Mozes Lopez Pereira - baron Diego D'Aguilar (oko 1700 - London 1759)
Moses Lopez Pereira - Baron Diego D’Aguilar (circa 1700 - London 1759)
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Ovaj rad donosi nepoznate činjenice i ispravlja niz netačnih podataka (nagađanja) o životu veoma uticajne jevrejske ličnosti koja je delovala u prvoj polovini XVIII veka u Austriji. Navode se razne verzije o tome kada je i gde Pereira rođen, opisuju njegove aktivnosti na carskom dvoru i pomoć saplemenicima, otkrivaju razlozi napuštanja Beča i njegova dalja sudbina, sve do smrti.
The life of Diego D'Aguilar offers enough material for study not only to historians but folklorists as well, since it inspired a number of fantastic stories and legends, of which we present only a few. Most of them are not based on historical facts and their chronology also leaves a lot to be desired. They date from the 18th century when many Jews decided to reembrace the faith of their forefathers, which they had to abandon after the expulsion from Spain and through forced conversions into Christianity. Baron D'Aguilar's background remains a mystery to this day. Spain, Portugal, and Italy are mentioned as the likely countries of his origin, then a childhood spend in a home for the so-called New Christians, known under a derogatory name of the "maran" (pigs); the inquisition, of which he was both victim and member, his flight from Spain to Holland, or maybe from Portugal to England... According to one version, Diego was the secretary of the Emperor Carlos VI of Spain. At the age of 3...0, he found out about his Jewish background from his father. After his father died, he left for Holland with his mother, wife and son. Both he and his son were later circumcised in Amsterdam. Some sources suggest that Moses Lopez Pereira was born in the town of Ferrara, in Italy, or Ferreira, in Portugal. Be it as it may, the most likely version is that he was born in 1700 in Madrid, in a family of Galician descent, originally from a place called Pereira D'Aguilar. The most broadly accepted version of the legend of Diego portrays him as a member of the inquisition. This was used as a basis for some fictional stories, all of which were spiced with new details depending on the author's imagination. The tale is set in Spain during the inquisition when an inquisitor (a bishop, according to some authors) sentenced a young neo-Christian girl to death by burning at a stake for having secretly practiced Jewish rituals. At midnight, before the execution, the girl's mother, devastated by desperation, decided to force her way into the inquisitor's rooms and beg for mercy. The inquisitor, notorious for his sternness and cruelty, refused to even consider pardoning the girl. Then the woman revealed a terrible secret to him: he was a Jewish child, taken away from his parents and raised in a monastery; the girl that he had sentenced to death was his sister, and the woman begging him for mercy was his mother, while his father had already been burned at a stake. This story too has several versions: according to one, the inquisitor explains to the mother that his decision is irreversible, but flees with her across the border that same night. According to another version (and there are others), they are joined by his sister. Diego's work should be assessed in light of the fact that he had labored for the benefit of his brothers during the reign of Maria Theresa, the Austrian empress and the queen of Hungary and Bohemia, an absolute ruler who introduced a strongly centralized government, Germanization and forced conversions to Catholicism. She imposed a very high "tax on tolerance", a levy known among the Jews as Malkageld, the queen's money. Throughout her 40-year reign, she had pathological hate for Jews and persecuted them cruelly. D'Aguilar used his reputation and high position in the social hierarchy of Vienna and the Habsburg court to defend the rights of his deprived and persecuted brothers. He felt that it was his duty to lead and defend his people. It is safe to say that he was their main benefactor (nadvan) and a very active representative (stadlan). He used his considerable influence too, at the right time and in the right place, defend the cause of his people, sometimes at his own expense. He went wherever he was needed, maintained correspondence with statesmen and, relying on his good instinct, achieved considerably more than the entire communities and spiritual leaders of his time. It is a remarkable phenomenon that people in both personal and other kinds of trouble, knew who to turn to for help: the philanthropic Moses Lopez Pereira, Baron Diego D'Aguilar. The news about his good deeds traveled fast, and Diego received many Jews from all over Europe, including Belgrade, but also from Israel and even Persia. He never denied them help - financial as well as other - in the form of advice, connections and analytical skills. We have mentioned just a segment of D'Aguilar's activities when he personally intervened and paid with his own money to help his less fortunate brothers. His activities went beyond big and important tasks. His spacious and luxurious Vienna home was always open to all. The Jews from all over the globe came to him with all kinds of requests for assistance in situations that they could not have handled on their own. D'Aguilar was very wise, experienced, and approached each new problem as a fresh challenge. Undoubtedly, all of his interventions were successful. There are many documents to collaborate with this, some of them presented in this paper. The rest of what is known about D'Aguilar still remains to be published, as well as the details about the work of his 14 children and their successors, some of them converts to Christianity, who distinguished themselves in many fields in Britain and elsewhere as scientists, parliamentarians, soldiers, artists, etc.
Keywords:Mozes Lopez Pereira (oko 1700-1759), baron, dobročinitelj / Diego d'Aguilar, baron / porez na toleranciju prema Jevrejima / tax on tolerance / antisemitizam / antisemitism / Melka-geld (Kraljičin novac) / Melka-geld (the Queen's money)
Source:Zbornik 8 : Studije, arhivska i memoarska građa, Jevrejski istorijski muzej - Beograd = Jewish studies 8 : Studies, archival and memorial materials, Jewish historical museum - Belgrade, 2003, 8, 337-370
- Beograd : Savez jevrejskih opština Jugoslavije [Federation of Jewish Communitues in Jugoslavia]
- Ovaj rad je dobio drugu nagradu 2000. godine na 44. nagradnom konkursu Saveza jevrejskih opština Jugoslavije.