A Valentine’s Story – Moses and Fromet Mendelssohn

Moses Mendelssohn, a brilliant philosopher (sometimes called “The German Socrates”), was thought to be quite unattractive. He was quite stunted and misshapen and had a hunchback. The Prussian emperor said about him, “Never have I seen such great wine in such an ugly vessel.” In 1762, on a visit to Hamburg, the 32-year-old Mendelssohn met a lovely girl named Fromet Gugenheim. Apparently when Fromet laid eyes on him, she was so frightened by his appearance that she actually burst into tears.

Moses Mendelssohn

Fromet Gugenheim

The story goes that Mendelssohn explained to her that when he was born, his future wife was also named, but at the same time, it was said that she herself would be humpbacked. “O God,” he said, “a deformed girl will become embittered and unhappy, whereas she should be beautiful. Dear Lord, give me the humpback, and let the maiden be well-made and agreeable!”

Several months later, they were married. They had six children surviving to adulthood, and one of their grandsons was the famous musician, Felix Mendelssohn.

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About rhapsodyinbooks

We're into reading, politics, and intellectual exchanges.
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12 Responses to A Valentine’s Story – Moses and Fromet Mendelssohn

  1. bookingmama says:

    That’s so sweet!!!!

  2. Sandy says:

    Charm and wit goes a long way doesn’t it?

  3. I love this story! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Aw, no wonder he won her heart!

  5. Ti says:

    Fromet is a great name.

  6. What an interesting story! Thanks for sharing it!

  7. zibilee says:

    This is such a great story, and perfect for Valentine’s Day. I loved that you posted this today. Have a great holiday, and enjoy as much chocolate as you can!

  8. What a lovely little story.

  9. sagustocox says:

    Where do you ever find these stories? I love it!

  10. Thanks for the lovely post! 😀

  11. Lisa says:

    Well now, that is one great line!

  12. stacybuckeye says:

    Ah, so sweet 🙂

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