Marriage restrictions in the Austro-Hungarian Empire #austria-czech


Ernst Pawel writes in "The nightmare of reason, a life of Franz Kafka",
Collins Harvill, p. 4, that "a 1789 degree promulgated to curb the growth
of the Jewish population barred any but the oldest son of Jewish parents
obtaining a marriage license". The constitution that followed the 1848
revolution brought an end to this discrimination. The decree was very
restrictive - Kafka's father married late because he had a stepbrother older
by a year. Could someone explain whether the decree applied to the whole of
the Habsburg empire; if it was strictly enforced; if there were ways for
getting round (maybe by settling in another area; marrying without a
license; registering children under someone else's name - hence implications
for genealogical research).

Many thanks.
Paula Hauser

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