Simon Dubnow Institute
for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University

Yair Mintzker: Die vielen Tode des Jud Süß. Justizmord an einem Hofjuden

Translated from American English by Felix Kurz

 

 

261 pp., 11 colored figs., Hardcover with dust jacket

Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2020

ISBN: 978-3-525-37098-8

Price: 45,00 Euro (D)

ISBN: 978-3-647-37098-9 (e-book)

Price: 37,99 € (D)

 

 

 

 

 

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The court Jew Joseph Süss Oppenheimer – »Jew Süss« – is one of the most symbolically significant figures in the history of antisemitism. When the duke of Württemberg Carl Alexander died unexpectedly, the authorities arrested Oppenheimer, put him on trial, and finally condemned him to death for »misdeeds« that have never been conclusively proven. He was hanged in front of a large crowd just outside Stuttgart on 4 February 1738. Yair Mintzker reconstructs the contradictory narratives of Oppenheimer’s life and death as told by four of his contemporaries. These include the leading inquisitor in the criminal investigation against Oppenheimer, a university lecturer and another court Jew who were both allowed to visit him before his execution, and one of Oppenheimer’s earliest biographers. The result is a vivid, moving, and at the same time disturbing picture of the final days of »Jew Süss«, which ultimately reveals more about the authors of the four accounts than it does about Oppenheimer himself. The Many Deaths of Jew Süss is a fascinating new interpretation of the judicial murder of Oppenheimer and a lesson of historiography.

 

The English edition The Many Deaths of Jew Süss. The Notorious Trial and Execution of an Eighteenth-Century Court Jew was awarded the National Jewish Book Award in History.