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STYRIA (Ger. Steiermark ), province in S.E. and central Austria, originally a duchy connected with the *Hapsburgs from 1186. The presence of Jews in Styria from the 11th century may be learned from place names such as *Judenburg (first mentioned c. 1080), Judendorf near *Graz (mentioned 1147), and Leoben (mentioned 1230). The existence of Jewish communities is attested only from the second half of the 14th century (in Graz, e.g., from 1389). The legal position of the Jews was based on the adaptation by Premysl *Otakar and Rudolph of Hapsburg of the Fridericianum of 1244 (see *Frederick II of Babenberg). In the early Middle Ages, Jews were occupied as traders, and later primarily moneylenders, and were instrumental in effecting Styria's shift to a money economy. Their moneylending activities often involved the formation of a consortium to lend money on a large scale to municipalities; even monasteries were frequently involved in such transactions. In 1310 or 1312 Jews were massacred in Fuerstenfeld (because of an alleged desecration of the *Host and blood *libel) and in Judenburg. After repeated requests by the Estates, *Maximilian I expelled the Jews from the region in 1496, the Estates undertaking to reimburse him for the consequent loss of taxes. The exiles settled primarily in *Burgenland and the north Italian Hapsburg provinces from which they traded intensively with Styria. Individual Jews settled in Styria in 1753 and 1775; a decree permitted the attendance by Jews at the Graz markets in 1781, but the expulsion edict of 1496 was renewed repeatedly, for the last time in 1828. Even after the 1848 Revolution their economic activities were restricted; only from 1861 could they acquire real estate.

In 1903 Jews lived in 47 localities. They took an active part in the development of heavy industry and the railway to Hungary; some engaged in farming. At the resort of Gleichenberg-Trautmannsdorf a Jewish hospital was founded in 1884. Antisemitism was strong in Styria, though not violent in its manifestation until 1938. Many holiday resorts would not admit Jews. After the Anschluss (March 1938), Polish citizens among the Styrian Jews were compelled to leave for Poland while others, mainly from Graz, were deported to the *Dachau concentration camp; Jewish businesses were "aryanized." From Aug. 1, 1939, no Jew was permitted to live on Styrian territory.

After the end of World War ii a community was reestablished in Graz in 1949. Styria has been depicted in Hebrew literature in the writings of Gershon *Shofman, who lived in a village there between the two world wars.


E. Baumgarten, Die Juden in Steiermark (1903); A. Rosenberg, Beitraege zur Geschichte der Juden in Steiermark (1914); J.E. Scherer, Die Rechtsverhaeltnisse der Juden (1901), 455–517; M.K. Schwarz, in: J. Fraenkel (ed.), The Jews of Austria (1967), 391–4; Germania Judaica, 2 (1968), 785–7; D. Herzog, in: mgwj, 75 (1931), 30–47; 79 (1935), 31–49; 80 (1936), 58–79, 118–21; 81 (1937); 44f.; idem, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Judea in der Tschechoslowakei, 3, no. 2 (1932), 95–106; 5, no. 1 (1938), 1–12.

[Meir Lamed]