Wachstein, Bernhard

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WACHSTEIN, BERNHARD (Dov Ber Wachstein ; 1868–1935), historian, bibliographer, and genealogist. Born in Tłuste, Galicia, he was educated in the Vienna rabbinical seminary and University of Vienna. In 1903 he became librarian of the Vienna community. He broadened the Judaica collection and was made assistant director in 1906; later he became director of the library, which he built up to 50,000 volumes, making it one of the richest and best ordered in Europe. In 1912 and 1917 he published his two-volume master work, Die Inschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Wien, a scholarly study of the tombstones of the Viennese Jewish community dating from 1540 to 1783. Wachstein subsequently rendered a similar service to the community of *Eisenstadt (Die Inschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Eisenstadt, 1922) and also published a number of monographs on Moravian communities. He compiled a bibliography of Hebrew eulogies in the holdings of the community library in Vienna (Mafteach Ha-hespedim. Zur Bibliographie der Gedaechtnis- und Trauervorträge in der hebraeischen Literatur, 4 vols., 1922–32) as well as bibliographies of the writings of G. *Wolf and M. *Guedemann. Together with Alexander Kristianpoller and Israel Taglicht, he published an anthology on Hebrew journals in Vienna (Die Hebraeische Publizistik in Wien, 3 vols., 1930). In 1939, a few years after his death, yivo published the Vakhsteyn-bukh, a compilation in his memory.


S. Chajes, Bibliographie der Schriften Bernhard Wachsteins (1933); N.M. Gelber, in: S. Federbusch (ed.), Ḥokhmat Yisrael be-Ma'arav Eiropah, 1 (1958), 232–40; A.M. Habermann, in: Yad la-Koré, 5 (1957–59), 163–5; S. Wachstein, Hagenberggasse, 49 (1996; Eng. Too Deep Were Our Roots, 2001).

[Mirjam Triendl-Zadoff]