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Many members of the Schoenberg family from Warsaw descend directly from Akiwa Eger; the links between both families before and after the life of the famous rabbi are numerous.

"So prominent was the Jewish role in the foreign commerce of Europe that those nations that received the Jews gained and the countries that excluded them lost in the volume of international trade." - Will Durant[248].

Eger is a German surname also written as Ejger, Egers, Eiger or Egger, or in combination with the surname Gans, also written as Ganz, Gantz or Gins, which is the apparent original surname of the Eger dynasty of rabbis[217][25]; Akiwa is a name also written as Akiva, Akiba, Kiwa and Kiva, depending on the phonetic criteria of the translator or writer. This is an example of how a family may change its name after a while; this has been a pretty common practice among members of the Gesinde over centuries, for varied reasons. In this case, apparently, one of the motives was that Akiwa Eger changed it due to respect for one of his uncles.

In some cases the decided to pay homage to the place of their origin, In other cases, family names were "Germanized" - pretty common among families of Portuguese or Spanish origin, particularly in the Netherlands. In other cases, they had to escape from authorities, such as one of the branches of the Rotenberg family, which became Alter. For the same reason, sometimes the maternal surname was adopted: precisely, another Rotenberg branch trying to escape from the Russian secret police adopted the surname Halpern, which was that from the mother of the family instead of the father, and in some cases they adopted ornamental names for the sake of identification, such as when one Effron branch became Skowronek, while another Soloveitchik, which are names of singing birds, and singing is the duty of the Leviim during religious services. Indeed, Skowronek and Soloveitchik are cousins and Leviim, as you probably guessed or already knew.

Eger was a very powerful family that not only gave rise to a number of prominent rabbis and thinkers, but also was fundamental in the construction of the Rothschild fortune in Frankfurt, as a part of the same family group, along with Buderus, Schoenberg, Thurn und Taxis and of course, the Rothschild family itself. It was also a prolific family, with several surviving branches. However, not all of them were specifically rabbinical.

Several branches of the Schoenberg family of Warsaw count Rabbi Akiwa Eger[1.29] as a direct ancestor; he was one of the greatest and most-respected rabbis of his era. This can be seen in tombstones at the Warsaw Okopowa cemetery for members of the Schoenberg family where the inscription "Przodek, Akiwa Eger" (ancestor, Akiva Eger) are pretty common thanks to several marriages arranged between both families between the XVIII and XX centuries, like in the case of Szmul Schoenberg[1.293] and Gitla Hendla Eger[1.292], and one generation later, Riwka Eger[1.294] and Abraham Szimon Schoenberg[1.295] (See Schoenberg.)

Another case is that of of Zeev Schoenberg[1.448]; Zeev also descends from Abraham Landau. His grand father was Wolf Lejb Schoenberg[1.404], and his grandmother Bajla Hinda Eger[1.449]. Both were my fourth great grandparents. Szmul Schoenberg, who married Gitla Eger, was their son and thus my 4th first great uncle.

Not in all cases among the Schoenbergs of Warsaw appear the same tombstone inscription, meaning that there were branches of the family not married with the Egers, but the most important ones, were indeed, and these also appear linked by marriage to other rabbinical names such as Rotenberg (see Rotenberg) Eibeschutz (see Eibeschutz) and Kahane. In some cases, the tombstones of people known to descend from Akiwa Eger based on documentation, do not have the same inscription, or no inscription at all, meaning that it was probably a matter of personal taste to have that carved or not.

Not in all cases among the Warsaw Schoenbergs we can say at the present time that they are descendants of Akiwa Eger but it can be considered a fact at least in the most wealthy or religious ones, which - by the way - were the same. However, more members of the Schoenberg family - all in fact - can be considered related to the Eger - Gans family via older links, both direct and indirect.

Like Schoenberg, the Eger family is also related to the Rothschild bankers by means of marriages (see Guttle Schnapper) and as we already commented, the Eger family was key in the formation of the Rothschild banking establishment; however, by the time Rabbi Akiwa became famous, the family fortune of the Egers was in trouble. His rabbinical tenure saved the day, in most aspects: A celebrated Rabbi with a famous family name could survive the familiar financial woes relatively easy.

This shows perhaps better than in any other case how rabbinical families became also banking families and vice-versa. The fact that the Eger - Gans family was very prolific and at the same time rabbinical - Akiwa Eger the younger, from whom the Warsaw Egers descend, was a prolific father, with 19 children. Some of his sons ad daughters were similarly prolific. This is in itself an indicator of the magnitude of their wealth, because the number of children in observant Jewish families, like those of rabbis, was generally related to the wealth they had. More children among the educated aristocracy was indeed an expression of social and financial position.

In a more distant past, to the Fürst family, which are cousins of the Schoenbergs: Indeed, Akiwa Eger was a great grandson of Shoshana Fürst[1.293]; this means that there is a more ancient link (XVI century) between Eger and Schoenberg, going back to the de Menezes family in Portugal (see Fürst) since these were related to the Sampayo de Belmonte family from which we emerge (see Dom Iago de Sampayo y Belmonte). These are some of the surnames related to Eger[1][228]:

A: Abend, Abraham, Abrahamson, Acker, Adler, Auerbach, Austern, Atlass.

B: Bacharach, Bacharin, Ballen - Belitzki, Baran, Bauer, Berliner, Bernstein, Biderman, Bieler, Birenbaum, Blanker, Blas, Bloch, Blotnier, Blumenthal, Bojgen, Borenstein, Brandhendler, Bram, Braun, Braunschweig, Brenner, Bromberg, Bückeburg.

C: Chemes, Chmielnictki, Cohen, Cuker, Cytryn, Czakoykin, Czudiski.

D: Dannenberg, Davidson, Danziger, Deklah, Deutsch, Didnik, Dreifuss, Düsseldorf, Dyamant.

E: Eibeschutz, Einstein, Ejzenstang, Elfenbein, Ephraim, Erdstein, Erman, Ettinger.

F: Fajersztejn, Falk - Porges, Faufeder, Fefer, Feibelman, Finkel, Fischer, Flatau, Flatow, Folman, Fraenkel, Fried, Friedman, Fudem.

G: Gechtenkopf, Gerstel, Geszes, Giffel, Gil, Ginsburg, Glickier, Goldhaber, Goldmer, Goldreich, Goldschmidt, Goldzieher, Gomperz - Emmerich, Goodman, Gottdenker, Gottlieb, Gottschalk, Grodstein, Gryngauz, Gutman, Gwirtz.

H: Hajtler, Hager, Halberstadt, Halpern, Hanau, Hautzig, Heinrichsdorf, Heitlet, Henigman, Heringer, Herz, Herzberg, Hirshenson, Hirschberg, Horowitz, Hut.

I: Ickowicz, Imber, Immerdauer, Itzig.

J: Jaffe, Jalowitz, Juspa.

K: Kahan, Kalinowski, Kalischer, Kaplan, Kaplanski, Katz, Kaufman, Kellman, Kirschenbaum, Kligman, Klinger, Koblenz, Kopelman, Kornblau, Kornfeld, Koslin, Kosser, Kotlier, Kotlikoff, Kraft, Krakowski, Krimitok, Krolik, Krongelb, Krotstein, Kupowski, Krymolowski.

L: Laks, Landau, Landsberg, Lauer, Lebenson, Leber, Leidesdorfer, Lerer, Levy, Lewkowicz, Libermann, Lichtenstein, Lilienthal, Lindemann, Lippe, Lippman, Littauer, Loeb, Lorge, Luria, Lwow.

M: Magazanik, Magidson, Majenc, Maly, Manela, Marber, Marcus, Marcuse, Margolis, Markusowicz, Marx, Mayblat, Meisels, Melchior, Melner, Mendelssohn, Milgrom, Moses.

N: Neumann.

O: Ochsenberg, Oppenheim, Oppert, Ostrowicz.

P: Pajes, Pollack, Potocki.

R: Rapaport, Rauch, Reiswicki, Rokeach, Rosanes, Rosenbaum, Rosenfarb, Rosenfeld, Rosenthal, Rotenberg, Rothschild, Rotman, Rubinstein, Ruelf.

S: Sackur, Samsonowicz, Sas, Schallet, Schiff, Schlessinger, Schlimper, Schnapper, Schneidler, Schmalkalden, Schoenberg, Schutzberger, Schutzman, Schreiber - Sofer, Schwarzbaum, Segal, Shapiro, Showalter, Silber, Silberstein, Sonnenberg, Speyer, Staropolski, Süssman, Szpektor.

T: Taub, Teichholz, Tenenbaum, Teomim, Teomim - Fraenkel, Teper, Traub, Trep - Osterode, Turnheim.

U: Ullman, Ulmo, Urym.

V: Vishniak, Vllenkima, von Essen.

W: Wajbsznajder, Waldfogel, Wallerstein, Wallick, Waltuch, Warendorf, Warburg, Weiler, Weinberg, Welczer, Weltler, Wertheim, Wolf - Wilner, Wilkowitzki, Wolfowicz.

Z: Zahnstecher, Zajman, Zamek, Zayfert, Zelaznik, Zimermann, Zuskau, Zwerdling, Zydlowski, Zylberberg, Zylbercwajg, Zylberstein, Zytman, Zytner.

In Lódz, the name Gans appears related to Potocki by marriage. The Potocki family merits an independent study itself, so we will not extend the discussion about it here, but suffice to say that there were even business deals between them and this family (See Skowronek the Horse and Skowronek the Bank and The Tale of Walenti Potocki) and that this surname appears related to names such as Magnus, which are also related to Gans, Skowronek, Schoenberg et al. mainly in Warsaw.

At least in one case, in Hungary, the Eger - Gans name is used interchangeably with the family name Rothschild. Indeed, in a document of the year 1831 found at Szent Miklos, Markus Ganz is registered as using the alias Rothschild. This is not new, since these families used various names interchangeably, like Skowronew and Effron, Gestern and Rothschild, Blat and Braun, Edronkin and Braun, Schoenberg and Belmont, Blat and Skowronek, Eger and Gans, Blat and Gödel, etc. but is an clear and nice example of this practice.

Other surnames like Fajnmesser, Halpern, Rokeach and Mendelsohn, also related to the Schoenberg family, appear linked to Eger more or less directly.


Rabbi Akiwa Eger.
Rabbi Akiwa Eger (Also Akiva) (1761-1837) - Wikipedia, public domain[218].



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