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Frankl-Grün, Adolf

(1847–1916), rabbi and historian. Born in Kromĕříž (Ger., Kremsier) in the Habsburg province of Moravia, Adolph (Abraham) Frankl-Grün attended yeshiva in Lipník nad Bečvou (Leipnik), where he studied with Moses Bloch (1815–1909). Thereafter he attended the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau, where his teachers included Zacharias Frankel and Heinrich Graetz.


In 1877, Frankl-Grün was appointed rabbi of Kromĕříž, a post he held until 1911, when he retired and moved to Vienna. While in Kromĕříž, Frankl-Grün taught at the local Jewish school and organized a junior congregation, with students leading the prayer service. He also served as a substitute rabbi in the nearby communities of Holešov (Holleschau) from 1890 to 1896 and in Lipník nad Bečvou from 1892 to 1894. A talented orator, he published a number of German-language sermons between 1882 and 1910, including one marking Franz Joseph’s twenty-fifth jubilee as Austrian emperor (“Des Kaisers Jubeltage”; 1882). He also wrote several scholarly works on the Book of Psalms and a study of Yehudah ha-Levi’s ethics (Die Ethik des Juda-Halevi; 1884).


During his 34 years as rabbi of Kromĕříž, Frankl-Grün sifted through the archives and libraries of Moravia for material on the history of Jews of that region. His three-volume Geschichte der Juden in Kremsier mit Rücksicht auf die Nachbargemeinden (History of the Jews in Kremsier; 1896–1898) remains one of the most important studies of Moravian Jewry, particularly at the time of the Revolution of 1848 (when the Austrian parliament was provisionally moved to Kromĕříž). His Jüdische Zeitgeschichte und Zeitgenossen (Jewish Chronicle and Contemporaries; 1903) examines contemporary Jewry; his Geschichte der Juden in Ungarisch-Brod (1905) explores the history of the Jewish community in Uherský Brod; and his Zur Geschichte der Judenemanzipation in Österreich, 1848–1908 (On the History of Jewish Emancipation in Austria; 1908) looks at the struggle for legal and social emancipation in the Habsburg lands. Frankl-Grün also distinguished himself in the fight against antisemitism. He spoke out against a ritual-murder accusation in Kromĕříž in 1899 and attacked the British antisemitic writer H. S. Chamberlain, in Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s Beurtheilung des Judenthums (Houston Stewart Chamberlain’s Judgment of Judaism; 1901).


With his wife, Klara Freund, Frankl-Grün had a daughter and two sons. One son, Oskar Frankl (1881–1955), founded and served as director of Urania, a German adult-education society in Prague.

Suggested Reading

Adolf Frankl-Grün, Geschichte der Juden in Kremsier mit Rücksicht auf die Nachbargemeinden (Breslau, 1896–1901); H. Pollak, “Rabbiner Dr. Adolf Frankl-Grün,” Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums (5 May 1916): 209–211.

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