This well-liked fellow (well-liked at the time anyway) was my great great
grandfather. I'm now even more curious to know whether "politische gemeinde"
means the Jewish political community or the political community of
Ludwigshafen as a whole. I would love to know whether it was "local
government" as my translator has said or confined to the Jewish community.
Ludwigshafen, known as "the worker's city", experienced rapid growth in the
19th century as a home of heavy industry. It was trying to establish itself
beside the more ancient and more prestigious Mannheim. Cantor Stern did
indeed take up the post, as stated in a book by Peter Ruf on the Jews of
Ludwigshafen. However there is nothing more than a couple of lines on him and
no mention of any political activity.
However my grandfather never spoke of his father. My grandmother also told my
mother there was an older sister of my grandfather who died young. However I
can find no trace of any birth certificate for her.
According to sketchy details provided by my late grandmother, Cantor Stern
acted as guarantor for some cousins (don't know who they were) who founded an
iron foundry. The foundry failed and there was a terrible scandal.
Leopold Stern, my grandmother thought, was said to have run off to either New
York or Montreal with "his wife's money". On my grandfather's marriage
certificate it says Leopold Stern committed suicide in Nord Amerika on 1 July
1901 aged just 37. However the death place at first was put down as
Heilbronn, but seems to have been crossed out with typed xxxxxes. My
grandfather was just five years old at the time.
According again to my grandmother Leopold either drowned or shot himself. I
would really like to find out exactly what happened. I've had no joy from
Montreal regarding the place of his death. I'm also looking for what happened
to his brothers and sisters in his Stern family in Heppenheim an der
Bergstrasse in Hessen.
The only other connection I have noticed is between Heppenheim and
Ludwigshafen. It appears that round about the same time Leopold was Cantor,
Ludwigshafen was having a new song hall built. During the time of the
construction, apparently a hall in Heppenheim was used in its stead. This
covered both the Jewish and Christian communities.
After his death - if he did die then, I do not have a death certificate as
such - Hedwig Stern (born Herz) was known by the 1920s as Lehrers Witwe,
teacher's widow. I don't know whether this means she was provided with a
pension. After my grandfather's marriage in 1928, she went into a home.
As you can imagine, I would like to get to the bottom of this. I have asked
Ludwigshafen council to help me on this and am waiting for them to get back
to me. However, the last time I asked some years ago, they told me all the
records were destroyed during the last world war.
Any suggestions welcomed and/or information on the Stern family of Heppenheim
an der Bergstrasse. The head of the family was master butcher Feist who
married Jeanette Maierfeld. The rest of the family were Abraham, Moses,
Malchen, Mina and Anna. I know the lines of Rosa and of course Leopold. Mina
married a Moses Schwarzschild from Massenheim, Frankfurt am Rhein.
In a message dated 12/11/99 5:26:02 pm, you wrote:
<<My ancestors,mother's side, lived in Moravia ( Maeren, Czech
There, and other jewish communities, had an autonomy in
with their own jewish judges, and were called " politische
What did a Jew, in 1800, do in the " local governement "?>>
> Ludwigshafen on Rhine Israelite Cultural Community
> Ludwigshafen on Rhine January 9 1809
> To the Genteel (Very Wellborn) Herr Leopold HERZ
> According to a unanimous decision of the Community,
> Cantor STERN of Ludwigshafen on Rhine would be
> engaged for a six-year term with a fixed annual
> income of 2000 Imperial marks.
> The contract could be extended if Herr STERN
> were not being considered for early employment
> by the local government.
> As for the personal characteristics, position, etc.
> of Herr STERN, we don't believe it necessary to
> have any further discussion, since the capability
> and popularity of Herr STERN in the this city is
> well known and is his best recommendation.
> The Chairman of the Israelite Community
> B Weingart
> Israelistche Cultus-Gemeinde Ludwigshafen A Rh
> Ludwigshafen A Rh 9 Januar 1890
> Sehr Wohlgeboren
> Herrn Leopold HERZ
> Nach Gemeindebeschluss respectiv durch deren
> einstimmigen unterschrieften wuerde Herr Cantor
> STERN zu Ludwigshafen am Rhein auf die Dauer von
> sechs Jahren mit einem fixen Gehalt von IMK [DMK???]
> 2000 jaehrlich engagiert.
> Ein laengerer Abschluss des Vertrags waere
> ebenfalls erfolgt wenn nicht mit Ruecksicht auf
> baldige definitive Anstellung dass Herr STERN durch
> die politische Gemeinde in Aussicht staende.
> Wass Person, Stellung etc dass Herrn STERN betrifft,
> glauben wir nich noetig zu haben eine weitere
> Auseinandersetzung geben zu muessen, da die
> Taetigkeit und Beliebheit dass Herrn STERN in der
> Hissigen Stadt zur Genuege bekannt und fur Ihn
> dass beste Zeugniss ist.
> Der Vorstand der Israelitischen Cultusgemeinde
> B WEINGART
> <<I have a document written to my great great grandfather
> Leopold HERZ of Kochendorf, now Bad Friedrichshall, on
> the River Neckar in Baden Wuerttemberg.
> It is from Bernhard WEINGART, whom I believe was head
> of the Synagogue committee in Ludwigshafen between
> 1886 and 1894. He obviously was also head of the
> Cultusgemeinde. The document is dated 9 January 1890,
> four months before my great grandfather, Leopold STERN,
> of Heppenheim an der Bergstrasse in Hesse married my great
> grandmother Hedwig HERZ.
> I would be very interested - and grateful - to anybody
> giving me a translation and what they think the document
> was for. I would especially like to know what is meant
> by "politische Gemeinde" in this context.>>
> Alice Josephs
> Loughton, Essex UK