Moritz Perles

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Moritz Perles publishing house

legal form
Seat Vienna , Austria
management Perles family
Branch publishing company

The Moritz Perles company was a Viennese book publisher and supplier to the royal court . The address was Seilergasse 4 in the 1st district of Innere Stadt .


Cover of the book On the Influence of the Corset on the Somatic Relationship by Oscar Kraus , published by Moritz Perles in 1904
Bookseller's brand from the 1920s

The company was founded by Moritz Perles (born December 15, 1844 in Prague , † February 25, 1917). He learned the book trade in the years 1858–1862 with J. Schalk and initially worked for J. Bensheimer in Mannheim for ten months . Then he went to Vienna, where he worked from 1862 to 1869 in the Beckschen Hof- und Universitäts-Buchhandlung (the owner at the time was Alfred von Hölder ). Here the young Perles began his work as a publisher, in 1866 when he wrote the address book of the austrian-hungary. Bookseller published. In 1869 Perles founded his bookstore with limited resources, which was initially very modest. Gradually, however, the business expanded and took such a boom that in its time it was one of the most outstanding bookstore companies in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

The company cultivated publishing, product range and commission business in equal measure and paid equal attention to all departments. Her preferred position was medicine , law , forestry and veterinary science , for which Perles was able to attract outstanding specialists.

In 1869 Moritz Perles set up a calendar publisher that published 120 different general and specialist calendars and became the most important in Austria-Hungary. He was also known abroad.

The range under the direction of his brother-in-law Friedrich Schiller was one of the most high-quality and versatile in Vienna and was a sought-after source of sales for both German and foreign-language publishing houses. The commission business was the most important in Vienna and Austria-Hungary at the time.

In 1870 Perles began to publish the war card publisher, followed in 1871 by Anton von Ruthner's Das Kaisertum Oesterreich . In 1881 the publishing house cooperated with the 3rd section of Österreichischer Lloyd in the publication of a travel guide to Turkey . The pedagogical publishing house initiated the connection with Th. Brunner in 1874. The veterinary science publications Alb followed in 1877. Kochs and the milling half-timbered houses in Pappenheim. In 1878 Perles started the hunting calendar with R. von Dombrowski and began to expand the agricultural department of his large publishing house by publishing Hugo H. Hitschmann's writings. Other outstanding publishing works included the Austrian Justice Laws, Hayek's Handatlas of Natural History, the Oesterreichische Zentralblatt for legal practice and the sheet for all therapy, the Encyclopedia for Veterinary Medicine and, in 1886, the Encyclopedia for Forest and Hunting Sciences. In 1887 Perles acquired all the writings and instruments of Hofrat Preßler in Tharandt and in 1888 the Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift, which had been published by Seidel Verlag since 1851. The Vienna Medical Weekly was published by Perles until the " Aryanization " in 1938. In 1890 Perles founded the Austro-Hungarian Central Journal for Medical Sciences . Perles received medals and awards at several exhibitions. In 1901 he was given the title of kuk court bookseller , which was a great honor.

The artist Julius Klinger designed the shop sign in Seilergasse - the distinctive, oversized bookworm - and several publisher's signets for the bookstore .

Moritz Perles had three sons (Oskar, Ernst, Robert) and a daughter (Elsa). Two of them inherited from their father. Oskar Perles (born April 16, 1875 in Vienna) joined the company as a public partner in 1899. He worked with his uncle Friedrich Schiller (* 1854 in Turnau, Bohemia), who had held various functions in the company since 1874. Friedrich Schiller retired in the early 1930s and was able to flee to the United States after the annexation of Austria in 1938, where he died in Evanston , Illinois in 1943 .

In 1905 Ernst Perles (born February 17, 1876 in Vienna), Moritz Perles' second son, joined the company as a public partner. Ernst Perles was studying justice at the University of Vienna at the time. Moritz Perles died of a stroke on February 25, 1917, so the business passed to his two sons Oskar and Ernst and their uncle Friedrich Schiller.


The First World War and the collapse of the monarchy in 1918 brought difficult times for the publishing house with the loss of old sales markets, but it was able to hold its own. With the annexation of Austria, the Perles family was deprived of rights because of their Jewish religion; their company "forced" by the Nazis and sold to the Hollinek printing company.

Several members of the family were murdered in the concentration camps. Some were able to flee abroad like the United States.

The heirs never received any compensation after the war and sought a restitution process in the 1950s. Instead, they were sentenced to pay a fine to the Regional Finance Directorate in court.

At the instigation of Murray Hall of the University of Vienna, a memorial plaque was unveiled on March 23, 1998 on the former shop on Seilergasse. The inscription reads:

Memorial plaque on the former shop at Seilergasse 4

The Moritz Perles
publishing bookstore
was located in this house until March 1938

In memory of all Jewish booksellers and
publishers in Vienna, whose lives and livelihoods were destroyed after

the "Anschluss" of Austria,

dedicated by

Main association of the Austrian book trade.


  • Daniela Punkl: Verlag Moritz Perles, kuk Hofbuchhandlung in Vienna . Diploma thesis, University of Vienna 2002 ( Download )
  • Paul Perles: Looking Back. World History and Personal Recollections. 1914-1994 . Northbrook, n.d. (in English)
  • Rudolf Schmidt: German bookseller. German book printer . Volume 4. Berlin / Eberswalde 1907, pp. 752-753.
  • Dedication to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Moritz Perles; Publisher's catalog 1869–1894.
  • E. Life:  Perles Moritz. In: Austrian Biographical Lexicon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Volume 7, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 1978, ISBN 3-7001-0187-2 , p. 425.

Web links

Coordinates: 48 ° 12 ′ 27.8 "  N , 16 ° 22 ′ 15.2"  E