Siegfried Guggenheimer

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Siegfried Guggenheimer (* 22 November 1875 in Nuremberg; † 8 December 1938 in Florence) was a German physicist and industrialist.


He was the son of the merchant Heinrich Guggenheimer and Mathilde Löwenthal. After grammar school he first attended the industrial school in Nuremberg. He then studied at the universities of Munich, Berlin and Geneva, at the University of Paris and the University of Cambridge. In 1898 he received his doctorate in Geneva with the thesis Contributions expérimentales à l’étude des Rayons Röntgen. He then went to the University of Frankfurt (Main) as an assistant to pursue an academic career.

However, he then registered a company for the manufacture and sale of electrical measuring instruments under his name in the Nuremberg Commercial Register on August 20, 1906. Initially, he produced at Deichslerstraße 19, but then moved the business to Schoppershofstraße 52 in 1912, and in 1917 the neighbouring house at No. 54 was added. Already in the first years, the company gained a high reputation in Germany and beyond through numerous innovations in various areas of measurement technology.

Guggenheimer married Marguerite (Margrit) Bloch (* 3 February 1894 in Basel) on 30 October 1919. The couple had a daughter Susanne and a son Heinrich (* 1924).

During the inflation of 1921, Guggenheimer converted his sole proprietorship into a stock corporation. But the hyperinflation of 1923 forced Guggenheimer’s company to undergo further restructuring, so that he himself resigned as owner in 1925. However, he spun off part of the company and continued to run it from 1925 as the new independent Noris Tachometerwerk Dr. Siegfried Guggenheimer.

The entrepreneur was very committed to the common good of his hometown. For example, he was one of the sponsors of the Nuremberg Commercial College, which was founded after the end of the First World War and of which he was a member of the administrative board from 1920 to 1926 and also a lecturer. On July 20, 1921, he was one of the founders of the Association of Friends of the Nuremberg School of Management, together with Mayor Hermann Luppe and the SPD member of the state parliament Max Süßheim.

Until the 1930s, Guggenheimer was chairman of the Vereinigung elektrotechnischer Spezialfabriken in Berlin. He was also – like many politically active Jews of his time – a member of the German Democratic Party (DDP) in Bavaria and until 1928 its chairman in the Bavarian State Economic Committee. In addition, he was a member of the board of the Reich Economic Committee of the DDP. Together with three other Nuremberg Jews, he belonged to the leadership group of this party.[1][2]

In 1933, Dr. Siegfried Guggenheimer AG had to give up its name due to pressure from the National Socialists and since then operated under the name Metrawatt AG. In 1937, Guggenheimer was forced to give up the management of his own company, the Noris Tachometerwerk.[3] The family then left Germany. Guggenheimer initially went to London on December 8, 1937, but later followed his wife and daughter to Florence.[4] There he died exactly one year to the day after his emigration. His widow Marguerite later returned to her native Basel.

Web links

Individual references

  1. Historisches Lexikon Bayerns: German Democratic Party in Bavaria (DDP) 1918-1930
  2. Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte, Volume 58, Issue 3, Verlag Beck, 1995, Page 1048 (Google Books)
  3. The new managing directors are Dr. Ernst Schmidmer and Dipl.-Vw. Hans Jauch.
  4. Son Heinrich had emigrated to Switzerland via Freiburg im Breisgau, where he studied in Zurich; he later emigrated to the United States. – See: Heinrich Guggenheimer (Engl.).