FREDERICK III OF HAPSBURG°

FREDERICK III OF HAPSBURG°
FREDERICK III OF HAPSBURG°, duke of Austria (as Frederick V), and king of Germany (as Francis IV, 1440–86); Holy Roman Emperor 1452–93. Frederick III favored the Jews, whose enemies described him as "more a Jewish than a Holy Roman Emperor." The general charter he granted to Carinthia in 1444 contained provisions for the protection of the Jews there. He resettled the Jews in austria (though not in Vienna) after their expulsion in 1421, for which he obtained a bull from Pope Nicholas V in 1451 permitting their return since this would provide for the "Jews' livelihood and the Christians' benefit." He confirmed this permission when emperor. Frederick resisted the frequent protests by the Estates against admitting Jews (1458–63). As emperor he intervened on behalf of israel bruna who was accused in a blood libel in 1474, although earlier he had him imprisoned as a hostage to extort payment of a coronation tax. Frederick also intervened on behalf of the Jews in the blood libel cases of endingen (1470), trent (1476), and regensburg (1478). He persuaded Pope Paul II to issue a bull in 1469 ordering priests not to deny religious sacraments to officials who upheld the rights of the Jews. Jacob b. Jehiel Loans was physician to Frederick III for many years, and according to tradition there was personal friendship between patient and physician. Frederick's attitude to the Jews was motivated both by the need to overcome his financial difficulties and to uphold the imperial authority including his jurisdictions over the Jews. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J.E. Scherer, Die Rechtsverhaeltnisse der Juden in den deutsch-oesterreichischen Laendern (1901), 422–20; S. Babad, in: HJ, 7 (1945), 196–98; R. Strauss, ibid., 12 (1950), 20.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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