MENDELSSOHN, family of scholars, bankers and artists. The founder of the family was moses mendelssohn (1729–1786). His wife, FROMET (1737–1812), was a great-granddaughter of the Viennese Court Jew, samuel oppenheimer . (See Chart: Mendelssohn Family). Moses' eldest son, JOSEPH (1770–1848), had a banking business, at times in partnership with his brother ABRAHAM (1776–1835). The bank helped transfer the French indemnity after Napoleon's defeat, and was later active mainly in German and foreign railway issues and state loans, particularly Russian. Mendelssohn and Co. were bankers and correspondents for many foreign commercial banks, central banks, and governments, but did not launch any industrial ventures of their own. After World War I the bank opened an issuing house in Amsterdam. The Berlin house was absorbed by the Deutsche Bank in 1939. Joseph was the friend and patron of alexander von humboldt , the naturalist, and for many years chairman of the corporation of Berlin merchants. He and his brother Abraham were co-sponsors of the enlightened circle of Jewish notables, Gesellschaft der Freunde. His nephew, Abraham's son, the composer FELIX MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY (for the Bartholdy see felix mendelssohn ) urged him to go through with his old project of an edition of his father's collected works, on the suggestion of F.A. Brockhaus, the noted publisher; in this he was aided by his son, GEORG BENJAMIN (1794–1874), professor of geography at Bonn University. Joseph himself contributed to this project, for which he wrote his father's biography. Of Joseph's sons, Georg Benjamin was baptized; ALEXANDER (1798–1871), head of the bank, remained a Jew. Through social contacts with the hohenzollerns , Joseph's grandson FRANZ (1829–1889) and Abraham's grandson ERNST (1846–1909) were elevated to the hereditary nobility. In 1804, Abraham married Leah Salomon, granddaughter of daniel itzig , and thereby became a naturalized Prussian citizen, ahead of the bulk of his coreligionists. He served for many years as municipal councilor without pay. A deist and rationalist by conviction he brought up his children as Protestants in order to improve their social opportunities. He and his wife embraced Christianity in 1822 "because it is the religious form acceptable to the majority of civilized human beings" (in a letter to his daughter Fanny). This decision to convert was influenced by the current Hep\! Hep\! riots (1819). mendelssohn Later Mendelssohn-Bartholdy descendants include ALBRECHT MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY, editor of the Europaische Gesprache in Hamburg, who died in exile in England. felix gilbert , a historian, at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey; the philosopher leonhard nelson (1882–1927); KURT HENSEL, a West German diplomat posted to Tel Aviv in 1968. CARL MENDELSSOHN-BARTHOLDY (1838–1897), assisted by his uncle PAUL (1813–1874), wrote the first biography of his father Felix. Felix's nephew SEBASTIAN HENSEL (1830–1898) was the first family chronicler. Moses' eldest daughter, dorothea mendelssohn-veit-schlegel (Brendel, 1765–1839), was married twice: to the banker Simon Veit (see veit family) and to Friedrich Schlegel, man of letters. Her sons, johannes veit (1790–1854) and Philipp Veit (1793–1877), were painters of the Romantic "Nazarene" school. HENRIETTE (Sorel; 1768–1831), Moses'   youngest daughter, resembled her father in character. She never married, having his deformity. She served as governess and teacher in Vienna and Paris, where she was head of a boarding school. The intellectual luminaries of the age, Madame de Staël, Spontini, Benjamin Constant, and the Schlegels formed part of her salon. In 1812 she became tutor to the French general Sebastiani's daughter. In that year, following her mother's death, she was baptized into the Catholic Church, taking the name Marie (a few years earlier she had rebuked her sister Dorothea for doing the same). Moses' youngest son, NATHAN, had a son, the physician Arnold Mendelssohn (1817–1850), a supporter and confidant of ferdinand lassalle . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S. Hensel, Mendelssohn Family…, 2 vols. (1882; tr. of Die Familie Mendelssohn, 3 vols., 1879); E. Werner, Mendelssohn; a New Image of the Composer… (1963); idem, in: HUCA, 26 (1955), 543–65; M.A. Meyer, Origins of the Modern Jew (1967), index; J. Jacobson, in: YLBI, 5 (1960), 251–61; 7 (1962), 279–82; H.G. Reissner, ibid., 4 (1959), 93–110; A. Altmann, in: BLBI, 11 (1968), 73–116; E. Achterberg and M. Mller-Jabusch, Lebensbilder deutscher Bankiers… (1963); M. Peez, Henriette Mendelssohn (Ger., 1888). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: H.J. Klein, Die Mendelssohns im Bildnis (2004); H.J. Klein, Die Familie Mendelssohn (2004). (Hanns G. Reissner / Andreas Kennecke 2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Mendelssohn — ist sowohl der Familienname einer bekannten deutsch jüdischen Bankiers und Musikerfamilie, Mendelssohn (Familie), sowie der deutsch jüdischen Kaufmanns , Gelehrten und Künstlerfamilie, die ihren Ursprung in Jever hat: Mendelssohn aus Jever.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MENDELSSOHN (M.) — MENDELSSOHN MOSES (1729 1786) Fidèle ami de Friedrich Nicolai (1733 1811), avec lequel il collabore à la revue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und freien Künste , qui diffusa leurs idées esthétiques, Mendelssohn est lié à Lessing, auquel il …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Mendelssohn — Mendelssohn, 1) Moses, Popularphilosoph, geb. 6. Sept. 1729 in Dessau von armen jüdischen Eltern, gest. 4. Jan. 1786 in Berlin, wurde schon zeitig außer vom Talmud und der Bibel durch das Hauptwerk des Maimonides: »More Nebochim«, angezogen. Nach …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mendelssohn — Mendelssohn, Moses, philos. Schriftsteller, geb. 6. Sept. 1729 zu Dessau, von jüd. Eltern, 1750 Hauslehrer, 1754 Buchhalter, zuletzt Geschäftsteilnehmer des jüd. Seidenfabrikanten Bernhard in Berlin, Freund Lessings, gest. 4. Jan. 1786 in Berlin; …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Mendelssohn — Mendelssohn, 1) Moses, Sohn des Schulmeisters Mendel, geb. den 10. Sept. 1729 in Dessau, wurde im Hebräischen u. im Talmud unterrichtet, studirte Philosophie für sich, ging 1745 nach Berlin u. lebte hier Anfangs als Erzieher bei einem… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Mendelssohn — [men′dəl sən, men′dəlsōn΄, men′dəlzōn΄] 1. Felix [fā′liks] (full name Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) 1809 47; Ger. composer: grandson of Moses 2. Moses 1729 86; Ger. Jewish philosopher Mendelssohnian [men′dəlsōn′ē ən] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Mendelssohn — (Moses), d.h. der Sohn des Mendel, eines armen jüd. Schulmeisters zu Dessau, studierte in armseligen Verhältnissen, kränklich und verkrümmt, das Hebräische und Philosophie daheim, dann in Berlin, wurde daselbst bei einem jüd. Fabrikanten Erzieher …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Mendelssohn — Mendelssohn, Moses …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Mendelssohn — Mendelssohn, Moses …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mendelssohn — (Moses) (1729 1786) philosophe allemand. Il joignit à la culture juive traditionnelle celle de l Aufklärung: Entretiens philosophiques (1755), Phédon (1767) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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