Bernhard Baron: tobacco and philanthropy

Bernhard Baron was born in Brest Litovsk in the Pale of Settlement in 1850 and died at his home in Brighton in 1929.1 This paper will follow his commer- cial and financial success, sketch the role of Jews in the tobacco trade, particu- larly in England, and consider Anglo-Jewish philanthropy and Baron’s place in it. In the context of this paper the term ‘philanthropist’ refers to those whose wealth makes it possible for them to give to charity on an substantial scale. Within that definition, Bernhard Baron was certainly a philanthropist. His family found life among the Cossacks in Rostov-on-Don, where they had moved from Brest Litovsk, unbearable, and in 1866 emigrated to Mary- land. One reason for the move was that Baron’s father, who had endured the hardship of service in the Russian army, did not want his son to undergo the same ordeal. There is evidence that Bernhard

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