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Alfred Fuchs

FUCHS, ALFRED (1892–1941), Czech journalist, publicist, translator and author. Born in Prague, Fuchs was a Zionist in his youth, but later he became an assimilationist and edited publications of the organized assimilationist movement of Czech Jews (see *Čechů Židů, Svaz). One of his first works was O židovské otázce ("On the Jewish Question," 1919). Above all he translated Heine's works. Ultimately he was baptized and became one of the leading Catholic publicists in Czechoslovakia. He learned Hebrew in order to read kabbalistic literature (together with his friend, the Hasidic poet Jiří Mordechai *Langer), but found greater affinity in the Catholic mystic philosophers. After a career with the Catholic press, he became chief of the press department of the prime minister's office. He was a leading expert on canon law and published a number of penetrating studies on Vatican policy. Fuchs described his road to Catholicism in an autobiographical novel Oltář a rotačka ("Altar and Printing Press," 1930). He never concealed his Jewish origin, and at the peak of the antisemitic wave under Hitler, he wrote that if he were forced to wear the yellow star of David, he would wear that and his Vatican decorations with equal pride. In 1941 he was taken by the Gestapo from a monastery where he had found refuge and was tortured to death in the Dachau concentration camp.


O. Donath, Židé a židovství v české literatuře 19. a 20. století (1930); F. Langer, Byli a bylo (1963); E. Hostovský, in: Jews of Czechoslovakia 1 (1968), index; A. Mikulášek et al., Literatura s hvězdou Davidovou, vol. 1 (1998).

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