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Biographical/Historical Information

Eduard von Simson was born in Königsberg in 1810. He was raised in an intellectual German Jewish home that converted to Protestantism in 1823. He studied law and started teaching Roman law in 1833. In 1836 he was appointed judge, and by 1848 had risen to the title of an ‘advisor to the higher court’. The same year he represented Königsberg in the National Congress at Frankfurt. He became president of the Congress and headed the deputation of the Frankfurt parliament to announce to King Frederick William IV his election as German Emperor. The king refused the offer and Simson resigned his seat in the Frankfurt parliament in disappointment. In the summer of the same year, he was elected deputy for Königsberg in the popular chamber of the Prussian Landtag where he soon made his mark as a great orator. He was also a member of the Erfurt parliament of 1850, and subsequently held other offices of state. In 1879 he was appointed first president of the German Supreme Court at Leipzig. In 1888 Simson received the decoration of the Black Eagle of Prussia and was ennobled. He retired from public life in 1892 and dedicated himself to academic studies and law. Eduard von Simson died on the 2nd of May 1899.

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Eduard Simson, Leo Baeck Institute, F 848.