Ever since the reforms of Emperor Joseph II, the Austrian model of modernization had signified the growing impact of German influence and culture for the Jews of the Habsburg Monarchy. 1 In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the mode of transmission for this process of Germanization had been the centralized bureaucracy of Habsburg absolutism—enlightened under Joseph II and reactionary under his successors. The impact of this bureaucratic Austrian model of Germanization and its accompanying Enlightenment ideology on the traditional way of life of Habsburg Jewry was enormous, transforming the relation of Austrian Jews to both the state and the surrounding non-Jewish society. This influence was later to be particularly felt in Western Austria where there was no firmly rooted traditional Jewish society living in compact, densely populated settlements and the obstacles to social integration and the adoption of German culture were less acute. Moreover, the identification of Western Austrian Jews with the Austro-Germans, at least until the closing decades of the nineteenth century, was less complicated by the kind of ethnic and demographic factors that operated in other parts of the monarchy. The intensity of this identification, both with German language and literature as a cultural model and the medium of education and enlightenment, as well as with the German people in Austria, was well described by one of its later opponents, the Austrian Zionist leader Isidor Schalit.