Naftali ben Salomo, called Hirz Menz, came to Lorsch at the end of the 17th century, probably from Mainz. With his wife Schönle, from Pfungstadt, he founded a clan of successful merchants and traders in the town. The first five generations made considerable fortunes, much of which was lost in the sixth generation due to the First World War. The National Socialists robbed the rest and some family members of their lives as well. Their story exemplifies the development of successful rural Jewry in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Mainzers owed their rise to three factors. Like many Jews, they were industrious but also strategically working merchants. As soon as the edicts of tolerance issued by Erthal, the Elector of Mainz, made it possible for them to do so from 1784 onward, they acquired houses and fields from their profits. In 1831, a dozen Lorsch farm estates were owned by various family members, some of which they managed themselves (trading in crops, tobacco, and livestock), but also rented out. They took enormous risks. For example, in order to win the bidding for a large business such as supplying the Darmstadt Grand Duke’s army with bread flour – ultimately successfully – Samuel Mainzer put up his own farm tract (Römerstraße 6) and several fields worth over 4,000 gulden as a mortgage in 1845. Although the infant mortality rate of all Mainzer births (1838 – 1875) was higher than the average in the Reich (37 compared to 25%), all 13 children (from two marriages) of Maier Mainzer I from the fourth generation survived. But only for three of them Lorsch still offered opportunities for development: Leopold, Jonas and Nathan. Their siblings sought and found their opportunities elsewhere, in Mainz and in Mannheim, in Alzey, Frankfurt, and in America.