Salomon Mayer von Rothschild

Salomon Mayer von Rothschild

Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (September 9, 1774 – July 28, 1855) was a German-born banker in the Austrian Empire and the founder of the Viennese branch of the prominent Mayer Amschel Rothschild family.

He was born at Frankfurt-am-Main the third child and second son of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744–1812) and Gutlé Schnapper (1753–1849). In 1800, he married Caroline Stern (1782–1854). They had the following children:
# Anselm Salomon (1803–1874)
# Betty Salomon (1805–1886)

His father had built a hugely prosperous banking business in Germany. Wanting to expand the family business across Europe, the eldest Rothschild son remained in Frankfurt, while each of the other four sons were sent to different European cities to establish a banking branch. Salomon von Rothschild was made a shareholder of the de Rothschild Frères bank when it was opened in Paris in 1817 by brother James Mayer de Rothschild. Trained in finance and with years of experience, in 1820 Salomon Rothschild was sent to Austria to formalize the family's existing involvements in financing Austrian government projects.

In Vienna, Salomon von Rothschild established S M von Rothschild. The business financed the Nordbahn rail transport network, Austria's first steam railway, plus funding various government undertakings where large amounts of capital had to be raised. He made connections amongst the country's aristocracy and its political elite through Prince Klemens Metternich and Friedrich von Gentz. Under the direction of Salomon von Rothschild, the Viennese bank was highly successful, playing an integral role in the development of the Austrian economy. In recognition of his services, in 1822 Salomon Mayer Rothschild was made part of the Austrian nobility when Emperor Francis I awarded him the hereditary title "Freiherr" (Baron). In 1843, he became the first Jew to ever be given honorary Austrian citizenshipFact|date=April 2008.

Endogamy was an essential part of the Rothschild family's strategy for future success in order to ensure that control of their businesses remained in family hands. Therefore, in 1824 Salomon Mayer Rothschild's daughter Betty married her uncle James Mayer de Rothschild, head of the Paris bank.

Salomon von Rothschild's personal wealth was enormous and he acquired extensive properties and made investments in art and antiquities. Despite the fact that he made substantial contributions to philanthropic causes, the concentration of vast wealth by the few members of the Austrian elite resulted in a growing civil unrest in the country. By the time of the revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas, anti-Rothschild sentiments were frequently being voiced and written about in broadsheets such as "Ein offener Brief an Rothschild". With the fall of Metternich, Salomon von Rothschild lost some of his political clout and his bank a considerable amount of money. Under pressure, the 74-year-old handed over the reins of the bank to his son Anselm but it was not without rancor. He left Vienna and retired in Paris where he died in 1855. From his collection some of the "Objets d'Art" from the Italian and French Renaissance together with 18th-century works were donated to the Louvre including two paintings by Carlo Dolci.

Allegations of being Alois Hitler's biological father

There have been numerous unsubstantiated claims made by various authors of dubious credibility (e.g. Hansjurgen Koehler, Walter C. Langer, Greg Hallett) that Rothschild is, in fact, the biological father of Alois Hitler, the father of Adolf Hitler and therefore, the paternal grandfather of Adolf Hitler. Alois Hitler was born illegitimate and never knew his real father in his life.

Thyssen and Koehler, for example, claim that Chancellor Dollfuss had ordered the Austrian police to conduct a thorough investigation into the Hitler family. As a result of this investigation, a secret document proved that Maria Anna Schicklgruber was living in Vienna at the time she conceived her son. At that time, she was employed as a servant in the home of Baron Salomon Mayer von Rothschild. As soon as the family discovered her pregnancy, she was sent back to her home in Spital where Alois was born. If it is true that one of the Rothschilds is the real father of Alois Hitler, it would make Adolf a quarter Jewish. According to these sources, Adolf Hitler knew of the existence of this document and the evidence it contained. In order to obtain it, he precipitated events in Austria and initiated the assassination of Dollfuss. According to this story, he failed to obtain the document at that time, since Dollfuss had secreted it and had told Schuschnigg of its whereabouts so that, in the event of his death, the independence of Austria would remain assured. This information came from the high-level Gestapo officer, Hansjurgen Koehler. In 1940, Koehler published a book under the title "Inside the Gestapo. Hitler's Shadows over the World." [(Pallas Publ. Co., Ltd. London, 1940)] He writes about the investigations into Hitler's background carried out by the Austrian Chancellor, Dolfuss, in the family files of Hitler. Koehler actually viewed a copy of the Dolfuss documents which were given to him by Heydrich, the overlord of the Nazi Secret Service. The file, he wrote, "caused such havoc as no file in the world ever caused before." [(Inside the Gestapo, p 143)]


External links

* [ Objets d'Art donated to the Louvre]

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