Ferdinand°

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FERDINAND°

FERDINAND °, name of three Holy Roman emperors.

ferdinand i ruler of Austria; emperor, 1556–64. On his accession to the Austrian throne in 1527 Ferdinand i con-firmed the customary Jewish privileges. He opposed the expulsion of *Prague Jewry in 1541, permitting the Jew Hermann to print Hebrew books there and punished the ringleaders of anti-Jewish outbursts in *Litomerice and *Zatec. In 1551 he ordered the Jews within his realm to wear a yellow *badge. Many of his expulsion decrees for Lower Austria, Silesia, Prague, and Vienna, issued in the 1540s and 1550s, were averted or only partially applied after payments by the Jews. In 1557 he canceled the safe conducts granted to Bohemian Jews, granting them later in exceptional cases. He authorized the Jesuits of Prague in 1561 to undertake the*censorship of Hebrew books and forced the Jews to attend their sermons. As emperor he confirmed the privileges accorded to the Jews within the empire.

Ferdinand ii king of Bohemia from 1617 and of Hungary from 1621; emperor, 1619–37. A fanatic Catholic and protagonist of the Counter-Reformation in his domains, Ferdinand ii was preoccupied for most of his reign with combating Protestantism. The first emperor to employ *court Jews, he was dependent on Jewish financiers, mainly Jacob Bassevi *Treuenberg. For his protection during the Thirty Years' War, the Jews of Bohemia had to pay onerous taxes. Ferdinand ignored the petitions of the city council of *Vienna to expel the Jews, instead granting them successively more favorable privileges (that of 1624 was granted "in perpetuity"). He secured the return of the communities expelled from *Hanau and *Mantua. He allowed the Vienna community to build a synagogue in 1624 (insisting that they settle in a separate quarter), permitted the enlargement of the *Prague Jewish quarter in 1627, and commuted the death sentence on Yom Tov Lippmann *Heller to a heavy fine. For all these benefits, however, the Jews had to pay large emoluments.

Ferdinand iii emperor, 1637–57; son of Ferdinand ii. Immediately after his accession the Vienna city council urgently petitioned him to expel the Jews; though refusing to do this, Ferdinand iii placed them under the jurisdiction of the municipality until 1641, and did not confirm their privileges until Nov. 5, 1638. These were renewed and expanded in 1645 in return for substantial payment. An expulsion order was averted in 1652 on payment of 35,000 florins, and Ferdinand granted the Vienna community broader privileges and internal jurisdiction in return for thrice that sum. In 1650 he ordered that Jews be allowed to remain only in places where they had beenin residence in 1618. He gave his court Jew, Hirschel *Mayer, widespread power over the Vienna community.

bibliography:

Wischnitzer, in: jsos, 16 (1954), 338–9; G. Wolf, Geschichte der Juden in Wien (1876), 21–25; M. Grunwald, Vienna (1936), index; H. Tietze, Die Juden Wiens (1935), 47; Popper, in: mgwj, 38 (1894), 371–9; I. Schwarz, Geschichte der Juden in Wien (1913), 50–51; Dubnow, Weltgesch, 6 (1927), 219, 222–27; Bondy-Dworský, 1–2 (1906), 348, 371–492, 973 passim; A.F. Pribram, Urkunden und Akten zur Geschichte der Juden in Wien, 1 (1918), 123–74; D. Kaufmann, Die letzte Vertreibung der Juden aus Wien (1889), 32–65; Wolf, in: mgwj, 10 (1861), 370–3, 426–30; J. Fraenkel (ed.), The Jews in Austria (1967), 320–1.

[Henry Wasserman]