Conference Proceeding: The Complete Horse Connoisseur: A Glimpse into Everyday Life at the Threshold of Modernity

“Der vollkommene Pferdekenner” (The Complete Horse Connoisseur) was written in 1764 by the Southern German nobleman Wolf Ehrenfried Freiherr von Reizenstein. It contains everything there is to know about horses. The Leo Baeck Institute acquired this veterinary work designed for equestrians because of an extraordinary appendix, which consists of 36 pages of Hebrew words and phrases which were used by Jewish horse traders. The dictionary was transliterated into Gothic letters and provided with German definitions and is followed by five lively sample dialogues between Jewish horse traders in their peculiar Hebraeo-German jargon. This appendix gives interesting insights into the everyday life of German-Jews, their socio-economic circumstances, and their relationships to their non-Jewish and Jewish environment at the threshold of modernity.