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Leo Frankel

FRANKEL, LEO (1844–1896), Hungarian socialist. Born in Ó-Buda (now part of Budapest), Frankel was a goldsmith by trade. After living for a short time in Austria and Germany, he settled in Paris in 1867, where he became an active socialist. He was imprisoned by the French Imperial government for his political activities but was released on the outbreak of revolution in 1870 and helped to organize the uprising in the Paris Commune. In March 1871 Frankel was made minister of labor of the Commune, and on its overthrow two months later fled to London, where he became a member of the council of the Socialist International. In 1875 Frankel left for Austria, where he participated in the workers' conference at Wiener-Neustadt. He was arrested by the Austrian authorities and extradited to Hungary. He was imprisoned from 1876 to 1878, when he went back to Paris as Engels' assistant in the Socialist International. In 1889 he represented the Hungarian Social Democrats at the inaugural conference of the Second Socialist International.

Frankel was in constant correspondence with Karl Marx, whom he much admired, but also became interested in Zionism as a result of meeting Theodor Herzl. After his death in Paris, French workers organized a campaign to raise funds for a memorial in his name. In 1951 his portrait was used on a Hungarian stamp and in 1968 his remains were transferred to Budapest for reburial in the Workers' Pantheon.


M. Aranyossi, Leo Frankel (Ger., 1957); T. Herzl, Complete Diaries, ed. by R. Patai, 1 (1960), 191–2.

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