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EDELSTEIN Origin of surname

EDELSTEIN

Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name derives from an occupation (also connected with raw material, finished product or implements associated with that trade).

Literally "precious stone" in German, it might be assumed that a person called Edelstein is a descendant from a dealer in precious stones. In some cases, Edelstein is a matronymic (a surname derived from a female ancestor's personal name) of the personal name Edel ("precious", "noble", in German), a popular first name among Jewish women. Stein, the second part of the surname, literally "stone/rock" in German, is an element commonly used for creating artificial Jewish family names, i.e. names that do not refer to any feature of the first bearer of the family name, as a prefix (Steinberg) or a suffix (Loewenstein). It was translated by Jews into the Yiddish Shteyn. Moreover, a considerable number of towns and villages have names comprising the term Stein. A well-known bearer of the Jewish family name Edelstein was the Czech Zionist leader and head of the Theresienstadt Ghetto, Jacob Edelstein (1903-1944).
ID Number:
209560
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
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Jacob Edelstein (1903-1944), Zionist leader and head of Theresienstadt ghetto, born in Horodenka and during World War I his family moved to Brno, Moravia (now in the Czech Republic). Brought up in a Zionist atmosphere, he was active in Zionist youth movements. In 1933 he was appointed head of the Palestine Office of the Hechalutz Zionist movement in Prague. Edelstein went to Palestine in 1937 but was disappointed with his work there and returned to Prague. When the Germans entered Prague in March 1939 he was the Jewish official dealing with emigration to Palestine and became the Jewish representative in contacts with the Germans. He was permitted to travel abroad and everywhere warned Jewish leaders of the dangerous situation that had developed. He had many opportunities to remain abroad but felt his place was in Czechoslovakia. Edelstein did what he could to prevent the deportation of Czech Jews and saw the establishment of the Theresienstadt Ghetto as an achievement in this direction, not realizing that the Germans saw it only as a temporary destination. He himself arrived there in December 1941 and became the first head of its Judenrat. Edelstein stood up courageously on behalf of the inmates, earning the anger of the Germans who dismissed him from his post and sent him and his family to their deaths in Auschwitz Nazi death camp.

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EDELSTEIN Origin of surname
EDELSTEIN

Surnames derive from one of many different origins. Sometimes there may be more than one explanation for the same name. This family name derives from an occupation (also connected with raw material, finished product or implements associated with that trade).

Literally "precious stone" in German, it might be assumed that a person called Edelstein is a descendant from a dealer in precious stones. In some cases, Edelstein is a matronymic (a surname derived from a female ancestor's personal name) of the personal name Edel ("precious", "noble", in German), a popular first name among Jewish women. Stein, the second part of the surname, literally "stone/rock" in German, is an element commonly used for creating artificial Jewish family names, i.e. names that do not refer to any feature of the first bearer of the family name, as a prefix (Steinberg) or a suffix (Loewenstein). It was translated by Jews into the Yiddish Shteyn. Moreover, a considerable number of towns and villages have names comprising the term Stein. A well-known bearer of the Jewish family name Edelstein was the Czech Zionist leader and head of the Theresienstadt Ghetto, Jacob Edelstein (1903-1944).
Written by researchers of ANU Museum of the Jewish People
Jacob Edelstein

Jacob Edelstein (1903-1944), Zionist leader and head of Theresienstadt ghetto, born in Horodenka and during World War I his family moved to Brno, Moravia (now in the Czech Republic). Brought up in a Zionist atmosphere, he was active in Zionist youth movements. In 1933 he was appointed head of the Palestine Office of the Hechalutz Zionist movement in Prague. Edelstein went to Palestine in 1937 but was disappointed with his work there and returned to Prague. When the Germans entered Prague in March 1939 he was the Jewish official dealing with emigration to Palestine and became the Jewish representative in contacts with the Germans. He was permitted to travel abroad and everywhere warned Jewish leaders of the dangerous situation that had developed. He had many opportunities to remain abroad but felt his place was in Czechoslovakia. Edelstein did what he could to prevent the deportation of Czech Jews and saw the establishment of the Theresienstadt Ghetto as an achievement in this direction, not realizing that the Germans saw it only as a temporary destination. He himself arrived there in December 1941 and became the first head of its Judenrat. Edelstein stood up courageously on behalf of the inmates, earning the anger of the Germans who dismissed him from his post and sent him and his family to their deaths in Auschwitz Nazi death camp.