Reizes, Henryk

Reizes, Henryk, b 15 December 1878 in Lviv, d 8 November 1931 in Vienna. Politician, industrialist, and member of the Austrian Imperial Council and Sejm of the Second Polish Republic. Born to a Jewish family, Reizes completed his gymnasium education in Lviv. In the early 1910s, before embarking on his political career, he edited and published the newspaper Przegląd Poniedzialkowy in Lviv. He went on to serve as a city councilor in Lviv and was elected in 1911 an envoy from Lviv to the Austrian Imperial Council. In 1917 he became a member of the constitutional committee. At the end of October 1918, following the imperial manifesto about the self-rule of the empire’s nationalities, he reorganized the executive committee of the Jewish National Party of Galicia into the Jewish National Council in order to ‘preserve the rights and defend the interests of the Jewish population of Eastern Galicia.’ After the Russian occupation of Galicia in 1914, Reizes organized emergency aid for Jewish refugees in Vienna. Following Lviv’s recapture by the Austrian army in 1915, he wrote an open letter to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Sazonov, in which he denounced the persecution of the Jews by the Russian army in Galicia. According to Reizes, this letter resulted in the inclusion in the Treaty of Bucharest, ratified in May 1918, of a provision granting equal rights for Jews in Romania. After the restoration of the Polish Republic, Reizes entered the Legislative Sejm as a former member of the Imperial Council. In 1922, he was elected an MP from the Ternopil voivodeship, where he was a non-partisan member of the Jewish Koło in the Sejm.

Larysa Bilous

[This article was written in 2022.]

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