Page 207 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

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JULIUS /ANTON VON SCHMID — ROYAL PRINTER AND NOBLEMAN
199
virtualy enjoyed a legal monopoly on the printing of Hebrew
books.
Because of his accomplishments Schmid was awarded a gold
medallion by the Emperor and he was chosen to be head of
the printer’s association in Vienna. It was his practice to take
part in the major fairs, which were also attended by the Jewish
merchants. There he made contact through “our Sephardic
brethren who reside in the capital city of Vienna with those
who are scattered and dispersed in far-away lands and was able
to establish a permanent relationship with them . . . despite the
competition of the printers in Amsterdam, Italy and Turkey.5
Schmid did not rest on his laurels but began to print in ad­
ditional languages: Arabic, Persian and Syriac. In this endeavor
he was a pioneer. Yet despite all the honors which he earned
he did not swerve from his primary purpose of producing well-
printed books in Hebrew.
The career of Anton Schmid was not without disappointment
and failure. A printer by the name of Joseph Hraschanzky, who
in the past had already tried to block the awarding of a printer’s
permit to Schmid, envied him his success and published his own
edition of the Talmud. Also, a fire which broke out in a store­
house which belonged to Schmid destroyed a large quantity of
paper and occasioned a considerable monetary loss. But Schmid
was made of stern stuff, and according to Letteris’ account he
wrote to a friend after the accident as follows: “ . . . I hope to
God that He will not permit me to fall. He smites and he heals.
I plan to reissue the Talmud, and if my hope is sustained I
will be able to raise enough funds to cover my losses.”6Letteris
adds that Schmid’s hope was fulfilled and with the income from
his fourth edition of the Talmud he was once again able to
re-establish his press on a firm basis.
ROYAL HONOR
In recognition of his exceptional talents, his business acumen
and his contributions to raising the moral and educational stand­
ards of the public, as indicated in a special royal citation, Anton
Schmid was granted the title of “Edler” (nobleman). As of No­
5. See Friedberg, op. cit,. p. 96.
6. See Letteris, op. cit., pp. 28.