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AUSPITZ, RUDOLF:

Austrian member of parliament and leading manufacturer; born at Vienna July 7, 1837. He is a member of one of the oldest and most prominent Jewish families of Moravia, which settled in the city of Auspitz, whence it derived its name. One of his ancestors, Abraham Auspitz, was chief rabbi of Moravia during the latter part of the eighteenth century; his grandfather, Lazar Auspitz, was the founder of the well-known firm of L. Auspitz (at present [1901] "Auspitz Enkel"), manufacturers of woolens, the leading members of which are Rudolf and his elder brother Karl Auspitz, Elder von Artenegg.

Auspitz received his early education in his native town, attending the Technische Hochschule. To complete his education he visited Berlin and Paris, being interested in the natural sciences, and returned to Austria in 1858. He has since taken an active part in the industrial and political life of his country.

When, in the middle of the last century, the manufacture of beet-sugar was being introduced into continental Europe, Auspitz was one of the firstlarge landowners and leading capitalists to encourage the industry. Combining business enterprise with capital and knowledge, he founded in 1863 a company for the production of sugar from beets. In this undertaking he was very successful; and in 1862 his company absorbed the great sugar manufacturing concern of Count Chorinsky in Bisenz. By this transaction his firm, under the style of "Die Rohatetz-Bisenzer Zucker Fabriken Rudolf Auspitz und Co.," became the only sugar manufacturers in northern Moravia. His grandfather having made the name Auspitz prominent in the woolen trade, Rudolf has now made it equally prominent in the sugar trade. Not only in the business world was he conspicuous, but also in the political field which, he entered in 1871 as the successful candidate for the Moravian Landtag, representing the district comprising the cities of Gaya, Butschowitz, and Wischau from 1871 to 1884, and from 1884 to 1900 the chamber of commerce of Brünn. In 1873 he was also elected a member of the Austrian Reichsrath for the district Auspitz-Wischau. He was also a member of the chamber of commerce for Lower Austria from 1888 to 1892, and since 1900 he has been trustee of the Jewish congregation of Vienna.

Auspitz has always belonged to the German Liberal party, in whose caucuses he has taken a prominent part, and whose platforms have been ably advocated and successfully defended by him. He has been very active in the meetings of the houses of which he has been a member.

Auspitz's wide knowledge of economics, his sagacity and enterprise as a merchant and manufacturer, and his manifold connections in the export and import trade have made his advice much sought after in state and national legislation. During the controversy between Austria and Hungary in 1898 he was one of the mediators through whose untiring energy the seemingly irreparable breach between the two constituents of the dual monarchy was finally and satisfactorily healed (1901).

In 1899 Auspitz was a member of the house committee of the Reichsrath for the investigation of the anti-Semitic movements in Holleschau and Wsetin, Moravia; and in 1900 he was chosen speaker of the committee of leading Jews of Vienna, which waited on the Austrian minister-president Freiherr von Körber, to protest against the anti-Semitic excesses in Austria.

Auspitz, in spite of his political and other duties, has still found leisure for scientific researches, the fruits of which are embodied in his well-known work (edited jointly with R. Lieben), "Ueber die Theorie des Preises."

Bibliography:
  • Kohut, Berühmte Israelitische Männer und Frauen, No. 17, p. 371; private sources.
S. F. T. H.
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