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REICHENHEIM, LEONHARD:

German manufacturer and politician; born at Bernburg May 3, 1814; died at Berlin Jan. 26, 1868. At the age of fourteen he entered his father's business, which was located first at Magdeburg and then at Berlin, and which later became very prosperous. In 1846 the firm bought from the Seehandlung the woolen-mill at Wuestegiersdorf in Silesia, which soon became one of the leading establishments in the country, employing 2,500 laborers and maintaining model institutions for the welfare of the working classes, such as a school and an orphan asylum. The firm had also a branch in England. In 1854 Reichenheim was honored with the title of commercial councilor; and in 1855 he received the Order of the Red Eagle, third class. In 1859 he was elected a member of the Prussian Diet for the district of Reichenbach-Waldenburg, and he was returned to every successive legislature until his death. The same district elected him as its representative to the first North German Reichstag in 1867. He further served as a member of the Stadtverordneten, or board of aldermen, of Berlin from 1864, and was made a municipal councilor ("Stadtrath") in 1867. He held offices also in the Jewish community, notably as director of the Jewish hospital.

In the Diet he distinguished himself as a recognized authority on questions of financial and industrial legislation, and during the whole time that he was a member of the house he served on committees dealing with such questions. His integrity and ability often won for him the applause of the conservatives in the house, although he was a strong advocate of the people's rights in the period of the "Conflict" between Bismarck and the Diet.

Bibliography:
  • Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1867, pp. 867-868, 905-908, 925-928; 1868, pp. 110, 129.
S. D.
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