Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Price of AssimilationFelix Mendelssohn and the Nineteenth-Century Anti-Semitic Tradition$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeffrey S. Sposato

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195149746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195149746.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2020

New Christians

New Christians

(p.14) 1 New Christians
The Price of Assimilation

Jeffrey S. Sposato

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the situation of Jews in early 19th-century Germany, and situates the Mendelssohn family within this context. With the defeat of Napoleon and the treaties of the Congress of Vienna, the situation of German Jews worsened, and many of them, including the Mendelssohn family, chose to convert to Protestantism at that time. Felix Mendelssohn's father, Abraham Mendelssohn, had distanced his family from its Jewish roots for many years. Although Abraham's father, Moses Mendelssohn, was a prominent Jewish philosopher, Abraham avoided Jewish connections and declined to live in Jewish neighborhoods. In 1816, Abraham and his wife, Lea, converted their four children. In 1822, the parents themselves converted. The chapter also disputes critics, such as Eric Werner, who have argued that Mendelssohn retained a strong attachment to Judaism during his lifetime.

Keywords:   Abraham Mendelssohn, Moses Mendelssohn, Jews, Conversion, Germany, Congress of Vienna, Eric Werner

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .