Rudolf Mosse

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Rudolf Mosse (1900)

Rudolf Mosse (born May 8, 1843 in Grätz , Province of Posen ; † September 8, 1920 in Schenkendorf ) was a German - Jewish publisher , company founder and businessman .

Live and act

The son of a doctor with many children first learned the trade of bookseller, among others, with Louis Merzbach in Posen and with Heinrich Albert Hofmann , the publisher of Kladderadatsch . He then worked for the magazine Die Gartenlaube , where he introduced a multi-page advertisement section . On January 1, 1867, at Friedrichstrasse 60 in Berlin, he founded the Rudolf Mosse newspaper advertising expedition , for which he himself advertised: “Advertisement acceptance for all. existing newspapers in the world ”. As one of the first publishers, he leased entire advertising pages for several newspapers and thus went from being a mere broker to a provider of advertising space, which he sold to advertisers. Five years later, the company had over 250 branches in Germany and abroad. In this context, the Rudolf Mosse Code goes back to Mosse , with which standardized messages could be transmitted inexpensively in international telegraph traffic.

Berlin memorial plaque at Mosse-Stift , Rudolf-Mosse-Strasse 9–11, in Berlin-Wilmersdorf

Mosse built up his newspaper empire together with his brother-in-law Emil Cohn . The flagship and most economically successful publications of the publisher included the high-circulation Berliner Tageblatt (1872, editor-in-chief from 1906 Theodor Wolff ), the Berliner Morgen-Zeitung (1889) and the Berliner Volks-Zeitung (1904). At the same time, the free service for advertisers, such as the graphic design of advertisements, was expanded . There were also over 130 specialist journals, such as the Bäder-Almanach. Notices of the baths, climatic health resorts and sanatoriums , which appeared from 1882 to 1933 and was a popular reference work for doctors and patients. Other titles from Mosse newspapers included: Ulk (1872), Sonntagsblatt (1873), Deutsche Lesehalle (1881), Handelszeitung (1886), Zeitgeist (1888), Technische Rundschau (1895), Haus, Hof, Garten (1899) and World mirror (1902).

Its competitors included the Scherl-Verlag , the Ullstein Verlag and the Hugenberg group . Rudolf Mosse was loyal to the emperor and liberal- conservative . After the November Revolution of 1918/19, he called in his newspapers not to sign the Versailles Treaty . The intellectual and political orientation of the publishing house was that of the bourgeoisie . As a multimillionaire, Mosse had no republican or socialist sympathies. Regardless of this, he was considered a patron and founded a pension fund for his more than 500 employees as early as 1892 with start-up capital of 100,000 marks, as well as the Emilie and Rudolf Mosse Foundation , an interdenominational orphanage in Berlin-Wilmersdorf . In 1917 he donated a scholarship of 100,000 marks and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Heidelberg .

Rudolf Mosses grave in the Jewish cemetery Berlin-Weißensee

From 1885 he resided in the Mosse-Palais on Leipziger Platz , where he collected a large number of paintings. In 1896 he had Schenkendorf Castle near Mittenwalde built in the Italian country house style as a private residence . For his booming publishing house, Mosse acquired a building plot in downtown Berlin, on Schützenstrasse. Then he had the architects Wilhelm Cremer and Richard Wolffenstein build a completely new multi-story publishing house and equipped it with the most modern printing machines of the time. The building, later known as the Mossehaus , housed a printing shop for many decades until 1992.

Rudolf Mosse died of a heart attack on September 8, 1920 in his “castle”. His grave of honor is in the Jewish cemetery in Berlin-Weißensee .

After his death, his son-in-law, Hans Lachmann-Mosse , took over the management of the Mosse Group. Part of the company's assets were already lost during the hyperinflation of 1922/23 . In 1926 the publishing house ran into serious financial difficulties. The previously accepted bankruptcy filing on September 13, 1932 could be revised by the latest research. In addition to the effects of the global economic crisis , a number of bad economic decisions by the management weakened the Mosse empire.

Shortly after the National Socialists came to power , the company was Aryanized. The art collection from Rudolf Mosse's estate was auctioned in Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus in May 1934 and at the Union auction house in June 1934. Since March 1, 2017, the Mosse Art Research Initiative (MARI) at the Free University of Berlin has been researching the exact circumstances of the expropriation and the whereabouts of the individual works of art.

Family and private

Mosse had five sisters and seven brothers. The siblings included Salomon, Max, Paul Mosse and the lawyer Albert Mosse and Emil Mosse (born February 1, 1854–1911), who had been his business partner since 1884.

Rudolf Mosse's marriage to Emilie had remained childless. In 1910 they adopted Felicia Marx (1888–1972), a biological daughter of Rudolf Mosse. When she got married, the Mosses agreed that the son-in-law, a trained banker , could use the additional surname Mosse. He joined the publishing empire as a manager and moved into an office floor in the Mossehaus.

Mosse's grandson was the historian George L. Mosse , son of his daughter Felicia and her husband, Hans Lachmann-Mosse.

Rudolf Mosse had been a member of the Society of Friends since 1872 . As an art collector, he brought together over 400 works, in particular by German impressionists such as Eugen Bracht , August von Brandis , Lovis Corinth and Max Liebermann . In Berlin, since May 9, 1989, a memorial plaque attached to Mosse-Stift has been commemorating his life and work.

Mosse as a novel

In the novel Die Fanfare (1888), the writer Fritz Mauthner , who had worked for the Berliner Tageblatt as a “romantic-genius” since 1876, caricatured Mosse's rise to a major publisher. The hero of the satire is Richard Mettmann, an idealistic esthete and opera composer who suffers from his uneducated but business-minded father. He considers himself a great art connoisseur, is a paper manufacturer and has set himself in mind to found his own daily newspaper with the Fanfare . Obviously, Mauthner orientated himself on the genesis of the Berliner Tageblatt . The would-be publisher is described as ignorant but generous, generous and liberal, but expects everyone to submit to his business interests. Fritz Mauthner, himself a Jew born in Bohemia, used, albeit ironically, anti-Semitic prejudices against Jews from the East , with whom he expressly did not want to have anything to do with. Regardless of the sharp satire, Mosse and Mauthner remained friends, even if the author had to briefly interrupt his work on the daily newspaper .


  • Jana Helmbold-Doyé, Thomas L. Gertzen (ed.): Mosse in the museum. The foundation work of the Berlin publisher Rudolf Mosse (1843–1920) for the Egyptian Museum Berlin . With a foreword by Julius H. Schoeps and a foreword by Friederike Seyfried. Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-95565-221-0 .
  • Siegfried Jacobsohn , Kurt Tucholsky : The seventy year old Mosse. In: Siegfried Jacobsohn: Collected writings . Volume 2, Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-89244-672-5 , pp. 264-270.
  • Elisabeth Kraus: The Mosse family. German-Jewish bourgeoisie in the 19th and 20th centuries . CH Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-44694-9 .
  • Andreas Halen, Uwe Greve: From the Mosse publishing house to the Mosse center . dbm Media Verlag, 1995, ISBN 3-930541-03-3 .
  • Peter de Mendelssohn : Newspaper City Berlin: People and Powers in the History of the German Press Berlin . Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1959. (2nd edition. 1982)
  • Wilfried Scharf: Rudolf Mosse (1843–1920). In: Heinz-Dietrich Fischer (Ed.): German press publishers from the 18th to the 20th century. (= Journalism-historical articles. Volume 4). Verlag Documentation, Pullach near Munich 1975, ISBN 3-7940-3604-4 , pp. 204-213.
  • Kurd Wenkel: Rudolf Mosse - a creator of the German newspaper industry. In: The merchant and life. Supplement to the journal for commercial science and commercial practice. Issue 6, June 1926, pp. 41-45.
  • Hans-Henning Zabel:  Mosse, Rudolf. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-428-00199-0 , pp. 213-216 ( digitized version ).

Web links

Commons : Rudolf Mosse  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A. Halen, U. Greve: From the Mosse publishing house to the Mosse center. 1995, p. 5.
  2. ^ Siegfried Jacobsohn: The Schaubühne . Volume 13. Erich Reiss Verlag, 1980, p. 11.
  3. Bernd Sösemann: Theodor Wolff. A life with the newspaper . Econ Verlag, 2000, p. 32 ff.
  4. ^ Elisabeth Kraus: The Mosse family: German-Jewish bourgeoisie in the 19th and 20th centuries. CH Beck, Munich 1999, p. 157.
  5. Gerd Krumeich , Mario Rainer Lepsius (Ed.): Max Weber Complete Edition , Volume II / 9: Letters 1915–1917 . Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-16-149481-9 , p. 846.
  6. Hans-Henning Zabel:  Mosse, Rudolf. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 18, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-428-00199-0 , pp. 213-216 ( digitized version ).
  7. ^ Elisabeth Kraus: The Mosse family. German-Jewish bourgeoisie in the 19th and 20th centuries. CH Beck, Munich 1999, p. 502.
  8. ^ Claudia Marwede-Dengg: The expropriation of the Lachmann-Mosse family: The Mosse group until autumn 1932. In: MARI portal. 2018, accessed June 4, 2020 .
  9. ^ Claudia Marwede-Dengg: The expropriation of the Lachmann-Mosse family: forced transfer in April 1933. In: MARI portal. 2018, accessed June 4, 2020 .
  10. ^ Rudolf Mosse Art Collection, Berlin: Exhibition and auction in the Mosse Gallery on Leipziger Platz; Auction: Tuesday, May 29th, Wednesday, May 30th, (Catalog No. 2075) - Berlin, 1934. Rudolf Lepke's Art Auctions-Haus, accessed on June 4, 2020 (Digisat at Heidelberg University Library).
  11. owned L.-M., Villa Maassenstrasse 28, Berlin W: ancient and modern arts and crafts, China porcelain, furniture, paintings, rugs, silver, porcelain (. 6 and 7 June 1934). Auction house "Union". Panel 04, accessed on June 4, 2020 (Digisat at Heidelberg University Library).
  12. ^ Mosse Art Research Initiative (MARI). Art History Institute of the Free University of Berlin , accessed on June 4, 2020 .
  13. ^ Isidor Warsaw: Mosse, Rudolf. In: Jewish Encyclopedia . Volume 9, 1906, p. 96 , accessed on June 4, 2020 (English).
  14. ^ A. Halen, U. Greve: From the Mosse publishing house to the Mosse center. 1995, p. 24.
  15. Memorial plaque for Rudolf Mosse. In: December 17, 2015, accessed June 4, 2020 . Bernd Sösemann : Speech on the occasion of the unveiling of a "Berlin memorial plaque" for Rudolf Mosse on May 9, 1989 (tape record). In: District Office Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf of Berlin, December 8, 2015, accessed on June 4, 2020 . Horst Dohm : Speech for the unveiling of the memorial plaque for Rudolf Mosse on May 9, 1989 at the Rudolf-Mosse-Stift. In: District Office Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf of Berlin, September 25, 2014, accessed on June 4, 2020 .

  16. Carolin Kosuch: Failed Sons: Anarchism and Language Criticism in the Fin de Siècle. Göttingen 2015, p. 118.
  17. ^ Joachim Kühn: Failed language criticism: Fritz Mauthner's life and work. Munich 1975, p. 130 f.