Wahrmann, Moritz

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WAHRMANN, MORITZ (1831–1892), Hungarian economist and businessman. Wahrmann, who was born in Pest, Hungary, entered his father's textile business and in 1859 became the sole owner. His articles in Pester Lloyd attracted the attention of F. *Deák, who subsequently supported him in the election campaign which made him the first Jewish member of the Hungarian parliament (1869). There, he served as chairman of the finance committee. At the same time, he was president of both the Pester Lloyd Co. and the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Wahrmann advocated the acquisition of landed property by Jews, regarding it both as a profitable investment and as a means of gaining a foothold in the landed gentry class. He believed that it would promote the assimilation and social equality of Jews, but failed to realize the dangers of the inevitable hostile reaction. As vice chairman of the first General Congress of Hungarian Jews (1868–69), he supported an autonomous religious and educational establishment for Hungarian Jewry; he also spoke in favor of this in parliament. From 1883 until his death he was president of the Jewish community of Pest, where he instituted various organizational reforms. His term of office was also marked by the founding of the Jewish hospital and the Jewish community center of Budapest (1889 and 1891).


S. Büchler, in: Magyar Zsidó Szemle, 10 (1893), 7–15; L. Venetianer, A magyar zsidóság története (1922); Gy. Mérei, in: imit (1943), 313–43; N. Katzburg, Ha-Antishemiyyut be-Hungaryah (1969).

[Jeno Zsoldos]