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The Jews of the Dual Monarchy

  • Marsha L. Rozenblit (a1)

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1 Another new book on the Jews of Vienna, Berkely, George E., Vienna and Us Jews: The Tragedy of Success, 1880s–1980s (Cambridge, Mass.: Abt Books, and Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1988), is a popular treatment of the subject, offering only a summary of the major issues confronting Viennese Jewry. It does not deal with the problematic of Jewish identity.

2 The literature on Herzl, Theodor is voluminous. One recent study is Norbert Leser, Theodor Herzl and das Wien des Fin de Siècle (Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 1987).

3 For a further description of Rabbi Jellinek and Vienna's other leading rabbis in the nineteenth century see Rozenblit, Marsha L., “Jewish Identity and the Modern Rabbi: The Cases of Isak Noa Mannheimer, Adolf Jellinek and Moritz Güdemann in Nineteenth-Century Vienna,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 35 (1990): 103–31.

4 Cohen, Gary B., The Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague, 1861–1914 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981); idem,“Jews in German Society: Prague, 1860–1914,” Central European History 10 (1977): 2854; idem,“Ethnicity and Urban Population Growth: The Decline of the Prague Germans, 1880–1910,” in Studies in East European Social History, ed. Hitchins, Keith, vol. 2 (Leiden: Brill, 1981), 326; idem,“Jews in German Liberal Politics: Prague, 1880–1914,” Jewish History 1 (1986): 5574.

5 Three volumes (Stuttgart: Leo Baeck Institute and the Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1976, 1979, and 1982).

6 Marranos were the descendants of Jews in Spain and Portugal who had been forcibly converted to Christianity in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and, while publicly acting as Christians, nevertheless clandestinely continued some Jewish religious observances within the privacy of their homes.

7 Thon, Jakob, Die Juden in Österreich (Berlin: Bureau für Statistik der Juden, 1908), 7.

8 See reports in Jüdische Volksstimme (Brünn), 11 22, 1918, 5, 67; January 1, 1919, 5; March 28, 1919, 33. The Jüdischer Volksrat in Brünn declared “daB wir uns in den nationalen Streit nicht einmengen wollen, dafi wir ein Interesse an dem Fortleben unseres Volkes haben, dafi wir Juden loyale Burger des neuen Staates sein wollen” (01 1, 1919, 5).

9 In 1921, for example, 48 percent of Moravian Jews declared that they were Jewish by nationality, compared to 15 percent of Bohemian Jews, 54 percent of Slovakian Jews, and 87 percent of the Jews in Subcarpathian Ruthenia. See Mendelsohn, Ezra, The Jews of East Central Europe Between the World Wars (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983), 146.

10 See, for example, Lowenstein, Steven, “The Pace of Modernisation in the Nineteenth Century,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 21 (1976): 4156;Barkai, Avraham, “German-Jewish Migrations in the Nineteenth Century, 1830–1910,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 30 (1985): 301–18; idem,“The German Jews at the Start of Industrialisation: Structural Change and Mobility, 1835–1860,” in Revolution and Evolution: 1848 in German Jewish History, ed. Moss, Werner E., Paucker, Arnold, and Rürup, Reinhold (Tübingen: Mohr, 1981), 123–56.

11 “Verwaltungsregeln and Verordnungen”(1864), Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (Jerusalem), AW 1259/5 (from the archives of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde of Vienna).

12 A recent study of Zionism in Cisleithanian Austria, Gaisbauer, Adolf, Davidstern and Doppeladler: Zionismus and jüdischer Nationalismus in Österreich, 1882–1918 (Vienna, Cologne, Graz: Böhlau Verlag, 1988), makes this point abundantly clear. Gaisbauer's study mostly concerns itself, however, with the organizational structure and day-to-day history of the Austrian Zionist movement and not with the larger issues of Jewish identity.

13 For a description of this phenomenon see Goldscheider, Calvin and Zuckeman, Alan S., The Transformation of the Jews (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1984).

14 Kieval reiterates these points in an interesting article, “Nationalism and Antisemitisnr. The Czech-Jewish Response,” in Living with Antisemitism: Modern Jewish Responses, ed. Rein-harz, Jehuda (Hanover and London: Brandeis University Press and University Press of New England, 1987), 210–33. Similarly, Wistrich repeats his arguments in another article in the same volume, “Social Democracy, the Jews, and Antisemitism in Fin-de-Siécle Vienna,” 193–209.

15 This essay appears in an interesting collection, Oxaal, Ivar, Pollak, Michael, and Botz, Gerhard, eds., Jews, Antisemitism and Culture in Vienna (London and New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987), 121–51. The volume includes papers presented at a conference on the subject in Paris in March 1985. Several other essays from this volume will be discussed later in this essay.

16 Boyer, John, “Karl Lueger and the Viennese Jews,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 26 (1981): 125–41.

17 For example, Johnston, William M., The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848–1938 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), argued that Jews were active in culture somehow because of the unvocalized nature of Hebrew.

18 Gay, Peter, “Encounter with Modernism: German Jews in Wilhelminian Culture” and “The Berlin-Jewish Spirit: A Dogma in Search of Some Doubts,” in Freud, Jews and Other Germans: Masters and Victims in Modernist Culture (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), 93168 and 169–88.

19 In yet another attempt to explain Viennese culture, Michael Pollak argues that it derived from the disintegration of the Empire, which undercut the identity of the liberal bourgeoisie and its belief in the superiority of German culture. Forced to create a new identity in the face of the political and social crisis, new movements like Austro-Marxism, Zionism, psychoanalysis, and literary aestheticism emerged. See his “Cultural Innovation and Social Identity in fin-desiècle Vienna,” in Oxaal, Pollak, Botz, eds., jews, Antisemitism and Culture in Vienna, 59–74.

20 Beller has done so as well in his article “Class, Culture and the Jews of Vienna, 1900,” in Jews, Antisemitism and Culture in Vienna, 39–58.

21 Several of the articles in Don, Yehuda and Karady, Victor, eds., A Social and Economic History of Central European Jewry (New Brunswick, N.J. and London: Transaction Books, 1989), do attempt to come to grips with the demographic issues at stake here, especially for Hungary. See in particular Victor Karady's own “Demography and Social Mobility: Historical Problem Areas in the Study of Contemporary Jewry in Central Europe,” 83–119, and Jacob Katz, “The Identity of Post-Emancipatory Hungarian Jewry,” 1–11. Much more work remains to be done. Virtually all scholarly works on Hungarian Jewry, with the exception of those dealing with the Holocaust period, appear in Hungarian. One hopes that some of these books can be translated into English or German so as to gain a wider audience.

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The Jews of the Dual Monarchy

  • Marsha L. Rozenblit (a1)

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