Eve Frank or Eva Frank (1754 – 1816 or 1817), who was born in Nikopol, Ottoman Empire (now Bulgaria), under the name Rebecca or Rachel, was the daughter of Jacob Frank, the notorious Dönmeh claimant to the position of Jewish Messiah of the 18th century, and his wife Hannah Kohen, and for a while leader of a Frankist cult herself.
She received the name of Eve in 1760 upon the conversion of her family to Catholicism. For much of her life she accompanied her father during his travels, and on the death of her mother in 1770, the 16-years-old Eve was declared to be the incarnation of the Shekinah, the female aspect of God, as well as the reincarnation of the Virgin Mary and thus became the object of a devotional subcult herself in Częstochowa, with some followers keeping small statues of her in their homes. According to historian Jerry Rabow, she was the only woman to have been declared a Jewish messiah. Jacob spread the rumor that Eve was an illegitimate child of Catherine II of Russia. Father and daughter repeatedly traveled to Vienna, and succeeded in gaining the favor of the court. It is even said that Joseph II of Austria was favorably inclined to the young Eve Frank.
On the death of her father in 1791, Eve became the "holy mistress" and the leader of the cult, and she and her two younger brothers, Josef and Rochus, assumed responsibility for the direction of the court. Many people continued to go up to Offenbach am Main, to "Gottes Haus" as the "believers" called it. In 1800, the Franks sent "red letters" (in red ink) to hundreds of Jewish communities encouraging conversion to Frankist Christianity. However, the Frank siblings had neither the stature nor the strength of personality required to keep the cult going, and as time went on the number of pilgrims and the supply of money diminished drastically and while Eve continued to live in her accustomed luxury. In November 1813, after the battle of Leipzig, Tsar Alexander I rode from Frankfurt to Offenbach to visit Eve. She finally became heavily in debt (three million gulden in 1817), and died in poverty in 1816, though she was rumored to have escaped abroad after an arrest order from the Duke of Hesse. Nonetheless, her followers continued to exist well into the middle of 19th century; among these were the parents of Felix Frankfurter, the US Supreme Court Justice.
- This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia article "Frank, Jacob and the Frankists" by Herman Rosenthal and S. M. Dubnow, a publication now in the public domain.
- This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia article "Offenbach" by Joseph Jacobs and Schulim Ochser, a publication now in the public domain.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Frank, Eva article by Rachel Elior in the Encyclopedia Judaica.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Лжемессия: Яков Франк и франкисты, Z. Rubashev
- ↑ 1788: Ein Messias im Isenburger Schloss - die "Frankisten" in Offenbach, Lothar R. Braun
- ↑ http://www.radicaltorahthought.com/Bio%20Zvi_Frank.htm