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Thumbnail for version as of 18:56, 13 May 2011 
Nobility of the World
Volune VIII - Jewish
The History and Register of the
Noble Families of Jewish Ancestry

Two related publications, the Semi-Gotha, or Historisch-genealoges-Taschenbuch des gesamted Adels jehuidäischen Ursprunges of 1912 and 1913, and the Semigothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch aristokratisch-jüdischer heiraten of 1914, attempted a comprehensive survey of those families of Jewish ancestry who were members of the titled European nobility (and a handful of non-European royalty or nobility). These were published at a time when the prestige and influence of European Jewry was at its highest and represented pride in their achievements since Jewish emancipation. Unhappily, these rare publications were later to be used by the nazis to identify families and individuals for extermination and many copies of these publications were destroyed both by nazi fanatics and by those Jewish families who had once been proud to have been included.


Birth dates were indicated with the hexagonal Star of David, while a Jewish tomb stone symbol indicated who died in the Jewish faith, and a Cross those who died in the Christian faith. Marriage dates were indicated with two bold rings interlocking if husband and wife both had Jewish blood, while a bold ring with an outline ring indicated whether only one of the partners was of Jewish ancestry. Two opposite pointing horizontal arrows indicated divorce, reflecting a Biblical passage "if thou take the right hand, then I will go to the left". The genealogical section of the Semi-Gotha was preceded by a page with the swastika symbol - which meant something very different in 1913-14 and whose terrible implications were as yet unimaginable. The frontispiece illustration of the 1913 edition was a portrait of Benjamin Disraeli, 1st (and last) Earl of Beaconsfield.  


The List of High European Jewish Nobility


The Noble Families of Austria

Because of the Toleranzpatent, which was decreed in 1782 by Emperor Joseph II, Jewish bankers and later entrepreneurs and industrialists could also be ennobled for their services and loyalty. Jews who were elevated into the aristocracy were allowed to keep their religion. Although the elevation into the aristocracy meant recognition for the work and services and a rise in social status, it could not hide the fact that Jews were for the most part still only being "tolerated". Jews could not freely choose the place and duration of their stay and had to regularly ask for permission from the authorities. This placed a huge burden on Jewish families. If the head of the family died, all his relatives had to leave the city. The right to purchase real estate was forbidden to Jews, even if they belonged to the nobility. This regulation stayed in place until 1860, when it was abolished by Emperor Franz Joseph I and Jewish citizens were given equal rights. But almost a century before the banker and protector of arts, Karl Wetzler [or Wetzlar] von Plankenstern was created a Freiherr by Empress Maria Theresia, he converted to Catholicism.


Despite these difficulties, by 1821 there were at least nine ennobled Jewish families living in Vienna. Their elevation was due to their industrial and economic contributions. Some of the very wealthy included the Rothschilds, Arnstein, Eskeles, Gomperz, Kuffner, Lieben, Auspitz, Schey von Koromla, Todesco and Wertheimstein, von Wiernes families. For example, in the case of the Rothschilds and Todescos, the secret of their personal economic success was their quick ability to adjust and innovate to the changing global economic situation. They founded banks that financed companies and infrastructure projects in a time of great economic and industrial growth in the late 19th century. Their contributions made it possible for Austria-Hungary to keep up with the international economic developments. The elevation into nobility also hastened the process of assimilation of Jewish families into the higher society. Some converted to Christianity in order to become fully accepted, but many kept their Jewish religion.

  • Arnstein, Arnsteiner
  • Auspitz
  • Elkan von Elkansberg (later Bavaria)
  • von Ephrussi
  • Eskeles
  • Ritter von Fischer
  • Frydman, Ritter von Prawy (cf.Marcel Prawy)
  • Goldschmidt
  • Gomperz
  • Haber von Lindsberg
  • von Heine-Geldern, Heine von Geldern (Freiherr & Baron, Gustav, Robert)
  • Henikstein (Hönigstein)
  • Hofmann von Hofmannsthal
  • Joel von Joelson
  • Lieben
  • von Löwenthal
  • Katzellenbourg
  • Marx von Marxburg
  • von Mises
    • Ludwig von Mises, economist
    • Richard von Mises
  • von Motesiczky
  • Morpurgo
  • Oppenheim
  • Parente
  • Porges von Portheim
  • Rothschild banking family of Austria
  • Seligmann
  • Sonnenfels (Christian)
  • Todesco
  • Wartenegg von Wertheimstein
    • Joseph von Wertheimstein
    • Hermann von Wertheimstein
  • Weil von Weilen
  • Wittgenstein of Vienna (Christian)
    • Paul Wittgenstein
    • Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Zemlinsky

The Noble Families of Belgium

  • Baron Lambert
  • Baron Jacques Brotchi(1)
  • Baron Julien Klener(2)

(1) Une vingtaine de personalités honorées par le roi,(in french) Le Vif l' Express, 18 Novembre 2008 (2) Adellijke Gunsten, Ministerie Buitenlandse Zaken, 27/04/2007 (in Dutch)

The Noble Families of Britiain 

  • the House of d'Avigdor-Goldsmid
  • Earl of Beaconsfield (Christian)
    • Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield(Converted Out), British Prime Minister (1804-1881)
  • the House of Mocatta
  • the House of Viscount Bearsted
  • Alexander Bernstein, Baron Bernstein of Craigweil
  • Joseph Stone, Baron Stone
  • Arnold Silverstone, Baron Ashdown
  • the House of Montefiore
    • Moses Haim Montefiore (1784-1885) financier, stockbroker, philanthropist and Sheriff of London.
  • Rufus Isaacs, 1st Marquess of Reading
  • Julia Neuberger, Baroness Neuberger, rabbanith
  • Rothschild banking family of England
  • Mark Schreiber, Lord Marlesford
  • the House of Baron Swaythling, same pedigree with Herbert Samuel
  • Sydney Stern, Baron Wandsworth
  • Michael Levy, Baron Levy
  • the House of Sassoon
  • Andrew Stone, Baron Stone of Blackheath
  • Benjamin Mancroft, 3rd Baron Mancroft
  • Marquess of Reading - Rufus-Isaacs family

The Czech Noble Families

  • Jacob Bassevi

The Noble Families of France

  • d'Avigdor
  • Lafitte
  • The Barons de Fould-Springer
  • Pardes
  • Rothschild banking family of France
  • Rothschild of Bordeaux (vinery)
  • Reinach

The Noble Families of Germany

  • Bleichroder
  • Freimut Duve
  • von Liebermann-Schwarzschild
  • von Kaullas
  • von Oppenheim
  • Maurice de Hirsch of Bavarian "Von Hirsch Auf Gereuth" family.
  • von Redé
  • Rothschild banking family of Germany
  • Rotbert
  • von Schwarzau (originally de Suasso)

The Noble Families of Hungary

  • Fischer
  • Goldberger de Buda
  • Hevesy von Bischitz
  • Hatvany-Deutsch
  • Hollitscher
  • von Lieben
  • Lukács (later became Christian)
  • von Neumann
  • Polanyi
  • von Rosenberg
  • Ronai (Baron Herman Weinberger von Rόna)
  • Szitányi Ullmann
  • von Wertheimstein
  • Zuckerkandl

The Noble Families of Italy

  • Baron Lumbroso, said to be from Egyptian-Jewish origin
  • del Castelo
  • Paradiso
  • von Rezzori
  • Rothschild banking family of Naples
  • Tedesco

The Noble Families of Russian

  • Günzburg also Gunzbourg
      • Baron Joseph Günzburg, Osip Gintsburg, or Iosif-Evzel Gabrielovich Gintsburg (1812, Vitebsk - 1878,Paris), Industrialist 
      • Baron Horace Günzburg, Goratsiy Evzelevich GintsburgNaftali-Gerts Evzelevich Ginstsburg (1833,Zvenigorodka, Kiev province - 1909, St. Petersburg), Financier, Industrialist 
      • Baron Alexander Günzburg, Aleksandr Goratsievich Gintsburg (1863, Paris - 1948, Switzerland)
      • Baron David Goratsiyevich Günzburg (Барон Давид Горациевич Гинцбург David Goratsievich Gintsburg, July 5, 1857, Kamenetz-Podolsk - December 22, 1910, St. Petersburg) was a Russianorientalist and Jewish  communal leaderBaron Nicolas de Gunzburg, (1904-1981) socialite, editor, actor, producer.
  • Dobrowolski Counts (later Dobrow), Russian and Polish family
  • Gantsmakher Barons
  • Khaykin

The Noble Families of Spain

  • Bargallo
  • Cadena
  • Carvajal
  • Cohen
  • Koplowitz
  • Safira
  • Surel

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