiedenfeld and built in 1885-87. Etching by S. Wolf. Jerusalem, Sir Isaac and Lady Wolfson Museum in Hechal Shlomo. Photo David Harris, Jerusalem.

[Nationalism and Jewish nationalism in Vienna - Herzl Zionism against all Arabs]

Though in the social life and the administration of the community, there was mostly strong opposition to Jewish national action, Vienna was also a center of the national awakening. Peretz *Smolenskin published *Ha-Shahar between 1868 and 1885 in Vienna, while Nathan *Birnbaum founded the first Jewish nationalist student association, *Kadimah, there in 1882, and preached "pre-Herzl Zionism" from 1884. It was due to Herzl that Vienna was at first the center of Zionist activities [[provoked by the Dreyfus case in France. Herzl stated in his book "The Jewish State" that an Israel could be found and all Arabs could be driven away like the natives in the "USA", and this would be a "modern solution" of the "Jewish question"]]. He published the Zionist movement's organ, Die *Welt, and established the headquarters of the Zionist Executive there. The Zionist movement in Vienna gained in strength after World War I. In 1919 the Zionist Robert *Stricker was elected to the Austrian parliament. The Zionists did not obtain a majority in the community until the elections of 1932. Desider *Friedmann was the last president of the community of Vienna before its destruction in the Holocaust.

[YO.BA.]> (col. 127)

[[Supplement: The Arab reaction on Herzl
At the same time the Arabs at once founded newspapers against Herzl Zionism. Herzl never has been in Palestine, has never spoken with any Arab, and 10,000s of impoverished Jews of Eastern Europe and since 1933 German and Austrian emigrating Jews went into the Herzl trap: the eternal war against the Arabs of whom Zionist agitators never had spoken. Palestinians got no voice in the UNO until 1974, and the Herzl book is not forbidden until now (2007). Human rights would be better. Details about Herzl Zionism see under Zionism...]]

[[Supplement: National frustrations and anti-Semitism in German Austria 1871-1918 - the Austrian Hitler

There are more subjects to consider about the time between 1871 and 1918: Since 1848 (since the establishment of the liberty of the press) the Jewish press and the national anti-Semitic press in Austria were fighting against each other. Since 1871 since the German victory against France the German Austrians had the feeling that they would like to belong to Germany because they would have liked to be "present" in the Second Empire of Bismarck. But the Emperor of Vienna never wanted a union with Berlin because otherwise he had to subordinate to the German Emperor of Berlin. Add to this after the worldwide collapse of the stock markets in 1873 the Emperor of Vienna helped the Jewish banks in Austria but did not help the normal Austrian citizens, and Austria did not have an insurance system like Bismarck's Germany had. So the anti-Semitism in Austria was raising much since 1873 against the rich Jews and the Jews at court in Austria without considering that there were also many poor Jews suffering by the economic crisis.

During World War I the Jews were serving in the army, and Austria and Germany tried to germanize all Europe. In 1918 Austria-Hungary was split, and the Jewish politicians in the new mini Austria were always heavily attacked by nationals with anti-Semitism which wanted to have the Empire back and wanted to be a member of Germany at last, but now the French dominance in Europe prohibited the union. Add to this also in Germany was a big frustration now because of the loss of all colonies and of German territories. This combination of national frustrations in Germany and Austria at the same time was in the head of an Austrian person which name was Adolf Hitler. He was seen as a leader for re-establishment of "German honor" in the world, and the German industrial leaders and the industrial leaders of the "USA" ... supported this criminal foreigner in Germany ... and the German police did not act against this criminal foreigner and did not kick him out to Austria ...]]

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Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 122
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 122
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 123-124
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 123-124
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 125-126
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 125-126
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 127-128
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 127-128
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 129-130
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 129-130
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna,
                            vol. 16, col. 131-132
vergrössernEncyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Vienna, vol. 16, col. 131-132

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