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Geldern, van


GELDERN, VAN , Duesseldorf family of *Court Jews. The prefix in the surname indicates the family's origin from the Dutch province or from the village near Duesseldorf where joseph jacob (Juspa) van geldern (1653–1727) established himself as supplier and banker to the elector of Hanover, who had made Duesseldorf his capital. Juspa maintained business connections with Leffmann *Behrends and his daughter married the son of Jost *Liebmann. He built a synagogue for the community, of which he was Obervorgaenger ("chief representative") for more than 30 years; he paid one tenth of the community's dues. His son, lazarus (d. 1769), inherited the office in the community and became Court Jew of *Juelich and *Berg, but lost most of the immense family fortune in lawsuits. Lazarus' son, gottschalk, was a prosperous physician whose daughter Betty married Samson Heine, descendant of the Schaumburg-*Lippe family of Court Jews. Their son Heinrich Heine, the poet, immortalized his great-uncle, the adventurer Simon van *Geldern, Lazarus' other son.


D. Kaufmann, Aus Heinrich Heine's Ahnensaal (1896); G. Wilhelm (ed.), Heine Bibliographie (19602), 44f.; S. Stern, The Court Jew (1950), index; H. Bieber and M. Hadas, Heinrich Heine, A Biographical Anthology (1956), 38–40.

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