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Carinthia, Austria

CARINTHIA (Ger. Kaernten), federal state of Austria bordering on Slovenia and Italy. The presence of Jews there in the Middle Ages is indicated by places named Judendorf, near Friesach (mentioned in 1124), *Klagenfurt , Tamsweg, and Villach, among others. Voelkermarkt is referred to as "forum Judeorum" in about 1105. Shabbetai ha-Parnas, murdered in 1130, came from there. A community existed in Friesach in 1255, which maintained a cemetery for the Jews of the region. The privileges granted to the Jews of St. Veit were reconfirmed in the town muniments in 1270. The minnesinger Ulrich von Lichtenstein mentions Carinthian knights taking loans from Jews to redeem their armor from pawn (1244). The Jews living in the territorial enclaves of the bishops of *Bamberg and *Salzburg and in the Hapsburg domains were prohibited from transferring their residence in these territories. When Carinthia passed to Austria in 1335, a general Jewish tax was introduced. A number of Jews were massacred in *Wolfsberg following a *Host desecration charge in 1338. Emperor Friedrich III permitted a few other Jews to settle in Carinthia in 1453. In 1491, a record-book (Judenbuch) to register Jewish financial transactions was introduced, and the permissible interest rate for Jewish moneylenders was fixed. The Jews were expelled from the see of Bamberg following the *blood libel of *Trent . After repeated requests from the Estates of the realm, *Maximilian I expelled the Jews from the whole of Carinthia in 1496. He ordered their debtors to pay the Jews and took over former Jewish property, the Estates having to reimburse him for the loss of income he would sustain in consequence of the expulsion.

In 1783 Jews were permitted to attend fairs in Carinthian towns. Those Jews who had acquired civic rights when part of Carinthia was included in the "province of Illyria" established by Napoleon (1809) were permitted to retain them (1817). Jews again settled in Carinthia after the promulgation of the "forced constitution" of 1849 (see *Austria ) but were not permitted to acquire real estate there until 1867. The first immigrants mainly came from Galicia, Bohemia, Moravia, and Hungary. Adolf *Fischhof , one of the leaders of the 1848 revolution in Vienna, lived from the 1870s until his death in 1893 in Emmersdorf, but did not play any important role in the development of Carinthian Jewry. The first congregation was founded at Klagenfurt in 1886. The number of Jews living in Carinthia remained small even in modern times: there were 169 Jewish residents in 1890, of whom 122 lived in Klagenfurt and the rest in nine other localities. Until 1922 the communities were affiliated to the community of *Graz . There were 269 Jews living in Carinthia in 1934, and 257 at the end of 1938. The men were deported to *Dachau concentration camp on November 10, 1938, but were released before February 1939. Subsequently the Jews in Carinthia moved to Vienna or emigrated. There were ten Jews living in Klagenfurt in 1968 and the Jewish population of Carinthia has remained marginal into the 21st century.

In 1989–91 Joerg Haider, a leading figure of the populist right-wing Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Oesterreichs/Buendnis Zukunft Oesterreich) was governor of Carinthia. After his statements about the employment of Nazis he was forced to resign, but he was reelected in 1999. In the 2004 elections to the provincial parliament in the Freedom Party won 42.5% of the vote.


S.S. Stoessl, in: J. Fraenkel (ed.), The Jews of Austria (1967), 385–90; J. Babad, in: HJ, 7 (1945), 13–28, 193–204; idem, in: MGWJ, 80 (1936), 52–57; W. Neumann, in: Carinthia (1965), 327–66; H. Th. Schneider, in: Klagenfurt, 18 (1968), 83–85, 153–6; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), 388–90; J. Scherer, Die Rechtsverhaeltnisse der Juden in den deutsch-oesterreichischen Laendern (1901), 455–517; R. Boehm, in: ZDMG, 113 (1963), 515–20; PK (Germanyah). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Wadl, Geschichte der Juden in Kaernten im Mittelalter (1981, 19922); A. Waltzl, Die Juden in Kaernten und das Dritte Reich (1987); M. Wenninger, "Kaernten," in: Germ Jud, 3:3 (2003).

[Silvio Shalom Stoessl / Barbara Staudinger (2nd ed.)]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.