Moritz Güdemann

Moritz Güdemann

Portrait of Moritz Güdemann
Born (1835-02-19)February 19, 1835
Hildesheim, German Confederation
Died August 5, 1918(1918-08-05) (aged 83)
Baden bei Wien, Austria-Hungary
Nationality Austrian
Occupation Rabbi and historian

Moritz Güdemann (Hebrew: משה גידמן; February 19, 1835 – August 5, 1918) was an Austrian rabbi and historian. His most important work is Geschichte des Erziehungswesens und der Cultur der abendländischen Juden während des Mittelalters und der neueren Zeit.


Güdemann attended the Jewish school in Hildesheim, and thereafter went to a Catholic Gymnasium. He was educated at the University of Breslau (Ph.D. 1858), and took his rabbinical diploma (1862) at the newly founded the Jewish Theological Seminary there.[1] In the latter year he was called to the rabbinate of Magdeburg; in 1866 he went to Vienna as preacher, where he became rabbi in 1868, and chief rabbi in 1892.

He married his first wife, Fanny Spiegel, in 1863. After her death he married Ida Sachs, with whom he had four children.


Güdemann wrote on history of Jewish education and culture, and was associated with the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement. In addition to dozens of articles, he published the following monographs:[2]

On Zionism

In his Nationaljudentum (Vienna, 1897) he wrote against the tendencies of Zionism to lay more stress on the national than on the religious character of Judaism, for which he was severely attacked by the friends of the Zionist movement. As far back as 1871, however, he had strongly protested against the proposal of the Jewish community of Vienna to strike from the prayer-book all passages referring to the return of the Jews to the Holy Land (compare his sermon "Jerusalem, die Apfer und die Orgel," 1871), and had even gone so far as to threaten to resign from the board of trustees.


  1. Dorne, Verena, Seminary, retrieved 2012-11-18
  2. Wachstein, Bernhard. "Bibliographie der Schriften Moritz Güdemanns" Bericht der Israelitischen Allianz zu Wien (1931)
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