views updated


LIPPOLD (d. 1573), Court Jew to Joachim II (1535–71), elector of Brandenburg. When in 1556 he was appointed "supervisor" of Brandenburg Jewry and collector of all monies paid by it to the court for ten years, the elector called him "our beloved, faithful Lippold." Nine years later he was elevated to the position of mintmaster, a post which involved clipping, devaluating, and reminting coins to the benefit of the elector. Lippold exploited Joachim's insatiable passion for women, alchemy, and money to attain a position of confidence and power. Ruthless and rapacious toward Jews and Christians alike, as private moneylender he charged an exorbitant interest rate (54%), borrowed large amounts with no intention of repaying them, and practiced embezzlement and extortion at will. Immediately after Joachim's death (Jan. 2, 1571) disorders broke out in Berlin and Lippold was arrested. At his trial his crimes, real and alleged, were revealed; he was also accused of sorcery and of poisoning the elector. On Jan. 28, 1573, he was executed and quartered, after refusing baptism and withdrawing his confession. The Jews were expelled from Brandenburg soon after.


H. Schnee, Die Hoffinanz und der mo derne Staat, 1 (1953), 38–47; A. Ackermann, Muenzmeister Lippold… (1910); G.A. Kohut, Court Jew Lippold… (1893); H. Rachel, Berliner Wirtschaftsleben im Zeitalter des Fruehkapitalismus… (1931). Add. Bibliography: K. Schulz, in: Geschichte Berlins, 1 (1987), 304–25.

About this article


Updated About content Print Article