Brociner, Joseph

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BROCINER, JOSEPH (1846–1918), publicist and communal leader in Romania. Brociner was born in Jassy and after studying law moved to Galati, where he spent most of his life and was active in the struggle of Romanian Jewry for emancipation during and after the Congress of Berlin (1878). His major contribution was in the sphere of literary polemics. He sought to refute by historical evidence the claim that the Jews were "aliens," adduced against granting them citizenship rights in Romania. The most important of these works is Chestiunea Israelitilor Romani ("The Romanian Jewish Question," 1910), because of the many documents published in it, some for the first time. However, his publication of documents was in an apologetic rather than a scholarly form. Brociner was also active in reconstructing the officially recognized Jewish communal organization, which had been disorganized since 1862. In March 1896, he convened in Galati a general conference of the representatives of the communities in Romania, the first in the country, where a plan for communal organization was reviewed. In 1901, he convened a second conference at Jassy, when the Union of Israelite Communities in Romania was founded. He also wrote several publications on the subject, among them a detailed memorandum to the government; these publications also included important historical documents. Brociner was among the first members of Ḥovevei Zion in Romania. He also became associated with political Zionism and sent a proposal to Theodor *Herzl for the organization of the Zionist movement in Romania. Brociner's brother mauriciu (Moritz; 1855–1946) was the first Jewish officer in the Romanian Army. He distinguished himself in the Romanian War of Independence of 1877 and later attained the rank of colonel. For many years he filled senior administrative posts at court and served as private secretary to the queen. Another brother was the Austrian author and playwright marco brociner (1852–1942). Another brother, ANDREI BROCINER (1842–1930), was also a publicist and fighter for emancipation of the Jews in Romania.


J.B. Brociner, Notite Biografice-Notice Biographique (1913); S. Wininger, Artistii, Scriitorii, Savantii, Financiarii, si Intemeietorii Evrei din Romania (Ms. Jerusalem National Library), 875–83. add. bibliography: H. Kuller, in: Buletinul centrului, muzeului si arhivei istorice a evreilor din Romania, 2 (1998), 136–37; M. Mircu, Un cimitir plin de viata (2001), 63–67.

[Eliyahu Feldman]