I came across a biography of R. Elazar Fleckeles published in 1827, shortly after he died, called זכרון אלעזר - תולדות אלעזר פלעקלס, by his grandson, one Jonas Spitz. Also known as יום טוב שפיץ, he was a contributor to Bikkurei ha-Ittim, as you can see:
The biography cover and title page:
Now, every book published in Prague in those days had to be approved by the state's censor (and everywhere else too, I imagine, except the United States). Naturally being the censor for Hebrew books required specialized knowledge, and that's why the role was often filled by a Jew (who either had or had not converted to Christianity, as the case may be). However, there were some very Hebraically knowledgeable Christian censors, one of whom was Karl Fischer (1757-1844), the censor in Hebraicis in Prague.
In Spitz's biography of his grandfather we learn that the two were close friends--
--thus the seemingly impersonal censor's page in זכרון אלעזר, below--
--means much more. Fischer was approving a biography of his friend.
Of course Fischer's censor's permit appears on R. Fleckeles's works themselves:
If you like, you can practice your Latin and compare these three:
As it happens, there is a highly interestingly biography of Karl Fischer by Iveta Cermanova, two articles in Judaica Bohemiae XLII and III totaling 112 pages, called Karl Fischer (1757-1844). The Work of a Hebrew Censor. (based on an earlier paper by her). Among many other things, this article examines Karl Fischer's relationship with R. Elazar Fleckeles.
The two exchanged many Hebrew letters dealing with personal matters. For example, in one such letter Fischer writes to R. Fleckeles about the death of his boss:
"I am beset with pain and overcome with grief for Mr. Ungar, the Imperial-Royal Councillor and Chief Librarian, departed from this life in the night of 8 Tammuz. . . .
מכאובים סבבוני וטרדות קדמוני כי יום ח' תמוז בלילה האדון אונגאר ק"ק ראטה אונד ביבליאטהעקאר הלך לעולמו, הוא היה הנאמן ומיטיב עמי..."י
Apparently they knew each other as early as 1788 (given that in one 1806 letter Fischer reminisces that their friendship goes back 18 years). Their formal correspondence was in German, with their informal and personal matters conducted in Hebrew.
Below are some Hebrew letters reproduced by Cermanova.
The first is from R. Fleckeles to Fischer:
Next is one from Fischer to Fleckeles:
While it is true that it was in the best interests of the Chief Rabbi (or any rabbi or would-be Hebrew author) to be on cordial terms with the censor, in fact this seems to have been a real friendship. They apparently met each others family. In one of the letters R. Fleckeles sent his own wife's greetings to Fischer's wife Anna. In another R. Fleckeles "pays his compliments" to her, whatever that means. In another Fischer sends regards to the rabbi's son Meir, and so forth. Interestingly, they also exchanged holiday greetings, and that included Christmas.
Below is a a Rosh Hashanah greeting from R. Fleckeles (although I'm not sure if this is a September or January greeting):
Their exchanges covered diverse topics, with R. Fleckeles often answering Fischer's queries on Jewish issues, such as Jewish honorifics and the meaning of certain Hebrew words. However, their friendship also extended to loaning books to one another and playing host, including one Purim where Fischer was Fleckeles's guest. Fischer also got along well with his sons-in-laws, including R. Yitzchak Spitz (Yom Tov's father), exchanging friendly letters with them as well.
Apparently he was also quite friendly with R. Fleckele's close friend R. Betzalel Ranschburg (1762-1820). In fact, among Fischer's papers are 60 letters from R. Ranschburg. According to Cemanova who had the pleasure of reviewing them, although most of them are about official business, they too are friendly, full of holiday greetings, apologies for not being able to visit, and so on. Dashing the historical perception of people everywhere, R. Ranschburg was wont to send Fischer gifts, including an esrog one Succos, and mishloach manos (ish le-re'ehu) on Purim.
The Rosh Hashanah greeting by R. Ranschburg below is dated December 19, so it is obvious which Rosh Hashanah it is from.
Fischer in turn treated and viewed these rabbis and their friends as his own friends, doing them all sorts of favors, one of which turned out to be a big favor indeed -- to Jews everywhere. Let me preface this by pointing out that he was not some sort of dupe. He was the censor for an absolutist and intolerant regime which granted no right of free speech for 50 years. He did not receive or maintain this job because he did not really read and he did not really censor works submitted to him. He did his job, of course. On one occasion Fischer wrote: "I do not . . . provide a general apologia for the Talmud without any exceptions; no, that is not the case, for if local Jews wanted to have it republished today or tomorrow, then many passages would have to be removed from the Gemarah." In addition, in some of his later writings he refers numerous times to Eisenmenger (post on him forthcoming) although he seemed to have pointedly refused to use him as a source earlier. Although his friendship with the most traditional Bohemian rabbis are described above, he personally was a supporter of Enlightenment-motivated reforms by the government meant to modernize Jews.
However, it should be clear that he was no antisemite, had a great deal of interest, knowledge and admiration for things Jewish. He maintained notes on the Talmud, which he accumulated in a monograph which was completed already by 1802 (or more likely, 1792), but remained unpublished until almost 40 years after his death, the Gutmeinung über den Talmud der Hebräer / Testimonial on the Talmud of the Hebrews. This was published by Jews, from manuscript, in 1883 due to the great rise in antisemitism in the last quarter of the 19th century.
It was his business to know what was going on in Prague Jewry. Here's an interesting letter from 1814 he wrote to a government official about the Prague Beis Din:
“The first [Dayyan], Rabbi Eleazar Fleckeles, is a widely respected scholar, a prudent and renowned man and, moreover, a skillful preacher. His colleague, the second Chief-Jurist, Samuel Landau [the Noda Be-yehuda's son], is his adversary and opponent in everything; he has the rabble on his side, while the other is backed by scholars and notables; fire and water or wind and earth are more likely to be in harmony together than these two. Nothing is known about the third Chief-Jurist except that he is an ignoramus and is about as useful as the fifth wheel of a coach. How is it possible in such circumstances, then, to expect a more fruitful Enlightenment? ... but were the first Chief-Jurist Fleckeles also to be the Chief Rabbi of the country, as there is one [rabbi] appointed for Moravia, and were he to have good men as his colleagues, like Rabbi Daniel Joel Rosenbaum, Salomon Kauder and such like; if there were more enlightened and upstanding rabbis in rural areas, such as the regional rabbi Isaac Spitz (to which the undersigned also adds the regional rabbi David Levit and the rabbi of Jeníkov Samuel Brod), then everything would certainly work much better.
Cermanova closed her first article with a quote from Fischer:
אמרתי ,כל מי שמדבר אמת ואוהב צדקה והולך בדרך ישרים יהי' יהודי או נוצרי או יוני או ישמעאלי הוא חשוב וראוי לאהבה, הלא נודע לכל אדם מה שאמר המלך החכם פרידריך השני? אמר, כל תושבי מדינותי יאמינו כרצונם וחפצם וואן זיא נור עהרליכע לייטע זינד
I think I'll close this post with the rabbinic quotes he chose for mottos in his manuscript