French publicist; born in Wilna, Russia, Nov. 6, 1825. His father belonged to one of the best Jewish families of Wilna, and instructed his son in Hebrew and in Polish. Klaczko early developed poetical ability, and a Hebrew song addressed to his parents, composed for the occasion of his bar miẓwah, was published as "Minḥat Todah" (Wilna, 1838). A collection of his Hebrew poems entitled "Ha-Duda'im," mostly imitations of Polish masters or direct translations, was published in Leipsie (1842), and a few songs from his pen appeared in "Pirḥe Ẓafon" (No. 2, 1844). He left Wilna, never to return, about 1840, and studied in Heidelberg and at the Königsberg University, graduating as Ph.D. (1846). Settling in Paris (1849), he became assistant librarian in the Bibliothèque du Corps Législatif and a constant contributor to the "Revue des Deux Mondes." His writings, in which he displayed great ability and an intense hatred for both Russia and Prussia, attracted the attention of the Austrian premier, Count Beust, who invited him to Vienna (1869) and appointed him Aulic Councilor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Klaczko was also elected (1870) a member of the Galician Landtag, where he delivered a memorable speech advocating the cause of France and insisting that Austria should take her part in the war against Prussia. Failing in his purpose he left Austria in the same year and went to Italy, where he remained until 1875; then he returned to Vienna, where he now (1904) resides. In 1887 he was elected a corresponding member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques of the Institut de France. He severed his connection with Judaism early in his career.

Klaczko is considered one of the foremost representatives of Polish thought and aspiration in western Europe. He edited the weekly "Viadomosci Polski" in Paris (1858-60) and the correspondence of Mickiewicz; translated Piotrowski's "Memoirs of a Siberian"; and wrote: a short history of Polish literature in the nineteenth century, an English translation of which appears as an introduction to the English edition of Krasinski's "A Divine Comedy"; "Roczniki Polskie" (Polish Year-Book), a collection of his Polish writings in four volumes (Paris, 1865); "Etudes de Diplomatie Contemporaine" (1866); "Les Cabinets de l'Europe en 1863-64" (1866); "Une Annexion d'Autrefois: l'Union de la Pologne et de la Lithiouanie" (1869); "Les Préliminaires de Sadowa" (1869); "Les Deux Chanceliers" (1876); "Causerie Florentine" (1880); "Rome et la Renaissance, Jules II." (1898); etc.

  • Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1839, p. 589;
  • 1842, p. 402;
  • Bodek and Mohr, Yerushalayim, ii., Lemberg, 1845;
  • La Grande Encyclopédie, s.v.;
  • Nouveau Larousse Illustré, s.v.;
  • Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, s.v.;
  • Wiernik, An Eminent Russian Jew, in Jewish Gazette (English supplement) March 24, 1899.
H. R. P. Wi.
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