Wiener, Ernest Edouard

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WIENER, ERNEST EDOUARD (1882–1973), Belgian soldier and engineer. A grandson of Jacques *Wiener, he was born in Brussels to a family which played a prominent role in Belgian arts, finance, and politics. He entered the Military Academy in 1899. While a lieutenant, he studied electrical engineering at the Montefiore Electro-Technical Institute in Liège, from which he graduated in 1909. During World War i, he was appointed to important commands and was wounded while trying to rescue some soldiers under artillery fire. From 1929 to 1936, he was in charge of studies at the Military Academy, first as assistant director and then as director. In 1940, he was a major-general commanding Transmission Troops and Services at Supreme Headquarters. As a prisoner of war for five years in German camps during World War ii, he showed great dignity both as a soldier and as a Jew, and when he retired from active service in 1946, he was made a lieutenant-general, the highest rank in the Belgian Army.

During his life, Wiener was active in scientific and technical societies and was president, inter alia, of the Belgian section of the International Electro-Technical Committee. Following the family tradition, he became a member of the Consistoire Central Israélite de Belgique, the official representative body of Belgian Jewry. He was elected president in 1938, but could only act as a delegate until 1950, when he assumed the post with full title, occupying it until 1956. Most of his efforts were devoted to the reconstruction of the religious communities throughout the country and to the reorganization of several communal services. General Wiener was decorated by the British, French, and Belgian governments.

[Willy Bok]