Of Mettle and Metal
From Court Jews to World-wide Industrials
Distributed for Amsterdam University Press
The author leads the reader from the humble activities of Jewish tradesmen in the war-plagued Holy Roman Empire of the 17th century to their ascent to the unofficial but important status of Court Jews. Dealing with a broad array of at times sharply divergent opinions the author does not shy away from controversies.
This study centers on the history of the largest international German metal concerns, headquartered still today in Frankfort on the Main. In its broader context, however, the narrative describes the economic and social evolution during more than three centuries of a section of German Jewry, focusing in particular on the Hanover Court Jews and their early involvement with banking and the silver, lead and copper industries of the Harz region. This is fascinating narrative about the evolution of the "metal chain" through three and a half centuries.
Chapter 1. The Metal Chain—Introduction
Chapter 2. A Fast Ascent
Chapter 3. Leffmann Behrens' Career as a Court Jew and the Development of his Firm
Chapter 4. The Court Banker's Vicissitudes: Apogee, Downfall and Resurgence
Chapter 5. The Future has a Past: Rupture and Continuity
Chapter 6. Per Aspera ad Astra
A. The Genealogical Metal Chain
B. Short Biographies of Ralph Merton (Raphael Moses) and Wilhelm (William) Merton
C. Beer, Sondheimer & Co—A Case of Defection, Competition and Cooperation
List of Illustrations
Archival and Other Unpublished Sources