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The Rise and Fall of Archbishop Kohn: Czechs, Germans, and Jews in Turn-of-the-Century Moravia

  • Michael L. Miller

Abstract

This article uses the career of Theodor Kohn (1845-1915), archbishop of Olmütz/Olomouc between 1892 and 1904, to examine various trends in the last decades of the Habsburg empire: the burgeoning Czech-German conflict, the brewing social crisis within the Catholic Church, the rising tide of anti-Semitism, and the countervailing force of Jewish national pride. Drawing on a wide range of literary, publicist, and archival sources, Michael L. Miller shows how Archbishop Kohn's Jewish ancestry served as a lightening rod for various disenfranchised, disillusioned, and disheartened groups in the Bohemian Lands of the Habsburg empire. Even Jews latched onto this “Jewish archbishop,” first as a symbol of “racial aptitude,“ then as a cautionary tale about the futility of assimilation. Kohn himself endowed his quintessentially “Jewish” name with Christian significance, viewing it as the source of his suffering—albeit a suffering that he cherished as the cross he had to bear.

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An earlier version of this article was delivered at the Sefer Conference in Moscow in February 2004. I appreciate the valuable comments and suggestions offered by Erika Belko, William Godsey, and Max Vögler, and the two anonymous readers for Slavic Revieiu. I would also like to thank István Deák for initially piquing my interest in Archbishop Kohn. Since most towns in Moravia had both a Czech and a German name, I have included both, with the German name preceding the Czech one. In direct quotations, I have retained the original usage.

1. Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk and His Fortunes in the World War, trans. Cecil Parrot (London, 1973), 83; originally written in 1921-22. I would like to thank Eagle Glassheim for bringing this Kohn reference to my attention.

2. Jokes about Archbishop Kohn can be found in most of the satirical journals of the day. For examples, see Der Junge Kikeriki (Vienna), 13 November 1892; Saphir's Witzblatt (Vienna), 13 November 1892; Rašple (Brno), 1 October 1902, 1 June 1903; Humoristické listy (Prague), 1 April 1904; Brněnský drak (Brno), 20 November 1892. The following joke from Saphir's Witzblatt, 20 November 1892, is fairly typical:

Itzig: The new Archbishop of Olmütz, Dr. Theodor Kohn, has so much going for him that he could become cardinal.

Schmul: But he has a “cardinal” flaw.

Itzig: What?

Schmul: He is descended from Jews.

Itzig: But he is “a true son [Sohn] of the Church.”

Schmul: You are mistaken. He is “a true Kohn of the Church.“

3. Popper, Karl, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography (London, 1992), 120. First published in 1974 as Autobiography.

4. Ibid. Bering, Dietz, The Stigma of Names: Antisemitism in German Daily Life, 1812-1933, trans. Plaice, Neville (Cambridge, Eng., 1992), 149. Bering notes that Kohn (or Cohn) had become “the surname with the strongest antisemitic charge,” measured by the frequency with which individuals tried to escape their ‘Jewish” surnames by requesting an official name change. See 13, 149, 154-62.

5. Christian d'Elvert, Zur Geschichte des Erzbisthums Olmütz und insbesondere seines mehrhundertjährigen Kampfes mit den mährischen Ständen und der Staatsgewalt (Brönn, 1895).

6. These figures are quoted from Freies Blatt (Vienna), 28 June 1896. According to Pavel Marek, Prof. Dr. Theodor Kohn: Život a dílo olomouckého arcibiskupa (Kroměříž, 1994), 29, the extent of the archbishop's estate was 47,846 hectares.

7. Boyer, John W., Political Radicalism in Late Imperial Vienna: Origins of the Christian Social Movement 1848-1897 (Chicago, 1981), 123, 134, 143-44; also see Boyer, John W., “Catholic Priests in Lower Austria: Anti-Liberalism, Occupational Anxiety, and Radical Political Action in Late Nineteenth Century Vienna,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 118, no. 4 (1974): 337-69. Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo XIII's encyclical from 15 May 1891, often referred to as “On the Condition of the Working Classes,” can be seen as a response not only to the socialist movement but also to the increasingly assertive Christian Social movement.

8. “Olmütz,” in Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11 (New York, 1911). The debate over abolishing the requirement of noble birth is well documented in the Allgemeines Verwaltungs Archiv (Vienna), Neuer Cultus, Karton 135, sig. 32 (Metrop. u. Domkapitel Olmütz). Areport from Count Thun-Hohenstein (minister of religion and education) to Emperor Franz Joseph, dated 31 December 1854, explains that the issue first came up in 1849, when an assembly of Austrian bishops decided that church offices and titles should henceforth only be conferred upon the “most capable and most meritorious” individuals. In 1850, the Olmütz/Olomouc cathedral chapter protested this decision, pointing to numerous statutes, privileges, and papal bulls that had confirmed noble birth as a prerequisite for election to the Olmütz/Olomouc cathedral chapter. The letter of protest offered six other reasons for retaining the noble privilege, including the positive influence of such a noble cathedral chapter on the “religious and political views [Gesinnung] of the lower clergy … as the year 1848 demonstrated.” Although paragraph XXII of the 1855 Concordat with the Vatican abolished the requirement of noble birth or tide for all church offices, this paragraph contravened the statutes of the Olmütz/Olomouc cathedral chapter and thus the issue remained unresolved until 1881. After the death of a cathedral canon in that year, the cathedral chapter and Franz Joseph reached a compromise. As Edith Saurer points out in Die politische Aspekte der österreichischen Bischofsernennung 1867-1903 (Vienna, 1968), 203- 4, although the noble requirement would not be officially abolished, the emperor would nonetheless be free to nominate members of the middle class as cathedral canons.

9. Throughout this article, I have chosen to translate both die böhmischen Länder and české země as “the Bohemian Lands” rather than “the Czech Lands.” For a discussion of the anachronistic (and, of course, nationalist) use of the latter term, see King, Jeremy, Budlueisers into Czechs and Germans: A Local History of Bohemian Politics, 1848-1948 (Princeton, 2002), 12.

10. The supranational nature of Catholicism was succinctly expressed in a pastoral letter circulated by Emmanuel Johann Schöbel, Bishop of Leitmeritz/Litoměřice, Bohemia, in 1890: “An individual nation can certainly have its own, distinct religion, but the true religion and the true Church of Christ does not know such borders; it is intended for all peoples and all nations; whoever strives for a nadonal church, miscomprehends Jesus Christ's purpose and has no concepdon of the Church of the Lord. Christ the Lord did not want a national, but a universal Catholic Church.” Quoted in Barbara Schmid-Egger, Klerus undPolitik in Böhmen um 1900 (Munich, 1974), 199; emphasis in the original. As Gary Cohen points out, the Prague archdiocese tried to stay above the national fray and “was committed to preaching, hearing confession and teaching in the vernacular of the parishioners, Czech or German“; however, on the parish level Czech-German tensions ran high. See Cohen, Gary, The Politics of Ethnic Survival: Germans in Prague, 1861-1914 (Princeton, 1981), 218-21. In March 1901, Pope Leo XIII instructed the archbishops of Bohemia and Moravia to cultivate peace between the nationalities and forbade the clergy to take sides in the language conflict. See Leisching, Peter, “Die römisch-katholische Kirche in Cisleithanien,” in Wandruszka, Adam and Urbanitsch, Peter, eds., Die Habsburgermonarchie, 1848-1918, vol. 4, Die Konfessionen (Vienna, 1985), 230-32.

11. For example, the 1875 election for the Königgrätz/Hradec Králové bishopric was highly contested along Czech-German lines. See Saurer, Die politischen Aspekte der österreichischen Bischofsernennung, 193-94.

12. Ordinarily, there were sixteen cathedral canons, but one had recendy died and his replacement had not yet been appointed.

13. Originally from Lorraine, the Belrupt-Tissac family was raised to countship at the beginning of the eighteenth century and obtained a Moravian incolate in 1825. In the second half of the nineteenth century, they owned an estate at Wschechowitz/Všechovice, Moravia. Count Gustav Belrupt-Tissac (1818-1895) became an Olmütz/Olomouc canon in 1853. See Mašek, Petr, Modrá Krev: Minulnost a přitomnost 445 šlechtických rodů v českých zemích (Prague, 1999), 26-27 ; Sturm, Heribert, Biographisches Lexikon zur Geschichte der böhmischen Länder (Munich, 1974), 1:70 ; and Heller, Hermann, Mährens Männer der Gegenwart (Brünn, 1889), 3:67.

14. Potulicki (also Potulicky), was born in Babice, Galicia, and appointed cathedral canon in Olmütz/Olomouc in 1881. Heller, Mährens Männer der Gegenwart, 3:151.

15. Hanel was appointed cathedral canon in 1881. Despite his Czech national convictions, he was reported to have “an inadequate command of the Czech language” (mangelhaften Kenntniss der czechischen Sprache). “Fürst-Erzbischof Dr. Kohn,” Neue Freie Presse (Vienna), 10 November 1892. See also Heller, Mährens Männer der Gegenwart, 3:40-41.

16. This felicitous term is taken from William Godsey's Aristocratic Redoubt: The Austrian Foreign Office on the Eve of the First World War (West Lafayette, Ind., 1999).

17. Kohn, Theodor, Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten (Graz, 1921), 42.

18. “Furst-Erzbischof Dr. Kohn,” Neue Freie Presse (Vienna), 10 November 1892; ‘Volba arcibiskupa olomuckého,“ (Olomouc), 11 November 1892, 1.

19. As the Olmützer Zeitung reported on 12 November 1892, “Astonishment about the electoral result was universal here in Olmütz as well as everywhere that the news of the election reached, primarily because Dr. Theodor Kohn was not mentioned even a single time [keineinzigesmal] by the newspapers, which arbitrarily created [the roster of] candidates.” On 2 October 1892, Moravian Governor (Statthalter) Loebl had reported that Kohn's “candidacy could not be taken seriously” because of his Jewish ancestry: “Diese Kandidatur kann aber schon mit Rücksicht auf die Abstammung Kohns nicht ernst genommen werden.” Quoted in Saurer, Die politische Aspekte der österreichischen Bischofsernennung, 205.

20. “Die Wahl des Erzbischofs von Olmütz,” Neue Freie Presse (Vienna), 9 November 1892.

21. “Nach der Wahle des Erzbischofs,” Olmützer Zeitung, 12 November 1892, 1.

22. Record of the conversions can be found in the Brzeznitzer Geburtsbuch (1826), 143, Moravský Zemský Archiv (Brno), Sbírka matrik. Jacob Kohn, son of Isaak Kohn and Anna née Berger, assumed the name Johann Nepomuk Kohn at his baptism. (I would like to thank David De Vries at Tel Aviv University and his mother, Chava De Vries, for providing me with copies of these baptismal certificates and additional details of Kohn's genealogy.)

23. Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 25 November 1892, 466.

24. According to Adolf Frankl-Grün, Jacob Kohn converted to Catholicism in order to avoid punishment after his coreligionists in Lundenburg/Břeclav brought his illegal marriage to the attention of the local authorities. Frankl-Grün, Adolf, Geschichte der Juden in Kremsier mit Ruecksicht auf die Nachbargemeinden (Breslau, 1898), 2:102-8. According to Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 25 November 1892, Theodor Kohn's grandfather also had three sisters, all of whom remained Jewish. If true, this lends further credence to the claim that Kohn's grandfather converted in response to the pressures of the Familiants Laws—since female Jews were not subject to the same restrictions.

25. For a comprehensive examination of the Familiants Laws (Familiantengesetze), their origins, and their effects, see Michael L. Miller, “Rabbis and Revolution: A Study in Nineteenth Century Moravian Jewry” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 2004), 31-41.

26. See Hofdekret from 5 June 1826, in A. F. Přibram, ed., Urkunden und Ahten zur Geschichte der Juden in Wien (Vienna, 1918), 2:435-36.Jacob Kohn converted on 15 March 1826, that is, almost three months before this decree was promulgated; perhaps this explains the lack of name-change. For a recent study on name-changes after conversion, see Anna Staudacher, Jüdische Konvertiten in Wien 1782-1868 (Frankfurt am Main, 2002), 1: 164-86, in which the author demonstrates that many converts to Christianity kept their Jewish names for a variety of reasons, including pride in their Jewish background.

27. “Die Wahl des Erzbischofs von Olmütz,” Neue Freie Presse (Vienna), 9 November 1892.

28. “Die Wahl des Fürsterzbischofes von Olmütz,“Das Vaterland (Vienna), 9 November 1892.

29. “Der Fall Kohn, “Die Welt (Vienna), 15 January 1904.

30. In his memoirs, Kohn recalls that Taaffe “was unpleasantly surprised [by the election results] and immediately launched into anti-Semitism, more as a count than in his capacity as minister-president.” See Kohn, Lebensdenhwürdigkeiten, 44. In response to Taafe's comment, Gautsch reportedly called his colleague “the biggest jackass in the ministry” (der grösste Esel im Ministerium); see Marek, Prof. Dr. Theodor Kohn, 25. Taaffe's remark is not recorded in the Stenographische Protokolle über die Sitzungen des Houses der Abgeordneten des österreichischen Reichsrathes in den Jahren 1892 und 1893, XI. Session (Vienna, 1893). Another Kohn anecdote attributed to Taaffe is reproduced in “Taaffe-Anekdoten,” Die Wahrheit (Vienna), 13 April 1925, 13.

31. “Dr. Theodor Kohn,” Našinec (Olomouc), 9 November 1892, 1. Similar sentiments were expressed in a Czech-language Catholic daily; see “Nový kniže-arcibiskup olomoucký,” Hlas (Brno), 10 November 1892, 1. Remarkably, a virulently anti-Semitic Czech nationalist paper, made only passing mention of Kohn's ancestry; see “Nový arcibiskup olomoucký,” Brňenský drak (Brno), 20 November 1892, 2.

32. For details on the political activity of Josef Fanderlík (1839-1895), see Jiří Malíř, Od spolku k moderním politickým stranäm: Vývoj politických stran na Moravé v letech 1848-1914 (Brno, 1996). Fanderlík's speech is reproduced in Našinec (Olomouc), 16 November 1892, 1, and translated into German in the Olmützer Zeitung, 19 November 1892, 1. 33. Kohn, Lebensdenkwümrdigkeiten, 46. On Kohn's fiftieth birthday (22 March 1895), his birthplace, Březnice, named him its first honorary citizen and declared a holiday from school and work. “Geburtstagfeier des Fürsterzbischofs von Olmütz,” Das Vaterland (Vienna), 29 March 1895.

34. Deutsches Volksblatt (Morgen-Ausgabe), 9 November 1892.

35. Adler, Victor, Aufsätze, Reden und Briefe (Vienna, 1929), 161 ; quoted in Walter B. Simon, “The Jewish Vote in Austria,” LeoBaeck Institute Yearbook 16 (1971): 109.

36. “Fürsterzbichof Kohn,” Österreichische Wochenschrift (Vienna), 11 November 1892.

37. Österreichische Wochenschrift (Vienna), 25 November 1892. On the Jewish delegation, see also Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 25 November 1892, 466, and Hamagid (Kraków), 1 December 1892.

38. Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 25 November 1892. As theDeutsches Volksblatt (Vienna) noted in an article entitled “Der Olmützer Erzbischof und die ‘Kohne,'” (18 November 1892), “Almost every day, letters are sent to the Olmütz prince-archbishop by diverse Kohns from all points of the compass, all of whom reveal themselves as [his] relatives.“

39. Sherman, Joseph, The Jewish Pope: Myth, Diaspora and Yiddish Literature (Oxford, 2003). For a list of twenty-one different versions of this legend, see Lipsker, Avidov, “The Mirror in Which Rabbi Shimon the Great of Mainz Did Not See Clearly” (Hebrew), Chulyot: Journal of Yiddish Research, no. 3 (Spring 1996): 4344. As Lipsker points out, the legend of the Jewish Pope corresponds to AaTh 761 in the international folk motif index, commonly known as “A Boy Pope” or “The Three Languages” (34-38). An English translation of the legend of the Jewish Pope can be found in Moses Gaster, Ma'aseh Book: Book of Jewish Tales and Legends (Philadelphia, 1934), 2:410-18. This legend was mentioned with specific reference to Archbishop Kohn in Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 9 December 1892, 487.

40. M. L. Stern, “Verjudet oder verchrisdicht?” Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 9 December 1892, 486-87. This article attacks the view that Theodor Kohn's rise to prominence is emblematic of the ‘Judaization” of Christendom. On the contrary, argued Stern, Archbishop Kohn signified the “Christianization” of Jewry: “A name that previously identified someone as ajew has become so Christian that it can be flaunted by an archbishop—without any make-up.“

41. “Fürsterzbichof Kohn,” Österreichische Wochenschrift (Vienna), 11 November 1892.

42. “Gottes Segen bei Kohn,” Deutsches Volksblatt (Abend-Ausgabe), 9 November 1892. Similar sentiments were also expressed in the Czech-language satirical journal Šotek (Uherské Hradište), 15 June 1893, 77.

43. “Kohn érsek: Antiszemita budal,” Borsszem Jankó (Budapest), 13 November 1892, 3. Borsszem Jankó was a popular comic weekly, largely identified with Budapest's urban, assimilated— and self-deprecating—Jewish population. For studies on Borszsem Jankó, see Buzinkay, Geza, Borsszem Jankó és tärsal: Magyar élclapok és karikatúräik a XIX. szäzad mäsodik felében (Budapest, 1983), and Buzinkay, , “The Budapest Joke and Comic Weeklies as Mirrors of Cultural Assimilation,” in Bender, Thomas and Schorske, Carl E., eds., Budapest and New York: Studies in Metropolitan Transformation, 1870-1930 (New York, 1994), 224-47.

44. This satirical poem evokes a fear of inexorable Jewish domination that found expression in the eighteenth-century debates over Jewish emancipation. As Anne-Lois Henry de la Fare, bishop of Nancy, argued before the French National Assembly on 23 December 1789, “In Nancy, four months ago, people wanted to pillage their [the Jews’] homes. I went to the site of the agitation and I asked what complaint they had to make. Some claimed that the Jews had cornered the wheat market; others, that the Jews banded together too much, that they bought the most beautiful houses and that soon they would own the whole city. One of the protesters added: ‘Yes, Monsieur, if we were to lose you, we would see a Jew become our bishop, they are so clever at taking possession of everything.” Quoted in P. Mendes-Flohr and J. Reinharz, eds., The Jew in the Modern World: A Documentary History (New York, 1995), 116.

45. Joseph Bloch, My Reminiscences (Vienna, 1923), 172. Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 8 May 1903, 213, observed that, “in fact, Dr. Kohn resembles a Jew neither physically nor psychically.“

46. See Gilman, Sander, The Jew's Body (New York, 1991), 4344. Eduard Fuchs dates the development of the ‘Jewish type” to the second half of the seventeenth century; before then, Jews were usually identified situationally (e.g., in proximity to a sow), by their accoutrements (e.g., a sack of gold, a walking stick), or by identifiably Jewish marks (e.g., a Jewish badge or hat), while the primary physical characteristic (of male Jews) was the beard. As the ‘Jewish type” developed, the hooked nose emerged as its most defining feature. Fuchs, Eduard, Die Juden in der Karikatur: Ein Beitrag zur Kulturgeschichte (Munich, 1921), 160-65.

47. “Eine Unterredung mit Fürsterzbischof Dr. Kohn,” Freies Blatt (Vienna), 27 November 1892. Also quoted in Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, 9 December 1892 (Supplement), 3. The Society for the Defense against Anti-Semitism was founded by non-Jews. On similar non-Jewish anti-anti-Semitic societies, see Jacob Toury, “Anti-Anti 1889/1892,” Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 36 (1991): 47-58.

48. The lecture, originally read in Latin, was first published on 29 December 1892, by Germania (Berlin), a German nationalist paper; it was widely quoted in odier newspapers. See “Aus den Collegien des Fürsterzbischofs Dr. Kohn,” Freies Blatt (Vienna), 1 January 1893; Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 20 January 1893; “Fürsterzbischof Dr. Kohn und die Juden,” Deutsches Volhsblatt (Vienna), 11 May 1893. Germania, Zeitungfur das deutsche Volk frequently ran anti-Semitic articles and helped propagate the ritual murder accusation. See “Für die ‘Germania,'” Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, 14 April 1893, 169.

49. In Moravia, restrictions on domestic servants and nursemaids were in place—and occasionally enforced—until the Revolution of 1848. See Hieronymus von Scari, Systematische Darstellung der in Betreff der Juden in Mähren und im k.k. Antheile Schlesiens erlassenen Gesetze und Verordnungen (Brünn, 1835), 170-72.

50. Quoted in Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, 19 May 1893, 3. Adolf Frankl-Grun (1847-1916), rabbi of Kremsierat the time, described this audience in his Geschichte der Juden in Kremsier, 2:102-8. The delegation from the Kremsier Jewish community sought reassurance from Archbishop Kohn after blood libels had been reported in the nearby towns of Holleschau/Holešov and Kojtein/Kojetín.

51. “Fürsterzbischof Dr. Kohn und die Juden,” Deutsches Volksblatt (Vienna), 11 May 1893, 1.

52. The Badeni language ordinances were originally promulgated in 1897. Requiring all civil servants in Bohemia and Moravia to speak both Czech and German, these ordinances were welcomed by Czechs, who tended to be bilingual, and condemned by Germans, who were less likely to have mastered the Czech language. In the wake of violent street protests and parliamentary disturbances by angry Germans, the ordinances were repealed in October 1899, ushering in a wave of anti-German violence throughout Bohemia and Moravia. Although Czechs took out their anger on the German population, they targeted Jewish businesses in particular. Between October and December 1899, 265 incidents were reported in the Bohemian Lands, 200 of them in Moravia. The worst incidents were in Holleschau/Holešov, Wsetin/Vsetín, and Prerau/Přerov. See Helena Krejčová and Alena Mýšková, “Anmerkungen zur Frage des Antisemiusmus in den Böhmischen Ländern Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts,” in Jörg K. Hoensch et al., eds., JudenemanzipationAntisemitismusVerfolgung in Deutschland, Österreich-Ungarn, den Böhmischen Ländern und in der Slowakei (Essen, 1999), 55-84.

53. There is a vast—and growing—literature on the Hilsner Affair and the general role of ritual murder accusations in the political discourse of fin-de-siècle central Europe. See Kieval, Hillel, “Death and the Nation: Ritual Murder as Political Discourse in the Czech Lands,“ Jewish History 10, no. 1 (March 1996): 7591 ; Frankl, Michal, “The Background of the Hilsner Case: Political Antisemitism and Allegations of Ritual Murder, 1896-1900,“ Judaica Bohemiae 36 (2001): 34118 ; and Černý, Bohumil et al., Hilsneriáda: k 100: Výročí 1899-199 (Polná, 1999).

54. For example, a police report from Holleschau/Holešov, where some of the worst violence took place (25-26 October), blames the incitement to violence on the sudden appearance of a portrait of Hilsner. See Státní okresní archiv Kroměříž, Archiv města Holešova, fond B-a-2, inv. č. 733.

55. The pastoral letter, dated 28 October 1899, can be found in Currenda Archiepiscopalis Consistorii Otomucensis anni 1899 (Olomouc, [1900]). It was also published in many Moravian newspapers, including the Olmützer Zeitung, 4 November 1899.

56. Hamagid (Kraków), 12 November 1899, 386.

57. According to Oszkár Jászi, “Aside from its army the Roman Catholic Church was the most solid pillar of the Habsburg dynasty.” Oscar [Oszkár] Jászi, The Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy (Chicago, 1929), 155-62.

58. Beginning in die 1870s, Kohn contributed to a variety of German and Czech Catholic journals, including Archiv für katolisches Kirchenrecht (Innsbruck), Právník (Prague), Časopis katolického duchovenstva (Prague), Pastýř (Prague). See Kohn, Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten, 24; and “Dr. Theodor Kohn,” Našinec (Olomouc), 11 November 1892,1. His charitable donations were listed in each issue of the Olmützer Zeitung under the rubric “Kleine Kronik” and in Našinec under the rubric “Denní zprávy.” His contribution to the Jewish Women's Association in Olmütz is mentioned in Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 12 January 1894.

59. Kohn, Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten, 85.

60. The Czech Catholic Congress was announced in Našinec (Olomouc), 14 July 1901, 1. The call for participants (“Katolíci v arcidiecési Olomoucké a ve všech zemích českoslovanských“) declared that “History teaches as clear as day that the only firm basis for true love of the homeland is faith, religion, and loyalty to God” and promised that “this congress will be ours, entirely Czech” (Bude to sjezd náš, sjezd úplně český).

61. Kohn, Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten, 91.

62. “Katolický sjezd v Kroměříží pod ochranou bodáků!” Pozor (Olomouc), 27 August 1901, 1-2; “Der Katholikentag in Kremsier,” Mährisch-Schlesischer Correspondent (Brünn), 28 August 1901 (Abendblatt), 1; “Proti sjezdu německých katolíků,” Pozor, 3 September 1901, 2. See also Johann Kux, Geschichte der königlichen Hauptstadt Olmütz bis zum Umsturz 1918 (Reichenberg, 1937), 408.

63. In particular, see Pozor (Olomouc) and Havlíček (Prostejov).

64. Kohn, Lebensdenkwürdikgeiten, 91. Oddly, Kohn commonly refers to the German language as a “tongue” (Zunge) and the Czech language as an idiom (Idiom) in his memoirs.

65. “Naše arcidioecese,” Pozor (Olomouc), 4 July 1902, 1.

66. “Panství arcibiskupstvi olomouckého,” Pozor (Olomouc), 12 January 1899, 1-2.

67. See “Obsazovüní kanovnických míst v Olomouci,” Pozor (Olomouc), 30 November 1899, 1, and 2 December 1899, 3. See also Bohumil Zlámal, “Kapitoly ze života olomouckého arcibiskupa ThDr. Theodora Kohna—neúspěšného mecenáše české univerzity na Moravě,” Vlstivědný větník moravský 45, no. 1 (1993): 23.

68. “Glossy k katolickému sjezdu v Kroměříži,” Pozor (Olomouc), 29 August 1901, 1. For biographical details on Carl Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1866-1914), see Mašek, Modrá Krev, 110. See also Engel-Jánosi, Friedrich, Österreich und der Vatikan 1846-1918 (Graz, 1958), 2:73.

69. “K.U obsazeni kanonovných míst v Olomouci,” Pozor (Olomouc), 8 December 1899, 3.

70. “Nejmladší kanovnikv Olomouci,” Pozor (Olomouc), 11 March 1899, 1.

71. “Arcibiskup dr. Kohn,” Pozor (Olomouc), 7 November 1899, 3.

72. “Není Kohn jako Kohn,” Pozor (Olomouc), 9 November 1902, 4.

73. “Arcibiskup dr. Kohn,“Pozor (Olomouc), 11 November 1899, 6; “Posedmi letech,” 16 November 1899, 1-2; ‘Jubileum arcibiskupa dra. Kohn,” 7 November 1902, 1; “Dr. Kohn. (kujeho jubileum!),” 9 November 1902, 1-5.

74. “Arcibiskup dr. Kohn,” Pozor (Olomouc), 11 November 1899, 6.

75. For an example, see “Naše arcidioecese,” Pozor (Olomouc), 18June 1902, 1.

76. A total of ten articles by “Rectus” appeared in Pozor between 4 June and 13 August 1902. They were also published as a separate pamphlet in German translation: Rectus-Briefe an den Olmützer Erzbischof Dr. Th. Kohn (Brünn, 1903). Details of the “Rectus Affair” can be found in Marek, Prof. Dr. Theodor Kohn, 39-48; Bohumil Zlámal, “Kapitoly ze života olomouckého arcibiskupa Th Dr. Theodora Kohna—neúspěšného mecenáše české univerzity na Moravě,” Vlastivědný věstník moravský 45, no. 1 (1993): 25-27, and 45, no. 2 (1993): 171-74. Kohn's own recollections of the “Rectus Affair” can be found in his Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten, 105-11.

77. “Naše arcidioecese,“Pozor (Olomouc), 8 June 1902, 1.

78. Zlamál, “Kapitoly ze íivota,” 45, no. 1 (1993): 21-22.

79. “Naše arcidioecese,” Pozor (Olomouc), 8 June 1902, 1.

80. Ibid.

81. “Naše arcidioecese,“ Pozor (Olomouc), 18 June 1902, 1.

82. Ibid.

83. “Naše arcidioecese,“ Pozor (Olomouc), 8 June 1902, 1.

84. The letter is quoted in full in Marek, Prof. Dr. Theodor Kohn, 43-44.

85. According to Kohn, Baron Grimmenstein was the “intellectual author of the agitation,” who relayed information to Hofer via Ocáesek; see Kohn, Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten, 106-7. Kohn's loyal secretary, Franz Botek, also described such a conspiracy in his published defenses of Kohn; see Franz Botek, Pro aris et foci (Klagenfurt, [1911]), and Botek, Der resignierte Fürsterzbischof von Olmütz Dr. Theodor Kohn: Grundlinien, Beiträge u. Materialiensammlung zur vorteilsfreien, fachgemässen Beurteilung seiner bischöflichen Amtstätigkeit (Klagenfurt, [1913]).

86. Marek, Prof. Dr. Theodor Kohn, 42-43; Zlámal, “Kapitoly ze života,” 45, no. 2 (1993): 172.

87. François [Franz] Botek and A. Kleiber, Facta Loquuntur ou dix années d'activité épiscopoale (Paris, 1902).

88. “Jubileum arcibiskupa dra. Kohna,” Pozor (Olomouc), 7 November 1902, 1.

89. “Dr. Kohn. (ku jeho jubileu!),“Pozor (Olomouc), 9 November 1902, 1-5.

90. For example, see ‘Jubileum Dra. Kohna,” Havlíček (Prostějov), 15 November 1902, 2. Havlíček was an organ of the anticlerical Moravian National Social Party.

91. Čeněk Lanský, Hrůzovláda arcibiskupa Kohna a povaha klerikalismu (Prague, 1903), 8.

92. Ibid., 18.

93. Ibid., 36-44. Chapter 4 of this pamphlet, entitled “Kohn-inkvisitor,” deals with the Rectus Affair.

94. Adolf Stránský (1855-1931), like Kohn's grandfather, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, was a deputy for Brünn-Brno; he was joined by F. R. Reichstadter, a deputy from Prossnitz-Prostějov for the anticlerical Moravian National Social Party.

95. “Österreichischer Reichsrat,” Neue Freie Presse (Vienna), 2 May 1903 (Abendblatt), 3.

96. Ibid, 1; Stenographische Protokolle über die Sitzungen des Hauses der Abgeordneten des österreichischen Reichsrathes im Jahre 1903 (Vienna, 1903), 20, 372-79.

97. As early as 1902, the Vatican expressed concern about the string of complaints coming from Moravia. See Engel-Jánosi, Österreich und der Vatikan, 2:56-78. Based on Vatican and Austrian archives, Engel-Jánosi has extensively documented Vatican deliberations on Kohn's fate.

98. Kohn had been accused of violating the secret confession, which would have constituted sufficient grounds for degradation, but the accusation proved to be unsubstantiated.

99. Kohn, Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten, 229.

100. Kohn's letter of resignation (in Latin) is reproduced in Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten, 230-31.

101. On Kohn's will and his bequest for a Czech university, see Pavel Marek, Prof. Dr. TheodorKohn, 71-74, and Zlámal, “Kapitoly ze života,” 45, no. 2 (1993): 177-79.

102. See Botek, Pro aris et focis, which deals primarily with the Rectus Affair, and Botek, Der resignierte Fürsterzbischof, an 1,100-page tome dealing with Kohn's entire tenure as archbishop.

103. Kohn, Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten. Kohn completed his memoir sometime after 1910 and used it to setde many personal scores, particularly with Baron Grimmenstein, Hofer (“Rectus“), and Ocásek. In 1924, Hofer published a response to Kohn's memoir, which appeared in Pozor. See Zlámal, “Kapitoly ze života,” 45, no. 2 (1993): 179. Kohn's obituaries focus on his career as archbishop (and his subsequent resignation), providing no details about his life in Ehrenhausen, except that his funeral attracted numerous dignitaries. See Grazer Zeitung, 5 December 1915; Neues Wiener Tagblatt, 5 December 1915,12-13; Reichspost (Vienna), 5 December 1915; Katolischer Wahrheitsfreund (Graz), 12 December 1915,398.

104. Quoted in “Der Fall Kohn,” Die Welt (Vienna), 15 January 1904, 3, and paraphrased in “Erzbischof Kohn,” Österreichische Wochenschrift (Vienna), 15January 1904, 33. Similar sentiments were expressed in Edith Salburg, Errinerungen einer Respektlosen (Leipzig, 1928), 2:50, 118-21.

105. “Erzbischof Kohn,” Österreichische Wochenschrift (Vienna), 15 January 1904, 34.

106. “Der Fall Kohn,“Die Welt (Vienna), 15 January 1904, 3.

107. Die Neuzeit (Vienna), 8 May 1903, 213.

108. “Die beiden Köhne,“Der Floh (Vienna), 6 March 1904.

109. Kohn, Lebensdenkwürdigkeiten, 2.

110. Ibid., 43.

111. Ibid.

112. “Olmütz,” in Charles G. Herbermann, Edward A. Pace, Condé B. Pallen, and Thomas J. Shahan, eds., Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11 (New York, 1911). See also Ottův Slovník naučný, vol. 14 (Prague, 1899); Biographisches Lexikon zur Geschichte der böhmischen Länder, 4 vols. (Munich, 1984), 2:224; Österreichisches biographisches Lexikon, 1815-1950 (Graz, 1969), 5:67.

113. Kohut, Adolf, Berühmte israelitische Mánner und Frauen in der Kulturgeschichte der Menschheit (Leipzig-Reudnitz, 1901-2), 2:356 ; Wininger, Salomon, Grosse jüdische National-Biographie (Czernowitz, 1928), 7:185 ; Herlitz, Georg and Kirschner, Bruno, eds., Jüdisches Lexikon (Berlin, 1929), 3:756 ; The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, 1941), 4:434; Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1971), 10:1148. There is no entry for Theodor Kohn in the Evreiskaia entsiklopediia (St. Petersburg, 1906-13) or the Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, 1901-06). But there is a ten-page entry on Kohn in the anti-Semitic compendium, Semi-Kürschner, oder literarisches Lexikon der Schrijtsteller, Dichter, Bankiers … u.s.w, jüdischer Rasse und Versippung (Berlin, 1913), 612-21, which appears to have been the main source for a rabidly anti-Semitic article published by the Nazi press; see “Priester des Teufels. Wie der Jude Kohn sein Amt als Fürsterzbischof missbrauchte,“Der Stürmer (Nümberg), 27 February 1941.

The Rise and Fall of Archbishop Kohn: Czechs, Germans, and Jews in Turn-of-the-Century Moravia

  • Michael L. Miller

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