Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech Origin of name DUB #austria-czech


Here is the article I mentioned >from the Encyclopedia Judaica (which I
see is now available online).

Stan Dub

HUSSITES, Christian reform movement, closely interwoven with the
national and social conflicts prevailing in Bohemia in the 15th
century, named after John Huss (Jan Hus; c. 1369=E2=80=931415). They
influenced European history through their reform ideology and their
victories in the five crusades launched to subdue them (1420=E2=80=9334).
Mainly because of their attitude to the Old Testament and their
rejection of the adoration of relics and saints, contemporary Roman
Catholics accused them of being a Judaizing sect. (An extremist group
even insisted on introducing kashrut and she=E1=B8=A5itah.) The Jews
sympathized with the "Benei Hushim" or "Avazim" (Czech husa, Heb.
avaz: "goose"), seeing in their actions an approach toward Judaism.
The Taborites, the belligerent radical wing, identified themselves
with biblical Israel, calling their centers by the biblical names of
Horeb and Tabor. The latter remained as the name of the town in
southern Bohemia and as the designation of an assembly in the Czech
language. The last refuge of Hussite opposition after its defeat
(1434) was called Zion.

However curious these biblical and linguistic influences may be, the
fact is that the Hussites initiated an important change in the
attitude toward the Jews through the interpretations of one of their
leaders, Matthias of Janov (d. 1394), of figures like Antichrist as
being Catholic and not Jewish, as was maintained by medieval
Christianity. However, Huss himself attacked the Jews for their
implacable opposition to Christianity. There is no proof in the
assertion, read out when Huss was on the stake (1415), that he had
"counseled with the Jews." Jacobellus of Stribro (Mies), the leader of
the moderate Calixtine faction, in his treatise De usurae ("On usury")
said that it would be much easier to convert the Jews to Christianity
if they would work in agriculture and crafts like the gentiles. They
would thus have less time for study and would more easily be
converted. The regents protected the Jews out of greed, but Jacobellus
suggested that this protection should be continued because Jews had
once been the object of divine revelation. However, as in many other
matters, in their approach to the Jews the Hussites followed the lead
of Matthias of Janov and not that of Huss, as revealed in the writings
of Jacobellus in 1412 and the Anatomia Antichristi (1420) by the
radical Taborite Pavel Kravar. The Hussite approach to the Jews was
also determined by their concretization of history as a struggle
between Christ and Antichrist. Every Christian is a limb (membrum) of
one of these two bodies (corpora), and the Jews now have no part in
this struggle. They had in the past, however, when Christianity first

The Hussites considered themselves "God's warriors" (Bo=C5=BE=C3=AD bojovn=
subduing the "soldiers of the Antichrist," i.e., the German Catholic
crusaders. There were no direct attacks by the Hussites on the Jews,
although they incidentally became victims of the Hussites, as after
the capture of Chomutov (Komotau) in 1421, where Jews were burned at
the stake together with the Catholics (although the Jews were given
the choice between adopting Hussitism or death, a choice denied to the
Catholics); and in Prague (in 1422) the Jewish quarter was plundered
along with the Old City. However, these attacks were incidental to
attacks on Catholics. In the 1420s thePage 645 | Top of ArticleJews
were accused of supplying arms to the Hussites and on that account
suffered massacres and expulsions at the hands of the Catholics from
Austria in 1421, Bavaria in 1422, and Iglau (Jiniouva) in 1428. The
rabbinical authorities of the period, such as Israel *Isserlein ,
Israel *Bruna , Jacob *Weil , and Yom Tov Lipmann *Muehlhausen
expressed guarded sympathy with the Hussites, while an anonymous
chronicler (writing in Hebrew c. 1470; see Ben-Sasson in bibl.)
expressed it freely seeing Hussitism as inspired by Avigdor *Kara .
Consequently the chronicler reports outstanding events of the
Hussiteperiod, mingling truth and fantasy. According to this Hebrew
chronicler, Kara was in close contact with the Hussites and composed a
piyyut, which seems to reflect the messianic hopes roused among Prague
Jewry by the rise of the Hussites. He states that it was sung openly
in Hebrew and Yiddish. The tune the piyyut was sung to seems to have
been that of a Hussitic hymn. The collapse of Hussitism was a
disappointment to the Jews.

The later followers of Hussitism, the Bohemian Brethren, also showed
much interest in Judaism and Jewish history. They too identified
themselves with biblical Israel and likened their expulsion (1548) to
the galut. They published the Czech translation of the Hegesippus
version of Josephus' Wars three times in the second half of the 16th
century. In 1592 V=C3=A1clav=CB=87 Pl=C3=A1cel published a Hystoria =C5=BEi=
("Jewish History"), also based on Josephus but continuing until the
seventh century C.E., which displays an unusual measure of sympathetic
understanding for the fate of the Jews. When the Brethren founded
their community in Poznan (Posen) some Jews joined them. One, who was
baptized and adopted the name of Lukas Helic, collaborated in the
translation of the Bible into Czech (Kr=C3=A1lick=C3=A1 Bible).

As an outcome of the persecutions, some of the Brethren preferred
adopting Judaism to forced conversion to Catholicism or emigration.
Some Bohemian Jewish families traced their descent to these converted
Brethren, among them Brod, Dub, Jellinek, Kafka, Kuranda, and

Under Catholic Hapsburg rule, there was rapprochement and
understanding between the clandestine Brethren and the Jews. Their
heritage was manifest once more with the emergence of the sect of the
*Abrahamites in the 18th century.

After the Holocaust, many synagogue buildings in Czech localities
became prayer rooms of the Bohemian Brethren or the Czechoslovakian
Church, and in these localities they took over the care of the Jewish
cemeteries. They had a special prayer for these occasions (V=C4=9Bstn=C3=AD=
=C5=BEidovsk=C3=BDch n=C3=A1bo=C5=BEensk=C3=BDch obc=C3=AD v =C4=8Deskoslov=
ensku, 11 (1949), 532).


E. Schwarz, in: JGGJ=C4=8C, 5 (1933), 429=E2=80=9337; R. Kestenberg, ibid.,=
(1936), 1=E2=80=9325 (incl. bibl.); J. Macek, Hussite Movement in Bohemia
(19582); Baron, Social2, 13 (1969), 209=E2=80=9316, 416=E2=80=9321; H.H. Be=
in: Divrei ha-Akademyah ha-Le'ummit le-Madda'im, 4 (1969/70), 66=E2=80=9369=
R.R. Betts, Essays in Czech History (1969); H. Kaminsky, A History of
the HussiteRevolution (1967); Kestenberg Gladstein, in: Journal of the
Warburg Institutes, 18 (1955), 245, 254, 288=E2=80=939; idem, in: Judaica
Bohemiae, 4 (1968), 64=E2=80=9368.

[Ruth Kestenberg-Gladstein]

Source Citation (MLA 7th Edition)
Kestenberg-Gladstein, Ruth. "Hussites." Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed.
Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 9. Detroit: Macmillan
Reference USA, 2007. 644-645. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9
Feb. 2015.

Gale Document Number: GALE|CX2587509349

Stanley M. Dub

Cleveland, OH

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