Kisch, Guido

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KISCH, GUIDO (1889–1986), historian of law and of the legal status of Jews. Kisch, the son of Alexander *Kisch, was born in Prague. He was educated in Prague and taught the theory and history of law at Leipzig, Koenigsberg, Halle, and Prague universities. Dismissed by the Nazis in 1933, for a time he taught Jewish history at the Breslau *Juedisch-Theologisches Seminar. In 1935 he immigrated to the United States and taught history at the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. In 1949 he served as visiting professor at the University of Lund in Sweden. In 1953 he began to teach at the University of Basel, and settled in Switzerland in 1962. His main interest was the investigation of the legal position of the Jews as reflected in non-Jewish legal sources.

Apart from many publications on medieval German law, Kisch wrote Juedische Aerzte im alten Prag (1934), Die Prager Universitaet und die Juden 13481848 (1935), Jewry-Law in Medieval Germany (1941), Sachsenspiegel and Bible (1941), In Search of Freedom, a History of American Jews from Czechoslovakia (1949), Jews in Medieval Germany (1949), Forschungen zur Rechts-und Sozialgeschichte der Juden in Deutschland waehrend des Mittelalters (1955), Recht und Gerechtigkeit in der Medaillenkunst (1955), Gestalten und Probleme aus Humanismus und Jurisprudenz (1969), An Innovator of Hagaddah IllustrationCyril Kutlik (1971), Studies in Medallic History (1975), and his autobiography, Der Lebensweg eines Rechtshistorikers: Erinnerungen (1975). He also prepared a new edition of Pseudo-Philo's Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (1949; cf. hj, 12 (1950), 153ff.; and huca, 23 (1950/51), pt. 2, 81ff.). Kisch was the founder and editor of the periodical Historia Judaica (1938–61), amalgamated in 1962 with the Revue des Etudes Juives; and continued as associate editor with the Revue. He edited the volume memorializing the Breslau seminary (1963).


Jews of Czechoslovakia, 1 (1968), index; Festschrift Guido Kisch (1955); hj, 23 (1961), 31, 159–63; G. Kisch (ed.), Das Breslauer Seminar (1963), 397–8; K. Froelich, in: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fuer Rechtsgeschichte, 67 (1950), 450–9 (Ger. sec.); ibid., 68 (1951), 476–84.