Ferdinand Oppenheimer: from Kleinhausen to Strasbourg.
With the onset of industrialization, the children of rural Jews sought their fortunes in cities, especially those with strong Jewish communities. In 1872, after the Franco-Prussian War, Ferdinand (Feist) Oppenheimer, born in Kleinhausen in 1846, went to Strasbourg with his brother-in-law Isaac Adler. The two had married two sisters from the Goldschmidt family in Worms. In Strasbourg, they founded a leather factory that was to grow into the largest in Europe. In 1905, at the death of their co-founder Ferdinand Oppenheimer, A&O already had over 1,000 employees.
Babette Mainzer and family: Lorsch, Frankfurt, London.
Babette Mainzer (1831 – 1896) was one of 14 children of Mei’r ben Baruch (Maier Mainzer, 1803 – 1850). Only three of her brothers remained in Lorsch, she herself married the banker Jacob Löwenstein from Frankfurt. Before her husband founded his own business, he was an authorized signatory in the Schwarzschild banking house on Frankfurt’s Rossmarkt. Babette’s son Leopold became a banker like his father. In 1893, Leopold Löwenstein went to London. There he changed the family name to Layton. Lepold was married to Caroline Hirsch, a granddaughter of the Frankfurt founder of Neo-Orthodoxy, Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch. Caroline’s sister Rahel (1870-1953) was the first woman to hold a professorial title in medicine in Germany (Prussia). Rahel Hirsch lived with the Laytons in London after their emigration in 1938. The Laytons were friends with the Frankfurt Rothschilds. This relationship proved helpful in the evacuation of 28 German Jewish boys and girls who were rescued from the Rothschilds’ estate in Frankfurt and brought to England with the help of Ralph and Julian Layton. It was not the only rescue operation carried out by the two brothers, the grandsons of Babette Mainzer-Löwenstein.