Re: Austrian Cattle dealers #austria-czech

Celia Male <celiamale@...>

Robert Fraser asks: Was it common for Jews in >from Podivin, and Zistersdorf,
also in North-eastern Austria, near the CZ border in the mid to late 1800s to be
cattle dealers? If so, was it because of their relative education and financial
skills, which the farmers and peasants might not have had?


In the reply below the URLs are long - copy and paste them all into your browser.

A: In the 1793 Jewish census of Bohemia, there are references to Viehhandler and
Rosshandler [Cattle/livestock and horse dealers]. Thus, in Stadtl Maschau {Mastov},
Saatzer Kreis {Zatecky Kraj} - out of 9 families, we have four Viehhandler,
BERNARD, HERSCHL, LEWE and HELLER. I am sure there are many references to
Viehhandler in the Moravian censuses too.

B: >from this book we now know that there were early Jewish livestock dealers in
Switzerland too: Judische Und Christliche Viehhandler in Der Schweiz,
1780-1930 by Robert Uri Kaufmann.

C: Cattle-droving {Ochsentreiber} was a Jewish occupation >from medieval times in
Europe. I doubt this had anything to do with education; perhaps more closely
related to [biblical?] tradition, history, family links, restriction in other
forms of occupation and skills in trading and dealing with currency.

D: These restrictions are borne out by this paragraph relating to Jews in Diez
[Germany] dated 17.1.1770:

Den Schutzjuden auf dem Lande wird nur allein der Viehhandel, und was hierzu
gehörig, gestattet...

i.e. those Schutzjuden living in the country are only permitted to deal with
livestock and related matters.

E: Here we can read about the size of these operations in Russia, Poland,
Lithuania and Italy:

"The first published reference to the Jews of Ostrog is dated 1532, and deals
with the imposition of customs duties on horned cattle brought >from Wallachia by
Jewish drovers of Ostrog and other towns. ....... Isachka, an Ostrog Jew, bought
1,500 oxen in Wallachia. In 1536 a number of Ostrog Jews were accused ..... of
having driven several thousand head of cattle from... "

and in other Jewish Encyclopedia references: in Russia ... in 1532 "the local Jews
carried on extensive business operations as cattle-drovers, and one of them,
Michael of Vinnitsa [Vinitza], paid customs duties on a single drove of 2,000
head of sheep and cattle."

and in Lecce, Italy: ... "no special records concerning the Jews until the
fifteenth century. They occupied themselves at one time with dyeing, cattle-
raising, and money-lending...."

The latter is of interest with the reference to my last posting on the Nathan
ALTMANN, in which I wrote about Rosoli liqueur. If you followed up the German
story, you will have read that Rosoli was produced by cattle drovers >from Italy.
I wonder whether they were in fact Jews who had come into contact with the Jews
of Ronsperg and passed on their secret recipes to the Altmann brothers!

F: Vienna was one of the most important cities in Europe and had large cattle
markets. The gt-grandfather of one of my fourth-cousins, was an Ochsentreiber
from Zurawno, which was then part of Austrian Galicia {now, Zhuravno, Ukraine}.
He is buried in Wahringerfriedhof, Vienna: STOLPER Gerson age 56 20.08.1868
12 124 Many of the Zurawno men buried in Wahring were also designated as

His grandson Gustav {born Vienna 25.7.1888 - died NY 27.12.1947} [cf Gershon
with Gustav] became a leading economist and wrote in English: History of the
German Economy, 1870-1940 [Harcourt Brace ca 1940]. This was translated into
German by his wife, Antonie [Toni] nee KASSOWITZ. The book was updated and
retranslated into English in the 1970s [Swarthmore Economics, Michigan]. A more
recent edition is available [see Ref 1].

Gustav STOLPER was very friendly with Theodor Heuss [elected German Bundes-
President, 1949]. We have a rapid transition >from Galician Ochsentreiber in the
1830s to an eminent grandson barely a hundred years later [Ref 2].

Conclusion: Cattle, and all the occupations connected with them, were definitely
connected with the Jews of Central Europe and the Habsburg Empire. It is therefore
not at all surprising that Robert Fraser has EISINGER Viehhandler on his family

Celia Male [UK]


1. Stolper, Gustav. German economy: 1870 to the present: by Gustav Stolper, Karl
Hauser, Knut Borchardt Translated by Toni Stolper. [New ed.] Karl Hauser & Knut
Borchardt. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2003.

2. "{Herbert} Hoover's chief assistant, the German Weimar liberal, Gustav STOLPER,
in January 1947 put the question offending Germany ........... A partisan of
partition ....... it was STOLPER who drafted the eventual Hoover Report which
recommended putting Germany on its feet by stimulating German exports and thus
terminating the need for emergency aid."

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