His achievements made him a credit to the city of his birth

So ran the obituary for Eduard Pfeiffer following his death in 1921. In view of his achievements and deeds on behalf of Stuttgart, the phrasing is grossly understated.
He was a banker, politician, writer but also a social reformer and cooperative member. Born in 1835 in Stuttgart as the son of the Jewish court bank director Marx Pfeiffer, throughout his life he regarded his wealthy family background as an obligation towards the community.
One of his dearest concerns was to improve workers’ living conditions. In the second half of the 19th century the latter lived in disastrous hygienic conditions, frequently in dilapidated housing. Pfeiffer approached the problems from all sides, and not only theoretically, but also in financial terms. Aside from the rehabilitation of decaying old quarters of Stuttgart from 1906-1908, the city owed to him the establishment of settlements like, for instance, Ostheim. Thanks to his efforts, at the turn of the century around 1,800 apartments were built for ordinary people. In 1910 he funded a sanatorium for newly-borns and was cofounder of three public baths and two municipal libraries.
In 1863 he founded the Stuttgart Consumer and Savings Association (Stuttgarter Consum- und Ersparnisverein) to purchase foodstuffs at reasonable prices. His association was to become the model for most cooperative societies in Germany. This was followed in 1866 by one of his most important ventures, the “Society for the welfare of the working classes” (Verein für das Wohl der arbeitenden Klassen). Its chairman for many years, he incorporated into it all his ideas and experience which still continue to uniquely influence Stuttgart to this very day.
As one of his final activities for the common good, along with his wife he founded the Eduard Pfeiffer Foundation which is still in existence today as a nationwide charitable institution. It funds education, science, national and vocational education, youth and old people’s welfare and welfare in general.

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Eduard and Julie Pfeiffer in front of a building site in 1893

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Eduard Pfeiffer in 1900

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Revitalisation of the Eduard Pfeiffer Villa


 

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