Hofer, Andreas°

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HOFER, ANDREAS ° (1767–1810), leader of the Tyrolean-Vorarlberg insurrection in 1809 against the Bavarian rule established by Napoleon. Hofer's insurrection and subsequent execution (glorified in a popular song) were an important part of the arsenal of German ultranationalism in Austria, whose protagonists carefully overlooked the considerable Jewish involvement in the revolt. Viennese Jewish bankers, particularly the *Arnstein and Eskeles firm, financed the revolt by circulating the Tiroler Aufstandwechsel (promissory notes), and the British government's subsidies to the insurrectionists were paid through these banks. One of the leading propagators of the uprising was Fanny von Arnstein, whose salon in Vienna was the headquarters of Hofer's co-insurrectionist, the Catholic priest Speckbacher; there he met the Prussian prime minister Karl August von *Hardenberg and also Jacob Salomon *Bartholdy, who joined the revolt, was wounded in the fighting, and later wrote its history (Der Krieg der Tyroler Landsleute im Jahre 1809, 1814). However the insurgents also attacked the Jews; they plundered five Jewish families in Innsbruck in 1809, and though the *Hohenems community had donated a large sum of money to them, ever larger sums were extorted on the threat of a repetition of the Innsbruck action. When Hofer was brought before the French military court, the Mantua lawyer Joachim Bassevi (1777–1868), later the dean of Milan lawyers, was appointed counsel for the defense. In spite of his efforts, Hofer was executed.


A. Taenzer, Geschichte der Juden in Tirol und Vorarlberg (1905), 176; D. Sedan, Ha-Namer vi-Ydido ha-Menamnem (1951), 114–9; H. Spiel, Fanny von Arnstein (1962), index. add. bibliography: H.G. Sella, Die Juden Tirols: ihr Leben und Schicksal (1979).

[Meir Lamed]