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BASCHWITZ:

A family of printers, of which the following were the most prominent members:

1. Meïr Baschwitz:

Born at Dyhernfurth; son of Ẓebi Hirsch ben Meïr (No. 2). In 1731-32 he worked in the establishment of Israel b. Abraham in Wandsbeck, near Hamburg, and after 1733 in Berlin. He published a prayer-book in 1742. Until 1782 he was engaged partly in Berlin and partly in Frankfort-on-the-Oder, so that his career as a printer extends over a period of nearly fifty years.

2. Ẓebi (Hirsch) b. Meïr Baschwitz:

Bornat Brzecz, Lithuania; from 1701 to 1709 he was engaged in several printing-establishments at Berlin; in 1708 he worked at Frankfort-on-the-Oder; and from 1719 to 1720 with Joseph Bass at Dyhernfurth.

3. Ẓebi (Hirsch) Baschwitz:

Printer in Frankfort-on-the-Oder from 1788 until 1813 or later. He translated Jedaiah Bedersi's "Beḥinat 'Olam" into German (Frankfort-on-the-Oder, 1802), and published a new edition of Arama's "Ḥazut Kashah," on the harmony of tradition and philosophy. A sermon delivered by him at Frankfort-on-the-Oder on the conclusion of peace, Jan. 18, 1816, also appeared in print. It is in dispute whether the epistolary guide ("Ready Letter-Writer"), published at Frankfort-on-the-Oder in 1789, is to be attributed to him. The family name was later changed to "Baswitz."

The family is still in existence; one of its members, who died April 7, 1870, was president of the congregation of Berlin.

The genealogy of the family may be given as follows, with the period of their activity as printers stated in parentheses:

Bibliography:
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. Nos. 7858, 7859;
  • idem, in Zeit. für die Gesch. der Juden in Deutschland, iii. 270;
  • Zedner and Roest, s.v. Baschwitz;
  • Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1870, pp. 3, 12.
G. A. F.
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