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Hohenzollern (German princely family)

Hohenzollern (hō´ən-tsôl´ərn), German princely family that ruled Brandenburg (1415–1918), Prussia (1525–1918), and Germany (1871–1918).

Originating in S Germany and traceable to the 11th cent., the family probably took its name from the German word zöller, meaning "watchtower" or "castle," and in particular from the Swabian castle of Hohenzollern, the ancestral seat in the Black Forest. Conrad of Hohenzollern, appointed (c.1170) burgrave (imperial representative) of Nuremberg by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, was succeeded (1192) by Frederick of Hohenzollern (d. c.1200), whose sons founded the Swabian and Franconian lines of the family. (For the Swabian line see Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen under Hohenzollern, province.)

The Franconian line acquired the margraviates of Ansbach (1331) and Kulmbach (1340). In 1415 Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund made Frederick VI of Hohenzollern elector of Brandenburg, and in 1417 Frederick formally received the electoral dignity as Frederick I. Brandenburg then became the center of Hohenzollern power. Frederick II (reigned 1440–70) bought New Mark from the Teutonic Knights and Lower Lusatia from the Holy Roman emperor; he made Berlin the political capital.

Elector Albert Achilles (reigned 1470–86) issued a family law that made Brandenburg indivisible. Roman law was introduced by Joachim I (1499–1535), who tried to suppress the Protestant movement. In 1525 Albert of Brandenburg, grand master of the Teutonic Knights, secularized the domains of his order as the duchy of Prussia. Joachim II (reigned 1535–71) converted to Lutheranism. When John Sigismund (reigned 1608–19) converted to Calvinism, his subjects remained Lutheran; thus religious toleration became a mark of the dynasty.

John Sigismund's acquisition (1614) of Cleves, Mark, and Ravensburg and his inheritance (1618) of the duchy of Prussia (East Prussia) marked the Hohenzollern rise as a leading German power. Frederick William, the Great Elector (reigned 1640–88), obtained E Pomerania, the secularized bishoprics of Cammin, Minden, and Halberstadt, and the expectancy to Magdeburg upon the death of its administrator. His reign brought centralization and absolutism to the Hohenzollern lands. In 1701 his son was crowned "king in Prussia" as Frederick I and at the Peace of Utrecht was recognized (1713) as king of Prussia. The royal title was a new symbol of the unity of the family holdings.

Frederick William I (reigned 1713–40), through his administrative, fiscal, and military reforms, was the real architect of Hohenzollern greatness. As a result of the Northern Wars he obtained (1721) part of W Pomerania, including Stettin. Frederick II (reigned 1740–86) seized Silesia from Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresa and acquired (1772) West Prussia and Ermeland from the first partition of Poland. An enlightened despot, he achieved the reform and codification (1794) of Prussian law. Frederick William II (reigned 1786–97), Frederick William III (reigned 1797–1840), and Frederick William IV (reigned 1840–61) were mediocre rulers; their ministers were more important in the history of Prussia.

William I (reigned 1861–88) entrusted his affairs to Otto von Bismarck, under whose direction Prussia triumphed over its rival Austria and over France. In 1871 William was proclaimed emperor (kaiser) of a united Germany. He was succeeded by Frederick III (1888) and by William II (reigned 1888–1918), whose instability and ambition contributed to the involvement of Germany in World War I; his abdication ended the family's rule in Germany.

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Hohenzollern

Hohenzollern German dynasty that ruled Brandenburg, Prussia, and Germany. The family acquired Brandenburg in 1415, and gained Prussia in 1618. Frederick William expanded their territories, and his son, Frederick I, adopted the title ‘King in Prussia’. Frederick William I built up the Prussian army, and Frederick II used it to great effect against the Habsburgs. Germany finally united in 1871, under the Hohenzollern Emperor William I.

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Hohenzollern

Hohenzollern a German dynastic family from which came the kings of Prussia from 1701 to 1918 and German emperors (of whom the last was Kaiser Wilhelm II) from 1871 to 1918.

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Hohenzollern

HohenzollernAlan, gallon, talon •raglan •biathlon, heptathlon, pentathlon, tetrathlon, triathlon •Guatemalan, Marlon •Ellen, felon, Magellan, Mellon, melon •Veblen • Declan • watermelon •Venezuelan • Elan •Anguillan, Dillon, Dylan, kiln, Macmillan, Milne, villain •limekiln • abutilon •pylon, upsilon •Hohenzollern, pollan, pollen, Stollen •Lachlan •befallen, fallen •chapfallen • crestfallen •Angolan, colon, Nolan, semicolon, stolen, swollen •kulan •woollen (US woolen) •sullen • myrobalan • gonfalon •castellan •ortolan, portolan •Köln, merlon

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Hohenzollern

HOHENZOLLERN

HOHENZOLLERN , former Prussian province in S. Germany. The history of the Jews of Hohenzollern is largely the history of the three main communities: Hechingen, Haigerloch, and Dettensee. The former two were autonomous bodies with separate mayors and officials up to 1871 and 1837 respectively, when emancipation was granted.

Hechingen

There was a small Jewish settlement in Hechingen in the early 16th century, and a house was bought for use as a synagogue by the community of 10 families in 1546. In 1592 the burghers refused to conduct any commercial or financial transactions with Jews, who therefore left the town. There is no trace of Jewish settlement in the town during the next century. In 1701 Prince Frederick William i gave letters of protection lasting 10 years to six Jewish families in the neighboring villages; soon there were Jews living in the city as well. By 1737 there were 30 households, and a synagogue was built in 1761 which existed until 1870. From the end of the 18th century, the *Kaulla family of court financiers helped to improve the condition of the Jews. In 1803 they erected a bet midrash which remained in existence until 1850. Hechingen had 809 Jews (one-quarter of the total population) in 1842; the number declined to 331 in 1885 and 101 in 1931. The community was prosperous and owned most of the local industries. On the night of Nov. 9, 1938, the synagogue was demolished; 32 Jews from Hechingen were deported and murdered during World War ii.

Dettensee

In 1720 the first Jews were admitted into Dettensee. The 23 Jewish families, mainly livestock dealers, were compelled in 1764 to live in only three buildings which housed the synagogue and schoolroom as well. In 1800 they were forced by the townspeople to quarter horses even though none of them owned stables. Repeated protests and requests for some amelioration of living conditions were of no avail. The number of families was restricted; younger sons had no option but to leave. Eleven out of 23 families lived on charity in 1807. However, a synagogue was opened in 1820 and a cemetery consecrated in 1830. At that time there were 173 Jews in the village; by 1890 the number had declined to 100 largely through emigration, and in 1932 only two were left.

Haigerloch

Jews lived at Haigerloch in early medieval times but in 1348 they were all burned during the *Black Death persecutions. Only in the latter half of the 16th century were a number of Jews readmitted to the town. Repeated protests by the burghers against Jewish moneylenders, peddlers, and beggars induced Duke Joseph to restrict the number of tolerated Jewish families in 1745 and to prohibit them from marrying in 1749; the latter order was subsequently rescinded. In 1752 the whole community escaped at night when forced to be present at Christian services. Only those prepared to attend church four times a year were allowed to remain. Twenty Jewish families lived in a special quarter, the "Haag," in 1780. The community numbered 323 in 1844 and 213 in 1933, and conducted an active religious and cultural life. They played a significant role in the industrial and commercial development of the city. On Nov. 10, 1938, the synagogue, school, and communal center were demolished; windows were smashed in shops and homes, and the men arrested and interned in *Dachau. Exactly a year later, Haigerloch Jews were again arrested. During the war Jews from Wuerttemberg were transferred to Haigerloch and at least 192 were deported.

bibliography:

P. Sauer, Die juedischen Gemeinden in Wuerttemberg und Hohenzollern (1966).

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