Moses Dobruška

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Moses Dobruška, German: Moses Dobruschka, alias Junius Frey (12 July 1753, Brno, Moravia – 5 April 1794) was the first cousin once removed of Jacob Frank, the founder of the Frankist sect who claimed to be the Jewish messiah.[1][2] Dobruška was an alchemist, freemason[citation needed], writer, and poet. On 17 December 1775 he converted from Judaism to the Catholic faith and took the name of Franz Thomas Schönfeld.[3]

25 July 1778 he was elevated to nobility in Vienna, becoming Franz Thomas Edler von Schönfeld.[4] Together with Ephraim Joseph Hirschfeld (de), who did not convert, he became one of the main conspirators of the “Knights of St. John the Evangelists for Asia in Europe,” a secret society of freemasons,[citation needed] which was much talked about in Germany and Austria between 1783 and 1790, not least because it was the first German-speaking fraternal order to accept Jews.

In 1792, in the wake of the French Revolution, he traveled via Strasbourg to Paris and became a Jacobin, changing his name, once again, to Junius Frey. The new name derived from Junius from the Roman Junii-family that fostered the famous tyrant slayers the Brutus', and Frey being the German transliteration for "liberty".

He was arrested for treason and espionage and executed by guillotine on 5 April 1794 in connection with the case against his brother-in-law François Chabot.[5]


  1. ^ Wölfle-Fischer, 1998, p. 42.
  2. ^ Davidowicz, 1998, pp. 41 & 127. Moses' mother Schöndl was Jakob Frank's first cousin.
  3. ^ Wölfle-Fischer, 1998, pp. 46 & 141.
  4. ^ Wölfle-Fischer, Susanne, "Junius Frey, 1753-1794: Jude, Aristokrat und Revolutionär". P. Lang, 1998, p. 141.
  5. ^ Wölfle-Fischer, 1998, p. 141.


  • Wölfle-Fischer, Susanne, Junius Frey, 1753-1794: Jude, Aristokrat und Revolutionär. P. Lang, 1998.
  • Davidowicz, Klaus Samuel, Jakob Frank, der Messias aus dem Ghetto. P. Lang, 1998.