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Wolf, Frumet

WOLF, FRUMET

WOLF, FRUMET (Francisca née Brilin ; 1770–1849), community leader. Born in Pressburg (Bratislava) into a prominent scholarly and wealthy family, she married a widower, Chajjim Joachim Wolf of Eisenstadt. An intelligent, compassionate woman, Frumet was appalled at the domination of the community by a small oligarchy of wealthy men, who were totally insensitive to the community's needs. In 1793 she wrote a pamphlet, Pasquill Zettelech, circulated anonymously in the community, sharply critical of the wielders of power in the community and their policies. The pamphlet was confiscated and destroyed, but not before its content caused a great stir among the Jews of the city. A ban of excommunication was pronounced not only against the anonymous author, but also against anyone involved in the distribution of the pamphlet. At that point, Frumet identified herself as the authoress. She was fined and forbidden to attend synagogue for a certain time after a plea for clemency was made on the part of her husband. The issue remained a subject of public debate, involving, among others, representatives of the patron of Eisenstadt, Duke Esterházy, until it was finally resolved in 1804. After the death of her husband, Frumet Wolf continued to manage his business and even succeeded in strengthening and enlarging it. She was also well known in Eisenstadt and Burgenland as a philanthropist, assisting the poor financially and providing them with counseling in their private lives. Her will, written in German, is preserved, and is an important source for information on the cultural and economic life of the Jews of Eisenstadt.

bibliography:

B. Wachstein, Die Grabinschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Eisenstadt, (1922), 252–62; idem, Die Inschriften des alten Judenfriedhofes in Wien, 2 (1917), 285–9; idem, Urkunden und Akten zur Geschichte der Juden in Eisenstadt …, 1 (1926), 212–22, 252–62; 2 (1926), 402–22; E. Wolf, Die Familie Wolf (1924), 119–21; O. Abeles, Zehn Juedinnen (1931), 83–93.

[Yehouda Marton /

Albert Lichtblau (2nd ed.)]

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