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Eduard Bacher

BACHER, EDUARD (1846–1908), Austrian lawyer and journalist. Bacher was born in Postelberg (Postoloprty), Bohemia. While studying law in Prague and Vienna, he became interested in parliamentary affairs and soon was appointed stenographer of the Bohemian Parliament (c. 1861). After completing his studies, he became chief stenographer of the Vienna Reichsrat and practiced as a successful lawyer. In 1872, he joined the staff of the leading liberal Vienna daily Neue Freie Presse (est. 1864 by Max Friedländer and Michael Etienne) as parliamentary reporter. The same year, on Friedländer's death, he was appointed editor of the domestic politics section and on May 1, 1879, after Etienne died, became editor-in-chief (later also publisher and part owner). In 1881, Bacher was joined by Moritz *Benedikt as co-editor. For almost three decades the Neue Freie Presse was closely linked to Bacher's personality and political orientation, serving as an organ of the German Liberal Party in Austria. His editorials had considerable influence on Austro-Hungarian domestic politics, promoting a centrist structure set against anti-liberal, national, or federal aspirations, and therefore opposing the conservative Austrian government of Count Taaffe (until 1893) and later Count Badeni (1897). Bacher was a corresponding member of the Society for Promoting Science, Arts and Literature in Bohemia and served as literary adviser of the Austrian prince royal, Archduke Rudolf, who committed suicide in 1889. From 1896/97, Bacher's political creed also led him to reject the new Zionist movement of Theodor *Herzl, who had joined the Neue Freie Presse as Paris correspondent in 1891. As frequently deplored in Herzl's diaries, Bacher would not let him publish any reports on the Zionist movement or the Zionist Congresses in the paper. After Bacher's death, the Neue Freie Presse was continued by Benedikt until 1920.


Neue Freie Presse (Jan. 1908); Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums (Jan. 24, 1908), supplement Der Gemeindebote, 4; E. Dovifat, in: Neue Deutsche Biographie, I (1953), 496; A. Wandruszka, Geschichte einer Zeitung. Das Schicksal der „Presse" und der „Neuen Freien Presse" von 1848 zur Zweiten Republik (1958). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Th. Herzl, Briefe und Tagebuecher (ed. A. Bein et al.), 7 vols. (1983–96), index; H. Schmuck (ed.), Jewish Biographical Archive, (1995), F. 46, 41/109, 344–356; Series II (2003), F. II/35, 422–425; S. Blumesberger et al. (eds.), Handbuch oesterreichischer Autorinnen und Autoren juedischer Herkunft, 1 (2002), 55 (No. 422).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.