Warburg Family

(19–20th century)
   German and US bankers, scientists, scholars and philanthropists. The War-burgs were a distinguished German family going back to the beginning of the 17 century. The family bank in Hamburg, M.M.Warburg and Company, was founded in 1789, and was expropri-ated by the Hitler regime in 1938. The outstanding European members in the 19 century were as follows.
   Otto, botanist and Zionist (see separate entry Warburg, Otto).
   Otto Heinrich, physiologist and Nobel laureate (see separate entry Warburg, Otto Heinrich).
   Karl Johan (1852–1918), Swedish literary historian. From a Danish branch of the Warburg family, he was professor of literature at the University of Stockholm and co-author of a monumental six-volume history of Swedish literature. He was elected to the Swedish parliament (1905–8).
   Aby Moritz (1866–1929), art historian. He carried out extensive research and wrote widely on the evolution of European culture and its ancient classical foundations, especially in the field of art. His library of sixty thousand volumes and twenty thousand photographs was transferred to London when Hitler came to power, and is attached to the London University as the Warburg Institute. Aby Moritz’s three brothers, Max, Paul and Felix settled in the United States.
   Max (1867–1946) was a partner of the Hamburg Bank, and active in Jewish affairs. He was a member of the German delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. He settled in the United States in 1939 at the age of 72.
   Paul (1868–1932), was a partner in the Hamburg Bank and married the daughter of Solomon Loeb of the American banking house of Kuhn, Loeb and Company. In 1902 he joined his father-in-law’s firm. He was the main architect of the Federal Reserve Bank, and served on its board as a member and then vice- governor (1914–18), and on returning to private banking remained president of its advisory council. He was prominent in the American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and in a number of domestic philanthropic and cultural institutions, Jewish and non-Jewish.
   His son James Paul (1896–1969) wrote a number of influential books on political and economic affairs.
   Felix (1871–1937) settled in the United States in 1894, married the daughter of Jacob SCHIFF, and became a partner in the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb and Company headed by his father-in-law. He succeeded Jacob Schiff as the leading Jewish philanthropist and cultural patron in the United States, and was the dominant figure in the wealthy and influential German-Jewish ‘upper class’ of the community. Warburg was the first chairman of the American Joint Distribution Committee (1914–32). Though a non-Zionist, he supported Jewish immigration and economic development in Palestine. He accepted the office of chairman of the administrative committee in the enlarged Jewish Agency created by Dr WEIZMANN (1929), a position he resigned in 1930 in protest against the anti- Zionist PASSFIELD White Paper. On the American scene, he supported and played an active part in a remarkable range of philanthropic, social welfare and cultural bodies, both Jewish and general. Amongst the artistic institutions he helped to maintain were the Juilliard School of Music, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Fogg Museum at Harvard University. One of Felix’s sons, Edward Mortimer Morris (b. 1908), generally known as ‘Eddie’, a Jewish communal leader and noted art patron, was chairman of the JDC (1941–66), national chairman and then honorary chairman of the United Jewish Appeal (1950–67), and a governor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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