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Lebensgeschichte (The Story of My Life) by Lazarus Morgenthau

Lebensgeschichte von Lazarus Morgenthau aus Hürben bei Krumbach von ihm selbst geschrieben. Speyer den 30ten November 1842 : This is the memoir of Lazarus Morgenthau from the village of Hürben in Swabia, Germany, which he wrote himself in the town of Speyer on Nov. 30, 1842.

Lazarus Morgenthau wrote his memoirs in a mixture of high-German and his native Bavarian dialect, telling the story from his birth in 1815; his work as a tailor in the Swabian town of Hürben, where he married Babette Guggenheim; to his success as a manufacturer of cravats, when he settled in the more glamorous city of Speyer.

Later - in 1850 – his younger brother Max, called Mengo, immigrated to California, where he made a fortune in the “Gold-Rush” and invested heavily in Lazarus’ thriving cigar enterprise in Germany. When this failed, Lazarus Morgenthau immigrated to New York in 1866.

Lazarus Morgenthau was the father of Henry (Heinrich) Morgenthau, who was – most importantly – US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide, which he tried to stop. Lazarus’ grandson, Henry Morgenthau Jr., served as Secretary of the Treasury under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in World War II; and Lazarus Morgenthau was great-grandfather of - among other illustrious descendants - Robert Morgenthau, who was for many years New York County District Attorney for Manhattan, and who donated his great-grandfather’s original memoirs to the Leo Baeck Institute.