In the Middle Ages and early modern period, the fate of the common man depended strongly on that of his ruler’s as well as the latter’s character and whims. Thus, we cannot fully appreciate the history of Stühlingen’s Jews without also examining the development and personalities of the noble house of Fürstenberg.
Before his death, Maximilian of Pappenheim (1580–1639) bequeathed the county and town of Stühlingen to his five-year-old grandson Maximilian Franz (1634–81), the son of Maximilian’s daughter, Maria Maximiliana (~1610–35), and her husband, Count Friedrich Rudolf von Fürstenberg (1602–55). This succession established the Stühlingen branch of the Fürstenbergs. Two other branches already existed: the Messkirch and Heiligenberg branches, named after their respective residences. The von Pappenheims were Protestant; town and region of Stühlingen and the von Fürstenbergs were Catholic. While this fact might appear to be a minor issue from today’s perspective, it was a major bone of contention during the Counter-Reformation. The “von Pappenheim taint” would follow the Fürstenberg-Stühlingen branch for several generations at the devoutly Catholic Hapsburg court.
Maria Maximiliana bore her husband two sons: Maximilian Franz and Heinrich Friedrich (b. October 16, 1635). Tragically, she died at the latter’s birth of postpartum complications,2 after which Friedrich Rudolf married the twice-widowed Anna Magdalena von Hanau-Lichtenberg. Of their five children, only one, Maria Franziska von Fürstenberg-Stühlingen (1638–80), survived infancy.3
1Goldsmith, The Deserted Village.
2Tumbült, Das Fürstentum Fürstenberg, 168.
3Stoyan, “Eine WWW-Personendatenbank,” Pid= 31000252.