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July 31, 1964 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-07-31

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Guggenheims' Seed Money' Projects, Their
Jewish Background, Told in Lomask Biography

The Guggenheims are a verit- not quite fit company for decent
able empire. They amassed wealth.
Christians." Ulrich actually suc-
They created five foundations.
ceeded in persuading Joseph
They began as devout Jews and
Guggenheim to leave his family
the fourth generation commenced
and to become a Christian con-
to disappear from the Jewish fold. vert in Zurich. But he also be-
Their story is told in a most re-
came a friend of Jewry and in
vealing fashion in "Seed Money:
his "Collection of Jewish Nar-
The Guggenheim Story," by Milton
ratives" he depicted "Jews with
Lomask, published by Farrar,
fairness," providing a history of
Straus and Co. (19 Union Sq. W.,
Swiss Jewry before 1740. Lo-
NY 3).
mask states that by writing
Lomask's story traces the back- about Parnas (elder of the syna-
gogue) Jakob Guggenheim, Ul-
ground of the Guggenheims, tells
rich provided initial knowledge
about their early Jewish interests,
about the Guggenheim family.
reviews their rise to financial
Then follows a detailed descrip-
Dower in this country and de-
(— scribes the family's five philan- tion about the Guggenheims in
thropic foundations, listing a num- Switzerland, their Jewish inter-
ber who have been helped by ests, their marriages within the
fold—until their successes in this
country and their intermarriages.
Beginning with 1924, the Gug-
It is an account of Swiss Jewry's
genheims established the Daniel
and Florence Guggenheim Foun- early history, their difficulties
until the emergence of a spirit of
dation, the Daniel Guggenheim
emancipation and their roles as
Fund for the Promotion of Aero-
nautics, the John Simon Guggen-
Describing how Jews were
heim Memorial Foundation, the
blamed for the Black Death that
Solomon R. Guggenheim and the
Murray and Leonie Guggenheim swept the continent, Lomask
points out:
"In 1348 and 1349 Swiss mobs,
Charles Lindberg and Jimmy
Doolittle figure in this story as seeking to blame the pestilence on
having been aided in their pioneer- the Children of Israel, were guilty
ing efforts in air travel by the of excesses seldom if ever ex-
Guggenheim funds. Frank Lloyd ceeded until the tragic days of
Wright benefited from them in the Nazi Germany. One reads of the
establishment of his controversial governing authorities in Swiss

building. The "father of modern cities trying to protect their Jew-
rocketry," Robert Goddard, and ish residents only to be overruled
Baroness Hilla Rebay von Ehren- by a rabble bent on killing, plun-
weisen, whose novel idea was in- dering, burning, suffocating, and
otherwise torturing them in the
troduced in managing the Guggen-
name of Christianity. Beginning in
heim Museum, also benefited from
1348, the story of the Swiss Jews
these foundations.
is the story of a constantly shrink-
Lomask hasn't left out a thing ing homeland as first one and then
about the Guggenheims — their another of the cantons decreed
early work here from the very their expulsion."
beginning as peddlers, their en-
Lomask describes the removal
trance into mining, their financial by the church of the prohibition
genius. The title to this book is on usury as having permitted
explained as stemming from the Christians to exact interest and
the common attribute to all the thus having taken from theJews
Guggenheim foundations — their the monopoly on moneylending. It
adherence to what Harry Guggen- was an era that affected the Gug-
heim called the "seed mony" prin- genheims.
ciple. "The phrase explains itself,"
"In Lengnau," the biographer
Lomask writes. "Ever since the
states, "the Guggenheim family
formatoin in 1866 of the Peabody
is traced by official documents.
Fund, first of the modern philan-
The oldest is dated 1696 and
thropic endowments, it has been
alludes tto 'der Jud Maran Gug-
found good practice for such or-
genheimb von Lengnau.' Maran
ganizations to support projects
was either the fatehr or the
\/--) which give promise of being so
grandfather of Parnas Jakob,
valuable of society that once they the friend of Pastor Ulrich."
have received an initial 'leg up'
The Guggenheims were educated
they can be counted on to support
themselves or to attract support in the Talmudic Academy in Metz.
from government or private Indus- The early synagogue associations
and the activities related to Surb-
tal Jewry, many of whom began to
The opening chapter takes the
emigrate to the U. S., are part of
reader to "Switzerland's Green
the story that led to the Guggen-
Ghettos" and relates how a
heims movement to this country.
Christian pastor, Johann Casper
A fund made available by the sec-
- Ulrich, in 1740, went to Leng-
nau, near the Swiss town of Be- ond wife of Simon Guggenheim,
/ -
Rachel Weil Meyer, enabled him
den, to pursue rabbinic studies
and his family to come here in
and to attempt to convert Jews.
The Jewish occupants of the 1847 when the American story of
the family began.
ghettos, Lomask writes, at that
It is a long family history, about
time "were widely regarded as
the seven brothers who were in
one business, how they worked at
Two Jewish Scientists
getting rich, their engagement in
industry and manufacturing, their
Get $1 Million From
development of the nitrate fields
Kennedys for Research in Chile and their numerous other
MADISON, Wis. (JTA) — Two
In the 1890s there still was the
Jewish scientists, one of them a
Nobel Prize winner, were awarded regular Sabbath Eve observance as
grants totaling $1,335,000 by the a family night, and the biographer
Joseph K. Kennedy, Jr., Founda- relates how John D. Rockefeller,
tion for research into mental re- Sr., dropped in on them on one
tardation, it was announced here such Friday night in their home
by R. Sargent Shriver, brother-in- on 54th Street in New York "to be
law of the late President Kennedy, neighborly."
and his wife, Mrs. Eunice Shriver.
Many prominent families fig-
Of the total, $1,100,000 went to ure in this story, in the marri-
Dr. Joshua Lederberg, Stanford ages of the first and second gen-
University geneticist, who won the eration Guggenheims to Jews.
Nobel Prize in medicine in 1958;
Soon it changed. In one instance,
and $225,000 was given to Dr.
when M. Robert, Jr., married a
Harry Waisman, of the University Catholic, his father, approched
of Wisconsin Medical School's de- by newsmen, said: "I'm delight-
partment of pediatrics.
ed. My son has always been a
Both scientists, as well as Mrs. very bad Jew. I hope they'll
Shriver, are members of the
make a good Catholic of him."
President's Panel on Retardation.
Dr. Lederberg is the son of Rabbi THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Zwi W. Lederberg, of Philadelphia.
Friday, July 31, 1964

There was promiscuity, one ex-
perience resulting in the recall of
a Guggenheim as American Am-
bassador to Portugal, as persona
non grata, as a result of an inci-
dent involving a woman at a pub-
lic function.
Detailed accounts are given not
only of the business activities but
also of the personal interests of
all the Guggenheims, their gifts
to aeronautics and to many causes,
the roles played by some in Tem-
ple Emanu-El, the contributions to
art and music, the establishment
of the Guggenheim Museum, etc.
Scores of interesting incidents
are recorded. There is one about
Solomon who, entering a Philadel-
phia school, was molested and told
Jews were not liked "because they
killed our Savior." Sol said: "I
don't know about that, but I do
know I'm going to kill you." Lo-
mask reports that he nearly did
and was ousted from the school.
There is an interesting story
about Gladys Eleanor, daughter of
Dan Guggenheim, who was mar-
ried to Roger Williams Straus, son
of Oscar Solomon Straus, who was
President Theodore Roosevelt's
Secretary of Commerce and Labor.
Her son, Roger Williams Straus,
Jr., is a member of the publishing
house of Farrar, Straus and Co.
"Seed Money" is an exciting
story about the magnificent and
glamorous Guggenheims. It is a
splendid biography.

Painter Carried Away
by Doodling; Fined
for Swastika Daubing

TORONTO (JTA) — A painter
was fined $50 or 15 days for willful
damage for daubing swastikas on
a wall of a suburban Toronto
apartment building.
Ernest Paul Kaiss, 20, was em-
ployed by a contractor decorating
the building. His employer testi-
fied that he doodles a lot but had
no Nazi or anti-Semitic feelings.
There was an epidemic of swas-
tika paintings on synagogues in
Toronto a year ago and sporadic
daubings since then, but this has
been the first penalty imposed on
anyone in Toronto for this offense.



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