Fischhoff, Adolf

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FISCHHOFF, ADOLF (1816–1893), Austrian politician; one of the leaders of the 1848 revolution. As the first to suggest solutions to the problems of the Hapsburg monarchy by placing its various nationalities on an equal footing, he influenced the formulation of Jewish *Autonomism. Born in Budapest, Fischhoff went to Vienna in 1836 to study medicine. After the outbreak of the revolution, he became head of its highest governing body, the security council (Sicherheitsausschuss) and was active in various administrative capacities and in parliament. Fischhoff remained to face trial after the failure of the revolution. Acquitted in 1849, he was nonetheless deprived of political rights which were not restored to him until 1867. He practiced medicine in Vienna, but lost his assets in the stockmarket crash of 1873. Subsequently he settled in Emmersdorf, Carinthia, where Austrian politicians came to consult the "sage of Emmersdorf." In collaboration with Joseph *Unger, he published anonymously Zur Loesung der ungarischen Frage (1861) outlining the compromise reached in 1867. In Oesterreich und die Buergschaften seines Bestandes (1869) he suggested the introduction of municipal autonomy, decentralization, and representative institutions, in conjunction with a conciliatory attitude toward the nationalities and their rights, a nationality law, and a court of national arbitration. In 1875 he published a pamphlet in favor of disarmament, Zur Reduktion der kontinentalen Heere. He was unsuccessful in an attempt in 1882 to found a Deutsche Volkspartei to rally liberals from all nationalities, the chief opposition coming from the Jewish leaders of the Vienna German liberals. Fischhoff's ideas were fundamental to the development of Jewish national policy in the Hapsburg domains. Joseph Samuel *Bloch tried to apply Fischhoff's ideas on relationships in the multi-national Austro-Hungarian Empire for the benefit of Galician Jewry. The *Juedische Volkspartei formulated its program along the lines of Fischhoff's Deutsche Volkspartei. Fischhoff was rarely active in Jewish affairs, but in 1851 he drew up, at the request of Leo *Herzberg-Fraenkel, a statute of association for Jewish agricultural colonization in Galicia. He signed the request to permit the founding of a *Kultusverein in Klagenfurt. He corresponded with some of his friends in Hebrew script. It was Fischhoff's express wish to be buried in the Jewish cemetery.


J. Fischer, Adolf Fischhof (Heb., 1895); A. Frankl-Gruen, Geschichte der Juden in Kremsier (1896), 175–95 and passim; R. Charmatz, Adolf Fischhof (1910); W.J. Cahnman, in: ylbi, 4 (1958), 111–39; J.S. Bloch, Reminiscences (1923), 55–60; N.M. Gelber, Aus zwei Jahrhunderten (1924), 126–31; L. Goldhammer, in: Juedisches Jahrbuch fuer Oesterreich (1933), 126–30; M. Grunwald, Vienna (1936), index; R. Kann, The Multinational Empire (1950), index; R.J. Roth, Viennese Revolution of 1848 (1957), index; P. Robertson, Revolutions of 1848 (19602), index; J. Guvrin, in: Zeitschrift fuer die Geschichte der Juden (1964), 83–98; Y. Toury, Mehumah u-Mevukhah be-Mahpekhat 1848 (1968), index; J. Goldmark, Pilgrims of '48 (1930). add. bibliography: W.J. Cahnmann, "Adolf Fischhof als Verfechter der Nationalität und seine Auswirkungen auf das jüdisch-politische Denken in Oesterreich," in: Studia Judaica Austriaca, 1 (1974), 78–91; W. Klimbacher, "Adolf Fischhof – Jude, revolutionärer Arzt und politischer Visionär," in: Das jüdische Echo, 45 (1996), 123–32; W.J. Cahnmann, "Adolf Fischhofs jüdische Persönlichkeit und Weltanschauung," in: Kairos, 14 (1972), 110–20.

[Meir Lamed]