VOLKSPARTEI, JUEDISCHE (Jewish National Party; Juedisch-nationale or Juedische Partei ), political arm of the Zionist movement for domestic policy (Landespolitik) in Austria from 1906 to 1934. The party had branches throughout Austria, excepting Galicia, which had an independent organization after 1908. It stressed Jewish pride and rejected the participation of Jews in other national movements. Accepting the idea of an Austrian multinational state, it demanded recognition of the Jews as one of the peoples therein and the transformation of their religious communities into national communities. The Jewish National Party found many adherents in eastern Austria. In the west, it was largely popular among university students. It published weekly papers in several places and from 1919 to 1927 the daily Wiener Morgenzeitung. In 1908 Benno Straucher was elected Reichsrat deputy from Bukovina and formed the Jewish Club with three deputies from Galicia (Heinrich Gabel, Arthur Mahler, and Adolf Stand). In 1911 only Straucher's seat was retained. With the break up of the Austrian Empire in 1918, the party lost most of its followers and was virtually limited to Vienna. There it succeeded in 1919 in electing its leader, Robert *Stricker, to the Austrian parliament, where he cast the only vote against proclaiming Austria to be a part of Germany. He vigorously defended equality of rights for Austrian Jews, but he failed to be reelected in the Reichsrat election of 1921 owing to changes in the parliamentary election law. In 1919 the party gained three seats in the city council, to which Leopold Plaschkes, Jakob Ehrlich, and Bruno Pollack-Parnau were elected. In 1923 it lost two of the three seats, with Plaschkes remaining city councilor. In 1927 it lost the last seat. The party participated in subsequent elections with ever diminishing returns. It was successful in the Vienna religious community, however, where it obtained a change in the electoral rules, first gaining strong representation in the 1920s, and finally reaching a majority when Desider *Friedmann was elected community president in 1933.
J. Kreppel, Juden und Judentum von heute (1925); R. Stricker, Wege der juedischen Politik (1929); A. Boehm, Zionistische Bewegung, 2 vols. (1935–372); J. Fraenkel, Robert Stricker (1950). add. bibliography: A. Gaisbauer, Davidstern und Doppeladler (1988); H.P. Freidenreich, Jewish Politics in Vienna 1918–1938 (1991).
[Hugo Knoepfmacher /
Evelyn Adunka (2nd ed.)]
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