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Sandor Eppler

EPPLER, SANDOR (1890–1942), Hungarian communal worker. Eppler, the son of an Orthodox rabbi, was born in Budapest and despite his association with the Neolog movement maintained an Orthodox way of life. After completing his studies in a business academy, he entered the service of the Neolog community of Budapest and as a result of his outstanding organizational and administrative ability became its general secretary.

His abilities, however, found full scope following the anti-Jewish discrimination in Hungary, which began in 1938, and the consequent impoverishment of the Jews of the country. He undertook negotiations with the government and participated, initially as an observer, at the Evian Conference in 1938. He established contact with the Jewish welfare organizations of France and England, and in 1939 proceeded for that purpose – with Samuel Stern, chairman of the National Council of Hungarian Communities (Neolog) – to Paris and London, where he pleaded unsuccessfully with Lord Winterton, the chairman of the Inter-Government Commission for Refugees in London, to include Hungarian Jewry in Germany and Austria among those granted priority in emigration.

As a result Eppler devoted himself energetically to the problem of the rehabilitation of the Jews of Hungary, especially after the annexation to Hungary in 1939–40 of territory which had belonged to it before World War I and contained the largest Jewish population, and the arrival of Jewish refugees from Germany, Slovakia, and Poland. He established welfare organizations, educational and trade institutions, reopening schools which had been closed.

His greatest achievement was the Jewish Hospital which gave employment to Jewish doctors whose qualifications, received outside Hungary, were not recognized. In opposition to the leadership of the community he assisted in the hakhsharah of ḥalutzim who intended on immigrating to Ereẓ Israel.

Eppler published a number of works on social service: A budapesti zsidósàg szociàlis munkàja ("Social Work of the Jews of Budapest," 1937); A zsidósàg helyzete, kulturàlis és szociàlis munkàja Europa tizenkét àllamàban ("The Position of the Jews, Their Cultural and Social Activities in Twelve European Countries," 1938); A rabbik szerepe a hitközségi ügyintézésben ("The Function of Rabbis in Communal Activities," 1940); Zsidó segitöszervezetek ("Jewish Welfare Organizations," 1942).

Eppler died a natural death in 1942.


P. Ujvari (ed.), Magyar Zsidó Lexikon (1929); B. Vihar (ed.), Sàrga könyv (1946); F. Karsai, in: Evkonyv (1971/72), 162–180.

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