Karl Friedrich Cerf 1782-1845
Karl was born at Unterreissheim-on-the-Main in 1782. He became a Christian when very young, and had to support his father’s family when only seventeen years old. After having been engaged for many years in the horse trade at Dessau, he rose to the post of chief military agent, and in this capacity took part in the campaign of 1813-15 under Count Wittgenstein, general of the Russian army. The courage and fidelity displayed by Cerf won for him the favor of Emperor Alexander, who conferred on him a gold medal.
Cerf then settled at Berlin, and obtained from Friedrich Wilhelm III a perpetual grant for the erection of the Königsstädtisches Theater, which was devoted to French comedy and Italian opera, and which he managed until his death. His son, Rudolf, inherited the theater concession from his father. On October 12, 1852 he opened the Neues Königstädtisches Theater. In 1855 he also opened the Königstädtisches Vaudeville-Theater. He died at Berlin Nov. 6, 1845.
De le Roi comments that he was a good-hearted man, but “rough around the edges”.
in the photo: The Königstädtisches Theater
Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, iv. 89;
de Le Roi, J.F. A.. Gesch. der Evangelischen Juden-Mission, volume II p. 249
Jewish Encyclopedia 1906