Jean-François Reubell

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Jean-François Reubell (Rewbell) (born October 6, 1747 in Colmar , † November 23, 1807 in Colmar) was a French revolutionary and from 1795 to 1799 a member of the board of directors .


Jean-François Reubell

Jean-François Reubell was born the son of a lawyer. He took up his father's profession and served at the Colmar High Court before the revolution.

In 1789, the third estate of the Colmar electoral district elected the excellent lawyer Reubell as a member of the Estates General (Etats généraux). On May 8, 1789, Reubell was the first to call for the Third Estate to be made a nation, and consequently on June 17, 1789, Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès ' proposal to make the Third Estate a National Assembly was welcomed . Reubell took an active part in the drafting of the Declaration of Human and Civil Rights in August 1789 , but he was one of the sharpest opponents of the emancipation of Jews . In doing so, he used a mixture of traditional anti-Jewish stereotypes with newer prejudices from the Enlightenment discourse : He accused the Jews of usury and the exploitation of the rural population, that they were in truth Africans (an accusation that goes back to Voltaire ) and that they would rule Alsace under foreign rule subjugate, as separatists they endanger the unity of the nation, moreover they would preach contempt for all non-Jews.

Reubell condemned the king's flight in June 1791 . After the massacre on the Marsfeld and the split of the Jacobin Club in July 1791, the monarchist Reubell joined the Feuillants Club . He officiated as General Procurator, later as Secretary General of the Haut-Rhin department , which elected him in September 1792 as Deputy to the National Convention . There Reubell voted for the execution of Louis XVI.

In January 1793 Reubell went on a mission to the Rhine Army and to Mainz . Together with Nicolas Haussmann and Merlin de Thionville , he came to Mainz in late December 1792 or early January 1793 in order to enforce the formation of revolutionary-friendly administrations (municipalities) in the cities and a general administration for the entire occupied area. Georg Forster , then editor of “Die neue Mainzer Zeitung or Der Volksfreund” reported there on the festive reception of the three commissioners. Like Custine, the commissioners moved into the former archbishop's residence, the Electoral Palace , where the Society of Friends of Freedom and Equality - the first Jacobin Club in Germany - was founded on October 23, 1792 . This club was the first democratic movement in Germany. During the Jacobin rule (1793/94) Reubell stayed in the background and instead bought national goods in Alsace at a reasonable price. Reubell initiated after the fall of Robespierre on July 27, 1794 ( 9th Thermidor ) the purge of the government of Jacobins and the closure of their club.

On November 1, 1795, Reubell was elected to the board of directors and entrusted with the departments of foreign policy , finance and jurisdiction . He proved to be a determined enemy of the royalists, vigorously fought against the Catholic Church and asserted himself as a capable defender of the republic. For reasons of military security, he renewed the policy of pushing forward to France's “natural borders” and forming sister republics to defend them . The areas conquered by Napoléon Bonaparte in the Italian campaign in 1796/97 were to be exchanged for areas on the left bank of the Rhine. Reubell hoped this would give Alsace better protection, but Bonaparte's arbitrary preliminary peace at Leoben destroyed his foreign policy plans. Then Reubell wrote a large part of the basic laws of the Roman and Helvetic Republic .

The three directors Barras , La Revellière-Lépaux and Reubell, with the help of Generals Hoche and Bonaparte, carried out the successful coup d'état of the 18th Fructidor V (September 4, 1797). Reubell was voted out of the board of directors on May 9, 1799 and replaced by Sieyès. The coup d'état of 18th Brumaire VIII (November 9, 1799) ended Reubell's political career. He returned to Colmar, where he died on November 23, 1807.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Daniel Gerson: French Revolution . In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus . Volume 4: Events, Decrees, Controversies . De Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-11-025514-0 , p. 135 f. (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  2. a b G.D. Homan: Jean-François Reubell: French Revolutionary, Patriot, and Director (1747–1807) Springer Science + Business Media , 2012, ISBN 9789401030427
  3. Gustav Seibt : With a kind of anger: Goethe in the Revolution CH Beck, 2014 ISBN 9783406670565
  4. Ehrhard Bahr, Thomas P. Saine: The Internalized Revolution Routledge 2016, ISBN 9781317203438
  5. ^ Karl Anton Schaab : The history of the federal fortress Mainz . Mainz 1835, p. 324 ( online ).
  6. ^ Ludwig Uhlig: Georg Forster. Life adventure of a learned world citizen (1754–1794). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2004, p. 315, ISBN 3-525-36731-7


  • Bernd Jeschonnek; Revolution in France 1789 to 1799 - A Lexicon ; Akademie-Verlag Berlin 1989; ISBN 3-05-000801-6