Kolischer, Heinrich

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KOLISCHER, HEINRICH (1853–1932), politician in Galicia and a leading spokesman of its assimilationist and anti-Zionist groups. Born in Lemberg, Kolischer studied medicine at Goettingen and agriculture at the University of Vienna. He also acquired a wide knowledge of economics. From 1907 to 1918 Kolischer was a member of the Austrian parliament, and one of the most prominent members of its "Polish Club" as an economic expert. His paper mill was the largest of its kind in Galicia. In his support of Polish national orientation, Kolischer firmly opposed the establishment of an independent Jewish "curia" (electoral body) in Bukovina. His lack of contact with the Jewish masses made it difficult for Kolischer to compete with the Zionist candidates. On the dissolution of the Hapsburg Empire after World War i, Kolischer automatically became a member of the Polish Sejm of 1918–22. During this period he joined the conservative faction, known as the "Club for Drafting the Constitution," Klub Pracy Konstytucyjnej, in which he was prominent as an expert on financial matters. His advocacy of assimilation created a rift between him and the Jewish national delegates who were fighting to ensure the vital interests of Polish Jewry in its struggle for survival. After a time he returned to Vienna.


J.L. Tenenbaum, Galitsye mayn Alte Heym (1952), index; N.M. Gelber, Toledot Yehudei Brody (1955), 303, 318, 319; idem, Toledot ha-Tenu'ah ha-Ẓiyyonit be-Galiẓyah, 2 vols. (1958), index. add. bibliography: J. Majchrowski et al. (eds.), Kto byl kim w drugiej Rzeczypospolitej (1994), 321.

[Joseph Kaplan]