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Joseph II’s Edict of Toleration for the Jews of Lower Austria (January 2, 1782)

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10. We permit them henceforward, here and elsewhere, to learn all kinds of crafts and trades from Christian masters, to hire themselves to the same as apprentices, or to work for them as journeymen, without, however, submitting either Jews or Christians to any compulsion.

11. We further permit them to practice any kind of trade, but without right of domicile or master’s certificates, from which they are still excluded, and only under permit from the Magistracy in Vienna or the Government of Lower Austria for rural districts. Painting, sculpture, and the practice of the free arts are open to them as to Christians.

12. We also allow them complete freedom of choice between all uncontrolled [unbürgerlich] callings, and authorize them to apply for licenses as wholesale traders.

13. We further herewith permit and exhort them to establish manufactures and factories.

14. We further permit them to lend money on real estate and to secure their advances, but not to make the valuation themselves.

15. The use, orally or in writing, of the Hebrew and so-called Yiddish (Hebrew mixed with German) languages in any public judicial or extrajudicial procedures is forbidden henceforward; instead, the locally current language is to be used. A two years’ grace from the day of issue of this Patent is allowed; thereafter all documents written in Hebrew or Yiddish will be invalid and null and void.

16. Jews may keep as many Jewish or Christian servants as their business requires, but are bound to submit a reliable register annually, and each head of a family must not only lodge his Jewish servants in his own house, but must also guarantee that they do not engage in any occupation forbidden to non-tolerated Jews.

17. The wives, husbands, and adult children of such Jewish servants who engage in occupations of their own must also be tolerated.

18. We lift the restriction of Jews to specified houses and permit tolerated Jews to lease their own accommodation where they please in the city or its suburbs.

19. We further abolish entirely the so-called personal toll on foreign Jews, and permit them free entry from time to time into Our capital, in pursuit of their business, without being compelled to find their accommodation and meals only in houses of tolerated Jews or in Jewish restaurants.

20. Since, however, the number of Jewish families established here is not to be increased, foreign Jews arriving here must report themselves immediately on arrival to the Lower Austrian Government, stating their business and the time they need to transact it, must await confirmation, and on expiry of the period must either leave or apply to the Government for an extension. The police is to keep a close eye to see that these foreign Jews really leave, and the Christians or Jews with whom foreign Jews lodge are to report the same day to the Government.

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