Did you know Mercedes is named after a chief rabbi’s granddaughter?

Did you know Mercedes is named after a chief rabbi’s granddaughter?


norman lebrecht

September 24, 2014

Hitler didn’t or he’d have rode a different car.


The original Mercedes Jellinek, for whom the car was named in 1901, was the daughter of Emil Jellinek, entrepreneurial owner of Daimler Motors.

Mercedes married twice into the ruined Austrian aristocracy and died of cancer in 1929, aged 39.

Her paternal grandfather, Adolf Jellinek, was rabbi of Vienna’s¬†Leopoldstadt synagogue, moving to the Seitenstetten synagogue in 1865, where he was considered to be the city’s unofficial chief rabbi. He was known to Freud, Schnitzler, Herzl and Gustav Mahler.

So Hitler rode a Jewish car. Who knew?




Read more about Mercedes Jellinek here.


  • JBBaldwin says:

    What is the conditional perfect of “to ride,” now? ūüôā

  • Max Grimm says:

    Norman, two corrections:
    РEmil Jellinek started by naming a race-car in 1899 and one year later all of his car design concepts after Mercédès.
    – He was never an/the owner of Daimler Motors. He merely sat on the board of the DMG for 9 years.

    Interestingly, Emil’s son Raoul Fernand Jellinek-Mercedes was a supporting-member and benefactor of the Wiener Musikverein, possessing among other valuable collectibles, an extensive collection of scores and original partitions of music.
    Raoul ended up committing suicide in 1939 after having his property declared “Jewish property” and part of it slotted for confiscation under the Judenverm√∂gensabgabe (the arbitrary Jewish Asset Tax imposed by the Nazis).