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David Herzog

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David Herzog was born on November 7, 1869 in Trnava in what is now Slovakia. He was the eldest of eight children of the textile merchant Leopold Herzog and Cäcilia Herzog, née Suss. In Trnava, David Herzog attended elementary school (1876–1881) and the prince-archbishop secondary school (1881–1889). In 1889, he enrolled at the University of Berlin and began studying Semitic Linguistics, which he completed on January 4, 1894 as a Doctor of Philosophy. This was followed by a continuation of his studies in Paris (1896) and Vienna (1899/1900).

After working as a rabbi in Berlin, Uherský Ostroh (Moravia) and Smíchov, a suburb of Prague, he was elected the new rabbi for the Provinces of Styria, Carinthia and – until 1918 – Carniola by the cultural council of the Israelite community in Graz on October 20, 1907. In 1909, David Herzog, who had completed his habilitation in the field of Semitic Philology at the German Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague in 1901, began teaching at the University of Graz, where he taught Semitic Philology until he was forcibly expelled in 1938. In 1926, he was appointed associate professor.

David Herzog has received numerous awards, including the “Gold Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria”, which was awarded to him in 1934, and the “Honorary Citizenship of the City of Graz” (1929).


David Herzog was exposed to anti-Semitic hostility against Judaism in general and against himself throughout his life. The anti-Semitic attackers included his pupils, colleagues and also students from the University of Graz. After Austria's “annexation” to National Socialist Germany, his license to teach at a university level was withdrawn. After 14 days of imprisonment in March 1938 and physical abuse in the wake of the November Pogrom in 1938, the Herzog couple were able to flee to England in early 1939. They lived modestly in London for a year before David Herzog was able to resume his scientific work in Oxford in 1940.

David Herzog died on March 6, 1946 in Oxford and was buried in the Jewish section of Wolvercote Cemetery in Oxford. Prof. Cecil Roth wrote the eulogy on his tombstone. Following his death, his wife Anna moved to Chicago to live with her son Fred in 1946, where she died in 1964.

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Cooperating partners

 Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz  Universität Graz  Medizinische Universität Graz  Montanuniversität Leoben  Technische Universität Graz 

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David-Herzog-Fonds of the Styrian Universities
Beethovenstraße 21
A-8010 Graz
Tel: 0316 380 8073




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