Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Prelate Dr. Leopold Ungar (Austria)

Leopold Ungar was born on the 8th of August 1912 as a son of a prominent middle- class Jewish family in Vienna. He went on to study law, and received his juris doctorate. Shortly thereafter he was baptized he entered seminary school in Vienna in 1935. In 1938 he had to immigrate to France due to his Jewish heritage. He became a priest there in 1939. In 1947 he returned to Austria were he dedicated his life to helping the starving and suffering children in the post-war environment. He organized for many of them to go to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Spain.

In 1950 he became the head of Caritas in Vienna and from 1964 until 1991 he was also the president of Caritas in Austria.

Over the course of several decades, Ungar has helped Caritas through his personal efforts. Donations have increased as it is now more widely recognized. In his many years of assistance, he helped to create the „tea and soup kitchen for the poor,“ as well as homeless shelters, and care for refugees after the Hungarian crisis of 1956.

Leopold Ungar died at the age of 79 on the 30th of April 1992 in Vienna. After his death, the Leopold Ungar Prize was created, to honor social engagement. Ungar substantially helped to turn Caritas into what it is today.