1803 agreement between city of Augsburg and Jacob Obermayer et al

  • Jacob Obermayer's residence petition to city of Ausgburg. Judenakten Stadtarchiv Stadt Augsburg 1803, translated from microfilm 0580435 of Mormon Family History Center, Part II 1803-1806, No. 2.
  • translation of Geschichte der Juden in der Reichsstadt Augsburg (History of Jews in the Imperial City of Augsburg).
    Publisher: Julius Wilhelm Hamm, Augsburg, 1803
  • Jacob Obermayer's loan agreement with city of Augsburg. Judenakten Stadtarchiv Stadt Augsburg 1803, translated from microfilm 0580435 of Mormon Family History Center, Part II 1803-1806, No. 2.

After the Black Plague of the 14th century, Jews were not allowed to live in the city-state of Augsburg. When Napoleon's army overran Augsburg in 1801, it was allowed to remain an independent city-state on the condition that it paid reparations to Napoleon. The city did not have the funds to make the payments, so in 1803, it borrowed money from three Jewish sources, including Jacob Obermayer. A condition of the loan was that these Jews would be allowed to become residents of Augsburg.

In February 1803, Jacob Obermayer petitioned the city to be allowed residence. The document presented in a subservient manner indicated how supportive he had been to the city's needs. As a result, there was considerable discussion among the city fathers as to whether Jews should be allowed residence. A highly esteemed Augsburg senator, Paul von Statten, wrote a book published by Julius Hamm about the history of Jews in Augsburg, addressing among other things, the merchants' concern about competition, but concluding that Jews should be allowed residence. The Foreword, the contents table, and Chapter 1 are provided here. The very interesting loan agreement itself was signed on November 10, 1803 granting residence. It includes the financial terms of the loan, the repayment schedule, the provision that the oldest son of the lenders would always be allowed residence, the permission that kosher meat could be imported as long as the meat tax was paid, the acceptance of religious celebrations as long as the noise level was inoffensive, etc. In the following years, more Jews were allowed to live in Augsburg. Eventually, the barriers disappeared.

Jacob Obermayer was the brother of Arthur Obermayer's great great grandfather, Isaak Obermayer. He was a protégé of Veit Kaula, a member of the well-known family of court Jews from the Stuttgart area. In the year 1800, Isaak Obermayer purchased Veit Kaula's house in Kriegshaber, a suburb of Augsburg where Jews had lived for many years and could temporarily enter Augsburg when they had an appropriate reason.

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