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Goldstein, Angelo

(1889–1947), politician, lawyer, and Zionist leader. Angelo Goldstein was born into a rabbi’s family in Milevsko (Mühlhausen), Bohemia. He studied law in Prague and was an active member of the Zionist Bar Kochba Association. He was the cofounder of the Theodor Herzl Association in 1909 and chaired this first Czech Zionist student group in 1909–1910. He served in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I and was wounded. After the war, he opened a law office in Prague.

Goldstein was a cofounder and vice president of Židovská Strana (the Jewish Party of Czechoslavakia), vice president of the Central Committee of the Zionist Confederation in Czechoslovakia, a member of the presidium of the Jewish religious community in Prague, as well as a member of the Prague city council. He was engaged in several libel actions against Židovská Strana (in particular, he served as counsel to Emil Margulies in the Hirschler-Weber case of 1928). Following the death of Ludvík Singer in 1931, who had represented Židovská Strana as its deputy in the Czechoslovak parliament, Goldstein served as his replacement; reelected in 1935, he became a member of the Social Democratic faction in parliament. As deputy he not only championed the rights of Jews (he lobbied for financial support of the Jewish schools in Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rus’, protested against antisemitic incidents, and demanded greater political rights for Jewish refugees from Germany) but also became a specialist in monetary issues, creating the law to safeguard Czechoslovak currency. In 1937 Goldstein and Ḥayim Kugel helped to formulate a law aimed at reorganizing Jewish religious communities in Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia.

As a Zionist, Goldstein supported the politics of Chaim Weizmann and served on the Zionist General Council (1931–1935) on behalf of the Progressive General Zionist faction. In 1939, he immigrated to Palestine, where he practiced law. In 1943 he published the article “Právní podklady židovské politiky v Československu” (The Legal Basis of Jewish Politics in Czechoslovakia), which was included in the collection Czechoslovak Jewry: Past and Future, published that year by the Czechoslovak Jewish Representative Committee in New York on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic.

Suggested Reading

Aharon Moshe K. Rabinowicz, “The Jewish Party: A Struggle for National Recognition, Representation and Autonomy,” in The Jews of Czechoslovakia, vol. 2, pp. 253–346 (Philadelphia, 1971).