Levin Goldschmidt

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Levin Goldschmidt

Levin Goldschmidt (born May 30, 1829 in Danzig ; † July 16, 1897 in Bad Wilhelmshöhe , today Kassel ) was a German lawyer and commercial lawyer .


Levin Goldschmidt first studied medicine from 1847 to 1851, then law in Berlin , Bonn and Heidelberg . In Berlin he was a member of the Normannia Landsmannschaft . In 1851 he graduated from the University of Halle legal doctorate with a topic on limited partnerships ( De societate en commandite - Specimen I ) and then worked at the Danzig courts.

After he worked at the University of Heidelberg in 1855 through a digester with the work investigations on the l. 122 § 1 D. de VO [45.1] habilitation was, he worked first as a lecturer , was 1,860 Extraordinary and 1866 as a full professor appointed rights. In August 1870 he was appointed as a councilor in the Federal and later Reich Higher Commercial Court in Leipzig, in 1875 as a professor at the first chair for commercial law at the University of Berlin, which was set up especially for him, and was appointed to the Privy Councilor . He was the doctoral supervisor of the later economist and sociologist Max Weber .


Levin Goldschmidt died in Bad Wilhelmshöhe in 1897 at the age of 68. He was buried in the Jewish cemetery Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. The grave is preserved.

Political activity

Goldschmidt was also active on a political level. As an ardent supporter of the unification of Germany by Bismarck , excluding Austria, he was elected to the Reichstag in 1875 , where, as a member of the National Liberal Party, he was second chairman of the commission for the bankruptcy order.


By founding the magazine for the entire commercial law (1858) as well as by his large-scale, but unfinished, Handbuch des Handelsrechts (Erlangen 1864–1868, Volume 1; 2nd edition 1874–1883), he acquired the universal treatment of the Great merits in commercial law. He tried to prove commercial law institutes on the basis of historical studies from medieval trade, in particular the business of Italian merchants.

The objective system represented by Levin Goldschmidt, which objectively determined the merchant on the basis of legally standardized commercial transactions, established itself as the basis of the General German Commercial Code (ADHGB) . In this body of law he saw the "most thorough and best of the existing European commercial codes".

In 1873, Goldschmidt was appointed to the preliminary commission for the development of a uniform civil code for Germany, the Civil Code (BGB), due to his outstanding legal ability . The fundamental decision made there that civil law and commercial law would remain separate in two different codifications goes back to his involvement in the preliminary commission. Goldschmidt was no longer appointed to the subsequent commissions in 1874 and 1890, which dealt with the formulation of the BGB.

He played an outstanding part in the decisions of the Federal (then Reich) Higher Commercial Court (Stuttgart 1870–1880, 25 volumes).

Works (selection)

Besides many articles in magazines, he also wrote:

  • De societate en Commandite Specimen I , Gebauer, Halle 1851.
  • Criticism of the draft of a commercial code for the Prussian states. A contribution to the revision of the basic tenets of commercial law. From Dr. L. Goldschmidt, law lecturer in Heidelberg
    • First division
    • Second section, separate print from the Critical Journal for the Entire Jurisprudence, Vol. IV. Issue 4 , Heidelberg: Verlag von Bangel and Schmitt (digitized via Google Books )
  • The Lucca-Pistoja stock dispute
  • The German Hansa. Lecture on the best of the German fleet, given in the museum hall in Heidelberg on December 28, 1861 by Dr. L Goldschmidt, Professor of Law […] Especially reprinted from the ninth volume of the Prussian Yearbooks , Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1861 (digitized via Google Books )
  • Expert opinion on the draft of a German Commercial Code after the second reading resolutions . The Grand Duke. Baden Ministry of Justice reimbursed. Supplement to the journal for the entire commercial law Volume III , Erlangen: Ferdinand Enke, 1860.
  • Encyclopedia of Law in Plan . Heidelberg: Verlag von Bangel and Schmitt, 1862.
  • Handbook of Commercial Law
    • Volume 1, Section 1 = Handbook of Commercial Law. By L. Goldschmidt. Third completely reworked edition. First volume. Historical-literary introduction and the basic teachings. First section: Universal history of commercial law , Stuttgart: Enke, 1891 (digitized via Internet archive )
    • Volume 1, Section 2 = Handbook of Commercial Law. By L. Goldschmidt, full professor of law in Heidelberg. First volume, second section, containing the doctrine of the goods , Erlangen: Enke, 1868 (digitized via the visual library )
  • Mixed fonts
    • part 1
    • Volume 2 [1]
  • The three-year study of law and political science. From Dr. L. Goldschmidt , Berlin: G. Reimer, 1878 (digitized via Google Books )
  • Law studies and examination regulations. A contribution to the Prussian and German legal history by Dr. L. Goldschmidt, Reichs-Higher Commercial Court Councilor a. D., ordinary Professor of Law at the University of Berlin , LLD, Ordentl. Member of the institut de droit international , corresponding member of the société de législation comparée zu Paris , Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke, 1887 (digitized via Google Books )
  • Studies on Property Law. Slave ownership. In particular: tradition through documents. Possessio absentis . Loss of slave ownership. From Dr. L. Goldschmidt, Go. Justizrath , Professor of Law at the University of Berlin , Berlin: Julius Springer, 1888 (digitized via Google Books )


Web links

Wikisource: Journal for all commercial law  - sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Paul Goldschmidt: On the history of the Landsmannschaft Normannia in Berlin 1842-1902. Berlin 1902.
  2. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , p. 352.
  3. ^ Stenographic reports on the negotiations of the German Reichstag. 2nd legislative period, III. Session 1875/76. 1. Volume, Berlin 1876, p. XVI ( digitized version ). Stenographic reports on the negotiations of the German Reichstag. 2nd legislative period, III. Session 1875/76. 3rd volume, Berlin 1876, p. XVI ( digitized version ). Stenographic reports on the negotiations of the German Reichstag. 2nd legislative period, 4th session 1876. 1st volume, Berlin 1876, p. XVI ( digitized version ). - The 2nd Reichstag was elected in 1874, Goldschmidt received his mandate through a by-election in 1875; see. the list of members of the Reichstag of the German Empire (2nd electoral period) .
  4. Thomas Henne: Handelsgesetzbuch, in: Albrecht Cordes , Heiner Lück , Dieter Werkmüller (Eds.) , Concise Dictionary of German Legal History , www.HRGdigital.de/HRG.handelsgesetzbuch.igital (November 21, 2015).
  5. Levin Goldschmidt quoted from Karl-Otto Scherner: Handelsrecht, in: Albrecht Cordes, Heiner Lück, Dieter Werkmüller (eds.) , Concise Dictionary of German Legal History , www.HRGdigital.de/HRG.handelsrecht (November 21, 2015).
  6. ^ Susanne Lepsius: Levin Goldschmidt . In: Concise dictionary on German legal history . tape II . Erich Schmidt Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin, p. 1 .
  7. a b c Notes on using a US proxy, which is often still necessary for calling, can be found in this Wikisource article