Edict of Potsdam

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Chur-Brandenburg Edict

The Edict of Potsdam , also known as the Potsdam Edict of Tolerance , was an edict of tolerance that was passed on October 29th . / November 8th 1685 greg. was issued by the Great Elector Friedrich Wilhelm of Brandenburg . The elector - in contrast to the Evangelical-Lutheran majority of the population of Brandenburg himself - Calvinist faith - offered his Protestant co-religionists, the Huguenots , persecuted in France because of their religion , free and secure settlement in Brandenburg . The refugees were granted generous privileges , including exemption from taxes and customs duties , subsidies for commercial enterprises and the payment of pastors by the principality.

The background to the edict was the reawakening persecution of the Huguenots in France after the revocation of the Edict of Tolerance of Nantes by the Edict of Fontainebleau , which the French King Louis XIV had issued on October 18, 1685. The Edict of Potsdam then came about with significant participation of the theologian Jacques Abbadie .

Around 20,000 people accepted Brandenburg's offer. The Edict of Potsdam made a major contribution to revitalizing the economy of Brandenburg , which was destroyed in the Thirty Years War , and thus laid the foundation for the strengthening of Brandenburg-Prussia . The number of inhabitants rose by a third due to the Huguenots who settled in Berlin .

As with the admission of the Jews expelled from Austria in 1671, Friedrich Wilhelm hoped for an economic upswing from the immigrants in Brandenburg, which was suffering from the consequences of the Thirty Years' War. This hope was fulfilled. The Huguenots in Brandenburg brought the state both an economic and an intellectual boom. The French grammar school was opened in Berlin as early as 1689 , giving immigrants and residents an extensive education that had not been offered until then. Berlin developed into a center of literature within Brandenburg-Prussia and across national borders.

A relief on the Geneva Reformation monument commemorates the reception of Huguenot refugees by Friedrich Wilhelm .

See also


  • Horsta Krum: Prussia's adopted children - the Huguenots. 300 Years Edict of Potsdam Berlin (West) 1985
  • Ingrid Mittenzwei (ed.): Huguenots in Brandenburg-Prussia Berlin (East) 1987

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ The Edict of Tolerance becomes practical - Article in the PNN , March 20, 2008
  2. ^ Edict of Potsdam - Article at Info-Potsdam.de ; As of November 5, 2007
  3. Mittenzwei, Ingrid (ed.): Huguenots in Brandenburg-Prussia; Studies in History Volume 8; Page 22; Academy of Science of the GDR, Central Institute for History
  4. see: Heinz Schilling, Höfe und Allianzen, Berlin 1998 (Siedler-Verlag), p. 387ff