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Hartglas, Maximilian Meir Apolinary


HARTGLAS, MAXIMILIAN MEIR APOLINARY (1883–1953), Zionist leader in Poland during the interwar period. Born in Biala Podlaska, Hartglas studied law at Warsaw University and from 1907 to 1919 practiced his profession in Siedlce. As a young student he joined the Zionist academic circle, beginning a long friendship with I. *Gruenbaum. At an early age he took part in the struggle for Polish independence, in Jewish defense, and in Zionist activities. He was among those who formulated the "work in the present" (Gegenwartsarbeit) program for Zionism at the *Helsingfors Conference (1906). In 1917 at the Third Zionist Convention in Warsaw he laid out "the foundations of the Zionist Organization in Poland," published in Polish in 1918.

In 1919 he was elected together with 10 others on the list of the Union of Jewish Members of the Sejm (Polish parliament). The Union demanded the recognition of Polish Jewry as a national community with the rights of a national minority, entitled to organize themselves as an autonomous entity. They opposed the Polish government's discriminatory policy toward the Jews. Hartglas served as defense attorney in several famous Polish trials in which the reason for the indictment was the fact that the accused were Jews. He was instrumental in obtaining the repeal in 1931 of antisemitic czarist laws in Poland's former Russian provinces. Hartglas served as chairman of the Polish Zionist Organization and was a member of the "Jewish Club" (Kolo Zydowskie) in parliament. He settled in Palestine in 1940 and joined the staff of the *Jewish Agency. Upon the establishment of the state (1948), he became director general and later legal adviser of the Ministry of the Interior headed by Gruenbaum. Throughout his life he published articles in various Jewish newspapers on the problems of Polish Jewry and Zionism in various languages, to which he added Hebrew after his settlement in Israel.


A. Harglas, Na pograniczu dwoch swiatow (ed. J. Zyndul, 1996); I. Schiper et al. (eds.), Zydzi w Polsce odrodzonej, vol. 1.(1933), 313–59; M. Landau, Mi'ut Yehudi Loḥem 19181928, index; S. Netzer, Ma'avak Yehudei Polin al Zekhuyoteihem ha-Ezraḥiyot ve-ha-Le'ummiyot be-Polin (1980), index.

[Shlomo Netzer (2nd ed.)]

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