Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Fable of American Jew’s Fortune Traced to Australian Source

June 30, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The fable of a huge fortune said to be left by the late Julius Weinberger of Galveston. Texas, has been traced to its source here. Recently reports appeared in the Prague, Czechoslovakia, and Vienna press to the effect that a fortune of $30,000,000 had been left in Texas by the late Weinberger. The press reports stated further that Gabriel Brich, 94, an inmate of the Jewish Old Age Home at Trentchin, Czechoslovakia, notified that he was sole heir to this huge fortune, rejected it, declaring he was too old to enjoy it. He asked that a search be made for his two sons, from whom he last heard in Vienna.

The fable had its origin in one of the routine advertisements of the Public Trustee in this State, seeking the heirs of a local intestate. Years ago one Julius Weissberger died here in Sydney, leaving a modest fortune. Since he had come from some place in then Austrian territory where Jews often neglected the legal registration of births, his nephews, also then resident in Sydney, were unable to establish kinship by the necessary formal documents.

The customary advertisement for relatives was accordingly sent by the Public Trustec to the country of the intestate’s origin, but no legally qualified heirs have yet produced the necessary documentary evidence. It is these advertisements which, greatly exaggerated in reproduction in the Austrain, Galician and Bohemian press, gave rise to the fabled fortune.

Rabbi Francis Cohen, Chief Minister of the Great Synagogue here, stated that he frequently receives letters from would-be claimants in Eastern Europe, some including offers of a lavish commission if he will secure the inheritance for them.

A search made by the representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in Galveston, revealed no trace of a huge fortune, but some old-timers remembered a man by the name of Julius Weinberger who had lived there but moved away many years ago.

Recommended from JTA