Bischoff, Erich°

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BISCHOFF, ERICH° (c. 1867–1936), German biblical and talmudic scholar. Bischoff repeatedly served as expert on Judaism in court cases, furnishing memoranda on the *blood libel, the ethics of the Talmud and the Shulḥan Arukh, etc. He refused to be termed either anti-or philo-Semitic, but was criticized by Jewish writers and organizations for his views (cf. C. Bloch, Blut und Eros im Judentum, 1935). In his Klarheit in der Ostjudenfrage (1916) he suggested the introduction of a special Ostjuden tax to be raised by Jewish organizations either to improve the conditions of unwanted Eastern European Jews in Germany or to settle them in Palestine. Among Bischoff's published works are also Kritische Geschichte der Thalmud-Uebersetzungen aller Zeiten und Zungen… (1889), Rabbinische Fabeln ueber Talmud, Schulchan Aruch, Kol Nidre… (1922), Das Blut im juedischen Schrifttum und Brauch (1929), and Das Buch vom Schulchan Aruch (19424). Bischoff also edited and translated – from an Oxford manuscript – the famous anti-Christian tract Toledot Yeshu (Ein juedischdeutsches Leben Jesu, 1895). Though Bischoff pretended to be objective in his judgment on Judaism, his work misinterpreted Jewish sources and was fully exploited by the Nazis.

[Arnold Paucker]