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BAUMGARTEN, EMANUEL:

Austrian author and communal worker; born in Kremsier Jan. 15, 1828. In his youth he frequented various yeshibot, acquiring secular learning in private; and in 1848 he went to Vienna, where he devoted himself to commercial life, at the same time attending lectures at the university. Baumgarten was elected to the Sechshaus municipal board in 1861, being one of the first Jews in Austria to be elected to such an office; he was made warden of the temple of Vienna in 1870; and was in 1872 elected a member of the board of the Jewish congregation of that city, in which capacity he displayed a great and beneficent activity. A prominent part was taken by him in the foundation of the Bet ha-Midrash in Vienna, in which such men as Isaac H. Weiss and M. Friedmann found an opportunity to develop their talents; and he was one of the founders of the Israelitische Allianz and represented the congregation in the state's boards of education. The emperor honored him by granting him an order of merit; and on the occasion of his seventieth birthday he was the recipient of enthusiastic ovations.

Baumgarten is the author of a Hebrew poem on the occasion of the escape of Emperor Francis Joseph from assassination, Vienna, 1853; a German translation of Baḥya's "Duties of the Heart," with the Hebrew text, Vienna, 1854; "Ruth, a Hebrew Epic," Vienna, 1865; "Einige Worte über den Weinhandel und die Weinkultur in Oesterreich," Vienna, 1866. He edited: "Blutbeschuldigung Gegen die Juden, von Christlicher Seite Beurtheilt," Vienna, 1883; "Megillat Sedarim," being Abraham ben Mordecai's memoirs, relating the history of the synagogue of Aussee, which was destroyed because of false accusations preferred by a Catholic priest, Berlin, 1895; "Gutmeinung über den Talmud der Hebräer von Carolus Fischer," Vienna, 1883; Benjamin Israel Fränkel's "Yeshu'at Israel," memoirs relating the history of the Jews in Moravia during the wars between Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa, Berlin, 1898; "Maria Theresia's Ernennungsdekret für den Mährischen Landesrabbiner Gerson Chajes," Berlin, 1899; "Zur Mährisch-Ausseer Affaire," Breslau, 1901. He was also a frequent contributor to the daily press of Vienna and to Jewish periodicals printed in German and Hebrew.

Bibliography:
  • Neue Freie Presse, Vienna, January 14, 1898;
  • Ha-Ẓefirah, Warsaw, Feb. 12, 1898.
S. D.
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