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MEZEI, MORITZ:

Hungarian jurist and deputy; born at Satoralja-Ujhely Jan. 17, 1836. He studied law in Budapest, and even as a student took an active part in the efforts to restore the Hungarian constitution and emancipate the Hungarian Jews. He was the chief founder of the National Judæo-Hungarian Society in 1861, and edited its journal, the "Izraelita Közlöny." The spirit of Hungarian nationalism which pervaded his writings caused him to be court-martialed by the governor, Count Moritz Pálffy; but for a royal proclamation of amnesty issued on the occasion of the recovery of Queen Elizabeth he would have been condemned. He was obliged, however, to resign his editorialposition. In 1864, by the permission of the king, he began the practise of law at Budapest, although the legal profession had not hitherto been opened to the Jews. Three years later he was able to resume his journalistic advocacy of Jewish emancipation, and in 1868 was appointed secretary of the congress convened by Baron Eötvös for the regulation of Hebrew communal affairs. In 1892 he was elected president of the organization which secured recognition of the Jewish religion in Hungary, and in 1893 he was elected to the Hungarian Parliament by the Jewish district of Budapest (Leopoldstadt). Mezei is also vice-president of the Hebrew congregational district of Budapest.

Bibliography:
  • Venetianer, A Zsidósóg Szervezete, p. 498;
  • Pallas Lex.
S. L. V.
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