Von Otto Neuberger

When in 1648 the 30 year war finally found its end, the formerly flourishing Palatinate (Kurpfalz) was a destroyed and deserted country without people and money. Elector (in the German empire) Karl Ludwig (1632 – 1680) son of the unhappy “Winterking”, had to rebuild and resettle his country, poor of people. Also the reinstatement of Mannheim was included in the large scale inner colonisation that the clever and vigorous elector set himself as a goal. “All honest people from all Nations” were invited to settle in Mannheim. To attract settlers, privileges were renewed and extended; free administration, trade and exemption from customs were accepted.

They even went one step further. To make it easier to get people and money into the country, it was allowed, that Jews moved to the Palatinate and Mannheim, where there were only a few tolerated till then. The above mentioned privileges especially free trade and exemption from customs was a strong attraction for the Jews, to whom no other business was open except trade. And so we soon find a strong and rich Jewish congregation in Mannheim, to which on September 1st 1660 certain privileges were granted, the “first Mannheim Jew Concession”. In the beginning the Mannheim Jewish community was split up into two parts, the Portuguese and the German Jews. The first (Aftruck, Carcassone), though relatively low in number, seem to have had the higher commercial influence. Later on the Portuguese were merged into the German community.

It is interesting, to find out, where the German Jews in Mannheim came from. There are no immigration registers or something like that available for that time; but a clear indication can be found in their names, which mainly were deducted from their origin, if the were not related to their first names. Based on this key it comes out, that nearly all immigrants came from the Palatinate itself or from neighbouring countries. Already very early we find, the names Wachenheim, Carlebach (Großkarlbach), Ottersberg, Gundersheim, Edenkoben,, furthermore Bensheim, Hachenburg, Lorsch, Sinzheimer etc. Also later on, till 1790, from which year on there exists a tax register for the Mannheim Jewish community, the Jewish immigrants seem to have come from the same regions. Look e. g. to the names Reinganum (Rheingönnheim), Ladenburg, Leimen. There are only some names from medium and lower Franconia e. g. Dinkelspiel (Dinkelsbühl), Hammelburg. The very few names indicating farther, more easterly descent, point at rabbi families, as rabbis often were called from cities far away.

So the Jewish population of Mannheim obviously originates from the upper Rhine valley area, and it seems to be clear, that they can be related to the old communities Worms, Speyer, Mainz etc. which already existed in Roman times, and were important at the times of the Salians and the Hohenstaufens, and who often helped those emperors financially. In the pestilence year 1349 and the following years they were driven out of the cities and spread over the countryside around. – In the following times they were often chased around, sometimes being driven out here and tolerated there. Due to the wide political diversity they always found a place to live in South West Germany, which they felt to be their home country. – Immigration from eastern countries, as it occurs nowadays, was not observed at those times.

Looking at the composition of the Mannheim Jewish community it seems to be noteworthy, that suddenly, in the midst of the 18th century, the name Nauen appears here, and not at all in a rabbi family.

The immigration to Mannheim of the first member of the Nauen family in 1744, originated mainly from family tradition. Though it sounds rather romantic, it is fully believable and possible, as stated by specialists.

Salomon Abraham Nauen was married in Berlin, but they had no children. He wanted to be divorced. But this was only possible with the consent of 100 rabbis. And so he travelled from one rabbi to the next. He found the 100th consenting in Mannheim; he was divorced; Salomon Abraham stayed in Mannheim and was accepted as “Protected Jew” (Schutzjude) in 1744 and became a Jewish teacher.

Salomon Abraham Nauen married according to old family notes – I could not find a further confirmation – Karoline (Kele) Gundersheim. So he became the offspring of the Mannheim branch of the Nauen family.

In Berlin, where I asked people to find out the origin of the Nauen family, they found the tomb stone of Salomon Abrahams Nauens father Abraham Moses Nauen. The inscription of the tomb stone indicates, that his father Moses Nauen was not only named Nauen but came from Nauen as well, and that he had the title “Chaber” (learned man).

Abraham Moses Nauen is called an upright and honest man in the inscription. He died in Berlin in 1751.

There exists a foundation in Berlin named “Nauen’sches Erziehungs-Institut” (Nauen education institution). The founder, Mrs. Dina Aron Cohn, née Zaduck Nauen established this institute in1789 and bequeathed to it her big fortune. Six poor members of the family were educated in this institute at full board. If there were no such family members, other boys were taken in. I have got a copy of the “Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums” (General Paper of Judaism) from 1839, in which this foundation was honoured with respect to its 50th anniversary.

But I could not find out whether there is a connection between Dina Aron and the Mannheim family.

The members of the Mannheim family have been merchants down to the youngest generations. Now some of them have studied as well. All of them were capable, brave and honoured people. Especially in times, when the many Nauens lived in Mannheim, the family was known to everybody and its members were esteemed as highly respectable and honourable. Their names can be found at all social and fund raising events.

At those times, not too far back at all, when Mannheim was not a large town jet, and it was more the personal reputation than the political membership, on which the choice for the town council was based, three members of the Nauen family sat in the council at the same time (1865 Abraham Nauen sen., Abraham Nauen jun. and Albert Nauen). This is a clear token for the reputation of the name Nauen.

Only once in the revolution year 1848 a member of the Nauen family was active in politics. It was the 22 year old Jakob Nauen, who in the enthusiasm of the youth joined the Hecker movement. We will have to talk about it at another place. He as well was a highly esteemed citizen of his home town.

In the Israelite community of Mannheim several members of the family held honorary offices, which will be stated, when talking about the resp. persons. In the council of the “Ressource-Gesellschaft” (Ressource Community, the well known Mannheim Jewish social club) we find rather often the name Nauen, sometimes several family members at the same time.

I want to point out, that the Nauens, in their affection to the theatre, proved to be real “Mannheim children”.

As mentioned above, Salomon Abraham Nauen was accepted in Mannheim as “Protected Jew” (Schutzjude). In the “Memorbuch” (Book of reminiscence) he is called a “Zadock” i. e. the upright one. He died in 1789 (?).

As far as could be found out, he had two children, a daughter Fanny (Fradche), married to Herz Carlebach in Heidelberg and a son, Abraham Salomon Nauen.

Abraham Salomon, married to Lea Gundersheim (176? to 1819), became principal of the Israelite Community. His effective activities and his reputation were recorded in the above named “Memorbuch” on occasion of his death in 1802.

He had six children:

1.      Moses Abraham Nauen (1783 ‑ 1859), married to Sophie Dinkelspiel, Mannheim (1784 ‑ 1860);

2.      Marx Abraham Nauen (1784 – 1833), married to Fanny Bühl from Mannheim (1789 – 1865);

3.      Isaak Abraham Nauen (1787 – 1859), married to Helene Nathan from Worms;

4.      Haium Abraham Nauen (1789 – 1819), unmarried;

5.      Fanny Nauen (1791 – 1820), first wife of her cousin Heinrich Haas in Mannheim, born in Lengfeld (Odenwald) (1791 – 1844);

6.      Julius Abraham Nauen (1794 – 1869), married to Henriette Höber, Mannheim (1812 ‑ 1859).

Unfortunately it is no more possible today, to tell more details about the different persons, as the generation, which would be able to remember something, has died away. But probably there would only be rather few items worth reporting. Here a short description of what I have found out.

Moses Abraham (1783 – 1859), the eldest son, joined the ironmongery of his father in law Wolf Löb Dinkelspiel, and finally led it. The business house still exists under the name of Abraham’s son as “A. Nauen sen.”. Still today the family speaks about his happy life in marriage reaching the golden anniversary, his devoutness and the mother wit of his wife. They had five children about whom I will tell later on.

Marx Abraham (1784 – 1833), owner of a wine shop and very rich by the fortune of his wife Fanny Brühl, was a great benefactor to the poor. He did not give only one tenth of his income, as prescribed by religion, but did much more. His wife, surviving him for many years, was a passionate theatre visitor. Four children came from their marriage. (See later.)

Isaak Abraham (1787 – 1859) married Helene Nathan in Worms, and moved there. After the death of his wife and his only child Lea, who died unmarried, he returned to Mannheim, to end his life in his home town. Isaak Nauen belongs to the founders of the general alms-house and hospital

Julius Abraham (1794 – 1869), established the firm “J. A. Nauen” in Mannheim. The oldest records of this firm are given in a inventory of 1833. This shows that he worked as a whole sale merchant for several different goods. The establishment of the firm will have taken place several years earlier. When Julius A. Nauen married Henriette Höber in 1823, he owned a detail shop, which he also carried on, when he started his whole sale business. The eldest sons Albert and Jacob joined the firm, the letter about 1854. On March 15th 1876 they opened a branch in Triest. Reason for this was that the main activity now was in Austria. People thought that Triest, being ‑ after the opening of the Suez Canal ‑ a big harbour closest to India would achieve an important role in world trade. This did not come into reality through the short sightedness of the Austrian government. Only in 1883 Triest got more importance due to differential customs, introduced for several goods. By this it became unattractive to deal with coffee in Mannheim. Therefore, as in several other firms, the main seat was dissolved in Mannheim and transferred to Triest. The Triest house is still run today by two grandsons of the founder, by Ernst Nauen, son of Albert, and by Richard, son of Jacob Nauen.

Julius Nauen died in 1869. He was known as a capable, modern thinking merchant, whose advice was highly accepted.

Descendants of Moses Abraham Nauen (1783 – 1859):

Moses Abraham Nauen and Sophie Dinkelspiel had five children:

1.      Fanny Nauen (1804 – 1875), was the second wife of Heinrich Haas, owner of a cloth and modes shop in Mannheim (1791 – 1844);

2.      Adelheid Nauen (1807 ‑ ?), in 1833 married to Dr. Wolfgang Sinzheimer, medical doctor at Weinheim, later on Mannheim;

3.      Abraham Nauen (Senior) (1809 – 1876), married to his Cousin Henriette Nauen (1811 – 1897), (more later on);

4.      Laura Nauen (1811 – 1887), in 1833 married to David Feist Levinger, dealing with textiles in Karlsruhe;

  1. Theodor Nauen (1813 – 1814).

Abraham Nauen (1809 – 1876), called “Senior” to distinguish him from his younger cousin with the same name, carried on his father’s ironmongery, but under his own name. He held several honorary offices in the Israelite community. He was called “Eisen (iron)-Nauen” and was widely beloved because of his upright character. For several years he belonged to the citizen’s council. From his marriage with his cousin Henriette he had two daughters and two sons:

1.      Pauline Nauen (1837 – 1909), married to Moritz Noether, dealing with iron at Bruchsal, (no descendents in Mannheim);

2.      Cäcilie Nauen (1838 – 1905), married to Leopold Odenheimer, dealing with hop in Mannheim;

3.      Wilhelm Nauen, born 1843, married to Emma Maier from Mettenheim;

  1. Heinrich Nauen (1844 – 1909), married to Lina Benario from Marktbreit near Würzburg.

Wilhelm und Heinrich Nauen carried on the business of their father. Wilhelm left it in 1905, to give room for his nephews, for whom he was available with his advice for another two years. Wilhelm, the still living 80year old representative of the name, was deeply engaged in humanitarian matters. Over 40 years he was principal of the Israelite hospital. In addition he was member of the council of the German “Schulverein” (club for educational matters) and as well trustee for the voluntary fire brigade. He assisted his brother as vice consul for Spain. Sophie the elder daughter died in 1887 14 years old. The younger, Paula (born 1875) is married to Arthur Fuchs in Karlsruhe, dealing with wood (Firm: H. Fuchs Söhne (sons)).

Heinrich Nauen, (1844 – 1909), co owner of the firm A. Nauen Sen., consul of Spain, decorated with high orders, assistant of the commander of the voluntary fire brigade, member of the council of the synagogue, was highly respected in the Mannheim citizenship. His two sons, both living in Mannheim, are:

1.      Moritz Nauen, born 1875, following his father as consul of Spain. He is married to Jane Freund, formerly singer at the Mannheim opera house, well known concert singer and teacher for singing;

  1. Alfred Nauen, born 1876, merchant in Mannheim; he has a daughter, Ellen, from his first marriage to Cläre Hellmann. After divorce a second marriage to Anna Wertheimer.

Descendants of Marx Abraham Nauen (1784 – 1833).

The children of Marx Nauen and his wife Fanny née Bühl are:

1.      Caroline Nauen (1809 – 1886) was married to Max Mayer from the well known family of the former palatinate court assistants (Hoffaktoren??), owning a tobacco business.

2.      Henriette Nauen (1811 – 1897), married to her cousin Abraham Nauen senior (1809 – 1876) (see above);

3.      Abraham Nauen (junior) (1814 – 1869), married to Jeanette Darmstädter, Mannheim, (1819 – 1908). I will refer to him later on.;

  1. Babette Nauen (1816 – 1878), had been married to Hermann Dinkelspiel, grocer in Mannheim.

Abraham Nauen, junior (1814 – 1878); he called himself junior as a distinction from his cousin with the same name. He was an upright and respected man, known as “Wein-(wine) Nauen” among the citizenship. He ran his wine shop “Mayer & Nauen” together with Julius Lehmann Mayer, the brother of Max Mayer, mentioned above. He was a member of the city council and held in addition several honorary offices. So he was among others Trustee of the synagogue and member of the committee of the Israelite community. There were no children from his marriage with Jeanette Darmstädter from the well known Mannheim family.

Descendants of Julius Abraham Nauen (1794 – 1869).

Julius Abraham Nauen and Henriette Höber had six sons and one daughter:

1.      Albert Nauen (1824 – 1891), married to Julie Hirschhorn, Mannheim (1830 – 1919);

2.      Jacob Nauen (1826 – 1894), married to Clara Pflaum from München (1834 – 1908);

3.      Carl Nauen (1829 ‑ ?), married in London to Sara Ezechiels from Rotterdam (1836 – 1901);

4.      Eduard Nauen (1836 – 1904), married in London to Rebecca Baumann (born 1842), still living in London;

5.      Rudolf Nauen (1836 – 1895), married to I. Johanna Creizenach from Mainz (1852 – 1882); II. Karoline Schwab, Stuttgart (1853 – 1916);

6.      Ludwig Nauen (1839 – 1860), died unmarried;

  1. Luise Nauen (1841 – 1864), married to Dr. Albert Groß, medical doctor, Heidelberg, later on Frankfurt a. M.

There are numerous descendants of the sons of Julius Abraham Nauen. To get a better clearness I will deal with Albert, Jacob, Carl, Eduard and Rudolf Nauen together with their children and grandchildren. – Many members of this part of the family left Mannheim and have found a new home elsewhere, mainly in Triest and London.

Albert Nauen (1824 – 1891), the eldest son of Julius Abraham became joint owner of the coffee firm J. A. Nauen. He was highly respected in Mannheim and was a member of the citizens’ council, as I described already earlier. His wife, Julie née Hirschhorn, from the well known Mannheim family lived for a long time as widow in Mannheim.‑

Their children are:

1.      Helene (1852 – 1875), married to Adolf Süßer, in the firm: Nöther & Bonné, laces and tulle, Mannheim;

2.      Friedrich (1854 – 1869);

3.      Marie (born 1856), lives as widow in Mannheim; she was married to Theodor Höber in the firm: Höber & Mandelbaum, cigar fabrication, Mannheim;

4.      Ernst (born 1859), lives in Triest as joint owner of the firm J. A. Nauen, Triest. He is married to Rosa Neumann in Triest;

5.      Ludwig (1868 – 1909), was an agent in Hamburg. He was married to Ella Goldschmidt in Hamburg. There are four children from this marriage.
[The children are: Albert Georg Ludwig, born 1895, Maria Louise, born 1897, married to the lawyer Ulrich Katz, Mannheim, Alice, born 1899, Ernst, born 1902.]

Jacob Nauen (1826 – 1894), the second son of Julius Abraham Nauen attended the lyceum in Mannheim and finished a merchant apprenticeship in the firm Paul Eicher, Mannheim. He was a gymnast and took part in the Baden revolution in 1848/49, as mentioned already earlier. In March 1848, independent of the Mannheim home guard, a free corps was formed named “Schar der Freiwilligen” (troop of volunteers). It was lead by Franz Siegel as “Oberstleitmann” (lieutenant colonel??). Jacob was one of the officers. Later on he told his son, that he, as a guard in the Mannheim castle, had taken care that the precious Gobelins were not damaged by the guns. – As many others he had to flee, to escape imprisonment; it is not clear, when this occurred. – He stayed for about half a year in Brussels, another year in Paris, and about three years in London. There he met many refugees from Germany, among them Gottfried Kinkel, after he had been freed by Carl Schurz from the prison in Spandau. – The revolution years were a sad remembrance for Jacob Nauen. Above all he deeply regretted the loss of so many young emphatic German patriots. Later on he never again was actively involved in political affairs.

The years of exile gave Jacob Nauen the chance, to widen his view as a merchant enormously. He made fully use of it. Back in Mannheim his main endeavour was the strengthening of the firm, he had inherited from his father. I described it earlier.

In addition to the activity in his own firm, which lead him to Triest for several weeks every year, in mercantile foresight and as one of the leading persons he joined an enterprise very important for the development of Mannheim. In 1865 they founded the “Mannheimer Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft” (storage company), in the beginning only dealing with petroleum. In 1872 they extended it to the new Mannheim storage company, “which was founded to provide Mannheim with storage facilities, which correspond to the importance and size of commerce in Mannheim, and give the possibility, to issue storage bonds (Lagerscheine ‑ Warrants)”. – In the beginning Jacob Nauen was vice chairman of the council of the enterprise, consisting of Julius Bassermann, L. August Baum, Josef Böhm (the elder), Otto Glöcklen, Rudolf Haas, Louis Hirsch, Carl Jäger, Alexander Neustadt, Adam Röder, Hermann Ruoff, and Rudolf Trautmann; then from the fourth of April 1882 until his death he held the chair. – His energetic input helped to develop the enterprise to the now well known importance.

The first initiatives for another industrial enterprise came from Jacob Nauen as well, the chemical factory Rheinau. But it was not successful in the long run, applying the Le Blanc method to produce soda, it was surpassed soon by the newer Solvey method, so that the factory could not be held despite all endeavours. But it should be acknowledged that Jacob Nauen showed an ingenious foresight for the advantages of the area, where the factory was placed, and where today, after building the Rheinau harbour, an important centre for merchandise and industry has developed. Trustees of the enterprise were Max Dinkelspiel, Rudolf Haas, Wilhelm Köster, Wilhelm Kupfer, and Jacob Nauen.

Besides his commercial activities Jacob Nauen, as well as his musically gifted wife Clara, née Pflaum, showed great interest for arts and science. Already from his father’s times he  belonged to the circle of the well known violinist Jean Becker, in whose house he and his wife found the possibility to become acquainted with classical chamber music.

Jacob Nauen was a man with an excellent character, showing friendly gentleness, and high wisdom. Without tending for great publicity this modest, noble thinking man was highly esteemed by the public.

Jacob Nauen had three sons. They are:

1.      Otto Nauen (born 1857), Dr. phil. chemist and manufacturer in Augsburg, married to Luise Jordan from Mannheim;
[Their children are: Fritz, born 1893, Dipl.-Ing. and chemist in Augsburg; Martha, born 1896.];

2.      Richard Nauen (born 1860), married to Marie Michaelis from Worms, lives as joint owner of the firm J. A. Nauen in Triest, no children;

3.      Viktor Nauen (born 1871), Dr. jur. lawyer in Mannheim, married to Mina Goldschmidt, Mannheim.
[Their children are: Franz, born 1900, died 1917, Hans, born 1907.];

Carl Nauen (1829 ‑ ?), Julius Abraham’s third son, moved to London rather early, where he ran a coffee business together with his brother Eduard. Married to Sara Ezechiels from Rotterdam, they had two sons:

  1. Alfred Ludwig (1862 – 1897), married to Kate Constance Pritchard, London
    [Their children are ( as far as known to me): Arthur William and Mabel Ida.];

2.      Edwin (1865 – 1903) died unmarried.

Eduard Nauen (1833 – 1904), Julius Abraham’s fourth son, moved to London rather early as well. The following children were born from his marriage with Rebecca Baumann, London:

1.      Henriette Luise (born 1866), unmarried, London;

2.      Frank (born 1868), director of a bank house, married to Francis Margaret Adams, Stafford, lives in Paris,
[Their children are: Margaret, born 1907 and John Eduard Adams, born 1916.];

3.      Herbert (born 1872), merchant in London.

Rudolf Nauen (1836 – 1895), the last son of Julius Abraham, whom I still have to tell about, lived in Le Havre until the war 1870. Back in Mannheim he ran a cigar factory under the name: Nauen & Peter, later on Nauen & Panther.

The children from his first marriage to Johanna Creizenach from Mainz are:

  1. Elisabeth (born 1877), married to Prof. Dr. Carl Schwalbe, chemist at Eberswalde near Berlin;
  2. Julius (born 1879), manufacturer, married to Luise Hüther, from Aglasterhausen.
    [Their children are: Ella, born 1911, Rudolf, born 1912, Gertrud born 1919 and Werner born 1924.];
  3. Franz Ludwig ( 1881 – 1882);

From the second marriage to Karoline Schwab, Stuttgart were born:

  1. Robert Jacob (born 1885), merchant at Kreiensen, married to Elisabeth Blaurock from Berlin;

5.      Walter (born 1888), merchant in Mannheim, married to Anna Kraft in Mannheim.

Hereby the description of the most numerous part of the family, the descendents of Julius Abraham Nauen has been finished, and I can close my article.

By the strong emigration of members of the family, the family Nauen is now much less numerous in Mannheim than in former times.
Since the immigration of Salomon Abraham Nauen to Mannheim in 1744 180 years have elapsed, and the male branch of the family has reached its sixth generation in Mannheim.

[A family with the name Nauen, which has moved from Mainz to Mannheim only shortly, and which has only adopted the name, has no familiar relationship to the family I have described.]