Napoléon Peltzer

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Napoléon Peltzer

Napoléon Peltzer (born June 28, 1802 in Wenau , † December 10, 1889 in Narva ) was a German cloth manufacturer in Russia and promoter of the Russian fine cloth industry.

Live and act

The son of the merchant and mayor of Weisweiler , Johann Wilhelm Peltzer (1770–1849) and Anna Sophia Esser (1768–1841) came from the Peltzer family of copper masters located in the Stolberg area . However, with the decline of the copper trade at the turn of the century, Napoléon saw no future in this branch and therefore applied for an emigration permit on April 22, 1822, with which he first emigrated to Maastricht and then to Moscow . There he began a traineeship in the newly founded cloth factory in Koshewnikow. Four of his siblings soon followed his referral to Moscow to establish themselves there professionally and privately. Napoléon Peltzer himself made great strides in the next few years and won a gold medal with his cloth creations at the Moscow Industrial Exhibition in 1832.

In 1845 Peltzer followed a call from Saint Petersburg banker Ludwig Stieglitz to Narva in what is now Estonia , where he took over an insolvent cloth factory with his financial support. In a very short time, Peltzer succeeded in restructuring this factory to the state of the art at the time and making it one of the most renowned cloth factories in Russia. Almost exclusively fabrics for the Imperial Russian Army were manufactured there. In 1880 he converted this factory into a joint stock company , but the shares remained in family ownership. In addition, Peltzer was expressly committed to the social concerns of workers.

Due to his success, the Peltzer family gained wealth and prestige in Russia and Napoléon's house hosted grand princes and merchants, the German Emperor Wilhelm I and the Russian Tsar Alexander II . For his services to the promotion and development of the Russian fine cloth industry and for the well-being of his workers, Peltzer was awarded the Order of St. Stanislaus II and III. Class and the Russian Order of Saint Anne .

After his death, his son Eduard von Peltzer took over the factory in Narva as director and then his son Hans von Peltzer until the Russian February Revolution . Napoléon's son Robert von Peltzer had already joined his parents' factory beforehand, where he took over production management and later became the majority shareholder.


Napoléon Peltzer was married to Katharina Mollenhauer (1820–1878) and had ten children with her. His son Eduard von Peltzer, b. in Moscow on January 28, 1837, owner of the Moloskowitz and Gawrilowsky estates in the St. Petersburg governorate, cloth manufacturer and director of the Narva cloth factory, received in 1894 at his request from Prince von Reuss the recognition of the old nobility and became on January 11th Elevated to hereditary nobility in 1897 by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany .

About his son Otto (1850-1917) Napoléon Peltzer is the great-grandfather of the writer Isabella Nadolny , née Peltzer (1917-2004), who married the son of the diplomat Rudolf Nadolny , Burkhard Nadolny (1905-1968), and their son Sten Nadolny (* 1942) is.

Literature and Sources

Isabella Nadolny wrote a paperback book about the story of the Peltzers who emigrated to Russia, entitled Gone Like Smoke . In the introduction of the paperback, in which Nadolny connects her own childhood with the story of her ancestors in Tsarist Russia, it says: “ As a simple craftsman from the Rhineland, he once wandered to Russia on foot and made it to the cloth manufacturer, in his House grand princes, merchants and the German emperor were guests: Napoleon Peltzer, the child's great-grandfather, who unsuspectingly looks at the portraits and photographs hanging in the apartment in Munich. The times are gone like a smoke, but the memories of those who are still alive are awake and the child listens to their stories with fascination. . . ":

  • Isabelle Nadolny: Past like a smoke, story of a family ; Bergisch Gladbach, Bastei-Vlg. Lübbe, 1993, ISBN 3-404-11911-8
  • Hermann Friedrich Macco : History and genealogy of the Peltzer families, contributions to the genealogy of Rhenish aristocratic and patrician families , Volume 3, Aachen, 1901 p. 116ff digitized .
  • German Gender Book Vol. 79 (1933). Görlitz 1933 (Baltic Gender Book Vol. 1), pp. 361–392: Peltzer from Aachen.

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