Hungarian tolerance tax #hungary #slovakia


Eric M. Bloch
 

There appear to be two categories of Jews in Hungary who fell under the Edict of Toleration, first promulgated by Empress Maria Theresa in 1749.  Various Hungarian Jewish censuses, particularly in the early 19th century, identify Jewish heads of household as either Tolerirt (Tolerated) or Commorirten (?).  It is this latter category of Commorirten Jews for which I cannot find a translation, or any documents defining this category.  Like the Tolerated Jews, some of the Commorirten Jews had been living in their communities with their families for many years.  Can anyone definitively shed light on this category of Commorirten Jews?

Eric M. Bloch
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


beer_tom@...
 

The word "commorirt" means committed.  
The Toleration Patent of 1781 allowed all Jews to practice trades, earn university degrees, and to enter service in state offices.

Presumably those in Maria Theresia's time that were "toleriert" could so so. Those that were commorirt could not do so.


Tom Beer
Melbourne, Australia


Alice Glasner
 

Have you found any of these early 19th century censuses? They sound like they could be a great help.

Alice Glasner


judyyoung@...
 

I have just checked the meaning of the word "commorirt" both in German and in Latin - since it is clearly a Latin origin word. In both languages the meaning of the word is to stay, to sojourn, to live, to dwell. (the Latin infinitive of the verb is "commorare" and the noun is "commoratio" = residence or dwelling (also delay). Clearly it is a word used in the 18th and 19th centuries and the only examples I could find were from old texts from the 19th century; not in modern usage.
I am not familiar with special genealogical meanings and terms but I would guess that in the censuses and other lists there were Jews who were "tolerirt" =  "tolerated" i.e. given permission to live where they were in return for paying the tolerance tax (introduced by Maria Theresa) and others who were "commorirt" i.e. who had been living there for some time and were accepted on that basis as residents. 
Perhaps someone who is more familiar with the censuses would be able to confirm.  
Judy Young Drache
Ottawa, Canada


Erika Gottfried
 

I spent far too much time trying and failing to find a definition in both Latin and German, so it's a relief to see your response, Judy.  Thanks so much for your good offices and shrewd guess!  I'm sure you're correct.  
--
Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey


Eric M. Bloch
 

Thanks to all those who responded to my query about Toleriert and Commoriert Jews in Hungary.  

It appears the main difference was that the Toleriert Jews had permanent residence status while the Commoriert Jews had temporary residence status.  Beyond that, it is not clear if the Tolerierts had more rights than the Commorierts - rights such as freedom of occupation, property ownership, and university attendance.  Although initially, only the status of Toleriert was inheritable, it appears that later, even the status of Commoriert was inheritable.  They even transferred from daughters to their husbands.  Thus, by the 1820s, the Hungarian Jewish censuses indicated whether an individual was the son-in-law of a Toleriert or Commoriert.

By the early 19th century, the regulations were becoming difficult to enforce and any real differences between the two categories began to vanish, according to the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archive in Budapest.  This can be seen in the censuses where it was shown many Commoriert Jews had lived in Pest for more than 10 years - hardly temporary.  The country needed the Jews for economic reasons, so enforcement was lax and “temporary” became more-or-less “permanent.”
 

These categories appear to have applied primarily to the 60 or so free royal cities of Hungary, including Pest.
 

An interesting article about the Jews of Pest in the first half of the 19th century, was written by Vera Backskai (1930-2018), a well-known Hungarian historian, and can be found at <https://epa.oszk.hu/00000/00003/00007/bacskai.htm>.  Her article includes references to the Tolerierts and Commorierts.

Eric M. Bloch

Milwaukee, Wisconsin