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Moritz Güdemann

Moritz Güdemann

Austrian rabbi and historian
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Austrian rabbi and historian
Countries Germany
Occupations Rabbi
Gender male
Birth 19 February 1835 (Hildesheim, Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, Germany)
Death 5 August 1918 (Baden bei Wien, Baden District, Lower Austria, Austria)
Star sign Pisces
The details

Moritz Güdemann (Hebrew: משה גידמן‎‎; February 19, 1835 – August 5, 1918) was an Austrian rabbi and historian. His most important work is Geschichte des Erziehungswesens und der Cultur der abendländischen Juden während des Mittelalters und der neueren Zeit.


Güdemann attended the Jewish school in Hildesheim, and thereafter went to a Catholic Gymnasium. He was educated at the University of Breslau (Ph.D. 1858), and took his rabbinical diploma (1862) at the newly founded the Jewish Theological Seminary there. In the latter year he was called to the rabbinate of Magdeburg; in 1866 he went to Vienna as preacher, where he became rabbi in 1868, and chief rabbi in 1892.

He married his first wife, Fanny Spiegel, in 1863. After her death he married Ida Sachs, with whom he had four children.


Güdemann wrote on history of Jewish education and culture, and was associated with the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement. In addition to dozens of articles, he published the following monographs:

  • "Die Geschichte der Juden in Magdeburg," 1865
  • "Die Neugestaltung des Rabbinenwesens," 1866
  • "Sechs Predegten," 1867
  • "Jüdisches im Christenthum des Reformationszeitalters," 1870
  • "Jüdisches Unterrichtswesen Während der Spanisch-Arabischen Periode," 1873
  • "Religionsgeschichtliche Studien," 1876
  • "Geschichte des Erziehungswesens und der Kultur der Abendländischen Juden," 3 vols., 1880–88
  • "Nächstenliebe," 1890
  • "Quellenschriften zur Gesch. des Unterrichts und der Erziehung bei den Deutschen Juden," 1894
  • "Das Judenthum in Seinen Grundzügen und nach Seinen Geschichtlichen Grundlagen Dargestellt," 1902
  • "Das Judenthum im Neutestamentlichen Zeitalter in Christlicher Darstellung," 1903.

On Zionism

In his Nationaljudentum (Vienna, 1897) he wrote against the tendencies of Zionism to lay more stress on the national than on the religious character of Judaism, for which he was severely attacked by the friends of the Zionist movement. As far back as 1871, however, he had strongly protested against the proposal of the Jewish community of Vienna to strike from the prayer-book all passages referring to the return of the Jews to the Holy Land (compare his sermon "Jerusalem, die Apfer und die Orgel," 1871), and had even gone so far as to threaten to resign from the board of trustees.

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