Frederick II°

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FREDERICK II ° ("the Great "), king of Prussia 1740–86. Like his predecessors, Frederick ii followed the policy of allowing into the kingdom only fixed numbers of *Schutzjuden ("protected Jews"), and took pains to ensure that these remained within defined limits. In keeping with this policy, the General Regulation he issued in 1750 distinguished between "ordinary" and "extraordinary" protected Jews; hereditary residential rights – to which only one child could succeed – were granted to the former alone while the rights of the "extraordinary" Jews lapsed with their death. Prussia's severe tax burden weighed more heavily on the Jews than other citizens. Apart from fixed "protection" money and the taxes levied in lieu of military service, they were also made responsible for the export of the state's manufactured products, and had to purchase a specified quantity of porcelain – the so-called Judenporzellan – from the royal factory. The trades and occupations they could follow were restricted, and the oath more Judaico was reimposed in 1747. Although freethinking and a lover of art and literature, the king was prepared only after much persuasion to extend to Moses *Mendelssohn the privilege of Schutzjude – and an "extraordinary" one, at that.


Stern-Taeubler, in: jsos, 11 (1949), 129–52; S. Schwarz, in: ylbi, 11 (1966), 300–5.

[Reuven Michael]

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Frederick II°

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