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AUSSEE:

Town in Moravia, Austria. It had a Jewish community in the seventeenth century. In 1622 Emperor Ferdinand II. presented the town to Prince Karl of Lichtenstein, on condition that none but Catholics should be permitted to reside there; and as late as 1834, out of a population of 4,534, only 24 were Protestants. In 1688 the dean of Müglitz gave orders for the erection of a synagogue at Aussee. This building was destroyed in 1722 under the following circumstances: During the services on the eve of Yom Kippur a Catholic priest entered the synagogue and began to preach a missionary sermon to the people assembled for worship. The officers of the congregation asked him to withdraw; but he persistently refused to do so, and they were compelled to eject him. When the Jews brought charges against the priest for disturbance of the peace, he claimed that they had assaulted him. After a protracted lawsuit a decision was rendered to the effect that the synagogue be destroyed and that no other be built. Of those charged by the priest with assault three men were branded with a hot iron and exiled; while the fourth, a man seventy-four years old, was sentenced to work upon a Catholic church then in course of construction. Thirty-two years elapsed before permission was granted the Jews to establish three places of worship; and none of these was allowed to bear the name or to have the appearance of a synagogue. It was not until 1783 that permission was given to build a regular synagogue (Abraham Broda, "Megillat Sedarim"); and when this was dedicated Abraham Prostiz was chosen rabbi. Other rabbis were Israel, brother of R. Manli Fuchs, of Kromau; Loeb Pollak, and M. Duschak. David ben Jacob Szczebrszyn, author of notes on the Targumim, is said to have occupied the rabbinate in the seventeenth century.

Under the law of March 21, 1890, relating to the legal conditions of the Jewish congregations in Austria, the community of Aussee was amalgamated with the neighboring communities; and, through personal and local considerations, Mährisch-Schönberg became the seat of the Jewish communal district.

Bibliography:
  • Wolny, Die Markgrafschaft Mähren, vol. v. Brünn, 1839;
  • Abr. Broda, Megillat Sedarim, ed. E. Baumgarten, Berlin, 1895;
  • N. Brüll, Zur Geschichte der Juden in Mähren, in Wiener Jahrbuch für Israeliten, 1867; and private sources.
D. E. B.
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