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Flörsheim, Meyer Amschel

Meyer Amschel Flörsheim was a member of the great Frankfurt Flörsheim family. He had a flourishing trading business in the 18th century.
Flörsheim was a striking personality. In 1758 he clashed not only with his own community but also with the Frankfurt city council. He was proceeding very enthusiastically against the circulation of bad coins which had been clipped so that they no longer matched their face value. A major source of these coins was the group of moneychangers among the Frankfurt Jews. The city council had its own reasons for tolerating the practice, and Flörsheim accordingly denounced both the Jewish moneychangers and the city council to the emperor. As a result the city was subjected to a long process of investigation by imperial inspectors.
Flörsheim himself was not above reproach: he was accused of stealing money, and was imprisoned at times for other offences, although we no longer have details of all of them. After 1760 Flörsheim spent part of his time in Mainz and Vienna. In Vienna he converted to Christianity and took the name Aegidius Neuhaus. His wife Hindle, the daughter of Löw Schwarzschild, did not follow him in this step and was divorced. Later Flörsheim even denounced her for slandering Christianity. However, the Frankfurt city council refused to allow the Mainz clerical authorities to interfere in Frankfurt's jurisdiction, so that the matter never came to trial. Flörsheim also tried to sue his brother over a business question.
The rage against him was expressed in an attack in 1768 when he was staying in the Judengasse, during which he was severely wounded. The last trace of him is in Vienna in the 1780s when he was imprisoned again for forging silver coins.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources