ELLSTAETTER, MORITZ (1827–1905), German politician, the first Jew to become a minister in a German state. Born in Karlsruhe, Ellstaetter studied law and worked in a banking house in Berlin, where he met Karl Mathy (1807–1868), the future Baden minister of finance. When Mathy assumed office in 1866, he appointed Ellstaetter department head of his ministry. In 1868, on Mathy's death, Ellstaetter was given responsibility for the ministry. He reformed the Baden finances and introduced a new taxation policy which was followed by other German states. Ellstaetter advised the German government on fiscal and coinage legislation for 25 years. In 1881 he became director of railways. Although he took no part in Jewish affairs, Ellstaetter was, because of racial prejudice, only officially confirmed as minister of finance in 1888. He retired due to ill health in 1893.
ndb, 4 (1959), 460.
[B. Mordechai Ansbacher]