Ludwig Singer, President of Czech Jewish National Council, Parliament Member, Dead

Dr. Ludwig Singer, member of the Czecho-Slovakian parliament, president of the Jewish National Council of Czecho-Slovakia and one of the outstanding Jews of Czecho-Slovakia, died here today of a heart attack. He was 55 years old.

Born in Kolin, Bohemia, Dr. Singer was educated at the Universities of Prague and Jena. Shortly after his graduation he entered the service of the Austro-Hungarian government, being stationed at Reichenberg, Hohenelbe and Prague. He left the government service in 1909 to open a law office. Two years earlier he had associated himself with the Zionist movement.

As chairman of the Zionist district committee, Dr. Singer led the negotiations in 1917 with the leaders of the newly-formed Czecho-Slovakian government, including Dr. Thomas Masaryk and Dr. Eduard Benes, regarding the regulation of Jewish national questions in the future Czecho-Slovak republic. As the outcome of these negotiations Jewish minority rights became an integral part of the Czecho-Slovakian constitution following the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

When the Jewish National Council was formed in 1918, Dr. Singer was elected president, an office he has held ever since. As president of the Council he participated on the Versailles peace treaty parleys, serving as a member of the Committee of Jewish Delegations in Paris. Dr. Singer was also president of the Jewish Welfare Federation, a member of the Prague city council and president of the Prague Jewish community.

Two years ago he was elected to parliament on a combined Jewish and Polish ticket. It was at his behest that the government took prompt steps to suppress the anti-Jewish and anti-German riots which broke out in Prague last September. When a sensational blood ritual libel against the Jews of Carpatho-Russia rose, it was Dr. Singer who raised the question in parliament and fought for a government investigation which eventually cleared the Jew involved.

Dr. Singer also played a leading role in the fight for an amendment to the new citizenship law which solved the naturalization problem of thousands of Jewish war refugees in Slovakia and Carpatho-russia. When the National Jewish Party was founded recently, he pledged it his support, but preferred to remain a member of the Social Democratic party.

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