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SEHERR-THOSS, JOHANN CHRISTOPH, FREIHERR VON (in Jewish sources FRANZ):

Austrian soldier; born at Lissen Feb. 17, 1670; died Jan. 14, 1743. He is known in Jewish history as having been the first to give official recognition to the slander that the Austrian Jews treasonably aided the Prussian army in the wars between Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa. Appointed as commanding general of the troops in Moravia with headquarters in the fort of Spielberg at Brünn (Oct., 1741), he issued an order on March 14, 1742, that the Moravian Jews should by the twentieth of the same month pay 50,000 florins as a fine for their alleged treasonable acts. The Jews, through the intercession of Baron Aguilar, succeeded in obtaining a repeal of the edict (March 21); but a demand for the same sum was repeated, without, however, being given the objectionable name of a fine for treason, and the Jews were compelled to pay it. A consequence of this accusation was the decree expelling all the Jews of Moravia, Jan. 2, 1745, although the empress merely speaks of "various important reasons" which had prompted her to issue the edict of expulsion.

Bibliography:
  • Zedler, Universal-Lexicon, xxxvi., cols. 1321-1322, 1743;
  • Gotha'sches Taschenbuch Freiherrlicher Häuser, 1860, p. 802;
  • Frankl-Grün, Gesch. der Juden in Kremsier, i. 158-160, Breslau, 1896;
  • Benjamin Israel Fränkel, Yeshu'ot Yisrael, in Sammelband Kleiner Beiträge aus Handschriften, ed. by the Meḳiẓe Nirdamim, vol. vii., Berlin, 1896-97.
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