Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy - Early Life

Early Life

Rosenstock-Huessy was born Eugen Friedrich Moritz Rosenstock in Berlin, Germany on July 6, 1888, to Theodor and Paula Rosenstock. His father, a scholarly man, was a banker and a member of the Berlin Stock Exchange. He was the only son among seven surviving children.

Despite his parents’ Jewish heritage, his family “celebrated some Christian holidays, in keeping with other German families at the time.” He joined the Lutheran Protestant Church at age 17 and was christened at age 18. He remained a devout proponent of Christianity throughout the rest of his life.

After graduating from a secondary school (gymnasium) with very high academic standards and an emphasis on classical languages and literature, Rosenstock-Huessy pursued law studies at the universities of Zurich, Heidelberg, and Berlin. In 1909 the University of Heidelberg granted him a doctorate in law. In 1912 he became a Privatdozent, a preliminary qualification to becoming a professor, at the University of Leipzig, where he taught constitutional law and the history of law until 1914.

In 1914 Rosenstock-Huessy visited Florence, Italy to conduct historical research. There he met Margrit Hüssy, a Swiss art history major. They married later that year. World War I broke out shortly thereafter.

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