Gabriel Riesser, A Memorandum Concerning the Civil Conditions of Hamburg Israelites, Submitted. in their support, as a Petition to the Highly Noble and Wise Council. Printed as a Manuscript for the Members of the One Highly Noble and Wise Council and Their Equally Highly Commendable Citizen Colleagues, Hamburg 1834, pp. 6-7

Source Description

In 1834, following several anti-Jewish excesses in Hamburg, the Jewish jurist and native, Gabriel Riesser, commissioned by the Committee for the Improvement of the Civil Conditions of Israelites  ComitĂ© zur Verbesserung der bĂĽrgerlichen Verhältnisse der Israeliten, wrote “Denkschrift ĂĽber die bĂĽrgerlichen Verhältnisse der Hamburgischen Israeliten” [“A Memorandum Concerning the Civil Conditions of the Israelites of Hamburg”], which was presented to the Council as a petition. In this document, comprising 120 printed pages, the author raised various problems in connection to the citizenship right  BĂĽrgerrecht [citizenship right in the city]: The right of self-government; the precondition for acquiring civil rights was inherited real property, the swearing of a citizen’s oath, and the one-time payment of “BĂĽrgergeld” [citizenship fee]; members of the nobility were excluded from this; until 1814 citizenship was granted exclusively to members of the Lutheran church [see: Helmut Stubbe-da Luz, “BĂĽrgerrecht,” in: Franklin Kopitzsch / Daniel Tilger (eds.), Hamburg Lexikon, Hamburg 1998, p. 92.], which he linked to a historical survey. The present excerpted text from the memorandum summarizes the essence of Riesser’s argument on behalf of equality of status for Jews. He here advocates the “full legal equality of all citizens, without distinction of faith” as an important prerequisite for the well-being of the state.
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Recommended Citation

Gabriel Riesser, A Memorandum Concerning the Civil Conditions of Hamburg Israelites, Submitted. in their support, as a Petition to the Highly Noble and Wise Council. Printed as a Manuscript for the Members of the One Highly Noble and Wise Council and Their Equally Highly Commendable Citizen Colleagues, Hamburg 1834, pp. 6-7 (translated by Richard S. Levy), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-17.en.v1> [June 21, 2018].