Gottschalk, Max

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GOTTSCHALK, MAX (1889–1976), Belgian social scientist and Jewish leader. Born in Liège, Gottschalk was a member of the bar at Liège and Brussels and joined the staff of the International Labor Office (1921–23). At the end of 1923, he was invited to join the Institute of Sociology of the Free University of Brussels as research professor, and was mostly occupied with problems of unemployment. The representative of the ilo for Belgium and Luxembourg (1923–40), Gottschalk became government commissioner for unemployment (1933–34) and president of the Social Security Board (1935–40). During World War ii Gottschalk went to the United States, where he taught at the New School for Social Research in New York. After the war, he returned to the Institute of Sociology in Brussels, where he was president of the Center of Regional Economy and president of the International Council for Regional Economy (1958–68). On retiring from the Belgian and International Associations for Social Progress, he became honorary president of both these organizations.

His Jewish activities were religious, social, and intellectual. He presided over the Central Jewish Consistory of Belgium (1956–62). In the social field, he was vice president of the *Jewish Colonization Association, board member of *Alliance Israélite Universelle and ort-Union, and a founder of the Centrale d'Oeuvres Sociales Juives (United Jewish Appeal) in Brussels. He directed the Research Institute for Peace and Postwar Problems of the American Jewish Committee (1940–49) and from 1959 the Centre National des Hautes Etudes Juives, financed by the Belgian government. As president of the Belgian Committee for Refugees from Nazi Germany (1933–40), he was instrumental in the rescue of the passengers from the ship St. Louis, which was sent back from Cuba and finally permitted to land in Antwerp (July 1939). Gottschalk wrote numerous publications in Jewish and non-Jewish fields.