Johann Adam von Itzstein

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Johann Adam von Itzstein 1842
Family grave of the von Itzstein family, Hallgarten (Rheingau) . The reverse of the gravestone of JAvI himself bears the inscription: "Tired of the youth struggles of German freedom, a brave heart rests here"

Johann Adam von Itzstein (born September 28, 1775 in Mainz , † September 14, 1855 in Hallgarten ) was a German liberal politician.


Itzstein studied law at the University of Mainz and became a member of the Mainz Jacobin Club in 1792/93 . After his exams in 1797 he worked in Amorbach , Miltenberg and Schwetzingen as a lawyer, bailiff and city director. In 1819 he was transferred to Mannheim as court judge .

In 1822 he became a member of the Second Chamber of the Baden Estates Assembly . There he acquired an important reputation for his liberal views. In particular, he advocated freedom of the press , the expansion of parliamentary rights and efficient control of the budget. Due to his political activities, he was transferred as a civil servant and retired in 1824. He lived on his income as a co-owner and later sole owner of the Hallgarten winery near Oestrich-Winkel in the Hessian Rheingau.

Due to his age and his function as the initiator of numerous meetings and talks - including the Hallgarten circle on his estate - Itzstein was regarded as the doyen of southern German liberalism . The publicist Robert Blum , the doctor Johann Jacoby , the lawyers Friedrich Hecker and Heinrich von Gagern , the publisher Friedrich Daniel Bassermann , the poet of the Deutschlandlied, Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben , and the writers Ferdinand Freiligrath , Rudolf von Gottschall and August met in Hallgarten Hergenhahn . Itzstein was one of the most popular liberals of the Vormärz and a real cult around his person arose during his lifetime, which culminated in an Itzstein song written by Hoffmann von Fallersleben.

Itzstein was a participant in the Heppenheim conference of 1847, organizer of the Heidelberg meeting and the driving force behind the invitations to the pre-parliament in 1848. After the pre-parliament he was a member of the Fifties Committee . For the constituency of Bretten he was a member of the Frankfurt National Assembly , where he belonged to the left parliamentary group Deutscher Hof and the March Association . After the dissolution of the Stuttgart rump parliament , he was charged with high treason and emigrated to Switzerland . In 1850 he returned to Germany .

Itzstein died in Hallgarten in 1855. The grave medallion in the local cemetery was made according to a design by the sculptor Phillip Hermann Leonhard .


  • Friedrich von WeechItzstein, Johann Adam . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 14, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1881, p. 649 f.
  • Birgit Bublies-Godau: Johann Adam von Itzstein (1775–1855). From the Jakobin Club in Mainz to the National Assembly in Frankfurt: champions, spokesmen and top politicians of the bourgeois constitutional and democracy movement . In: Walter Schmidt (Hrsg.): Actors of a radical change. Men and women of the revolution of 1848/49 , Vol. 3, Fides Verlag, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-931363-15-4 , pp. 303-357.
  • Birgit Bublies-Godau: Itzstein, Johann Adam von. born September 28, 1775 in Mainz; died 14.9.1855 in Hallgarten. In: Manfred Asendorf (Ed.): Democratic Ways , Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-476-01244-1 , pp. 295-296.
  • Josef Roßkopf: Johann Adam von Itzstein. A contribution to the history of Baden liberalism . Phil. Diss., Mainz 1954.

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