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ADLER Family Crest / ADLER Coat of Arms

ADLER Family Crest / ADLER Coat of Arms

This German and Jewish surname of ADLER was a nickname from the Middle German word 'adler' (noble) and 'ar' (eagle). Nobility is an attribute of the eagle in most European cultures, it being considered king of the birds, and this name would have applied to a man with these qualities. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. Jankel ADLER (l895-l949) was a Polish painter born near Lodz. He was given a Jewish upbringing along with early memories of ritualistic symbols and decorative folk motifs which form the basis of his work. Forced by Nazi persecution to wander throughout Europe, he worked in Berlin and then Dusseldorf and on being labelled a degenerate artist in Germany, moved to Paris in l933. Having worked in the Polish Army in France he was evacuated to Scotland in l94l. When traditional Jews were forced to take family names by the local bureaucracy, it was an obligation imposed from outside traditional society, and people often took the names playfully and let their imaginations run wild by choosing names which corresponded to nothing real in their world. No one alive today can remember the times when Jews took or were given family names (for most Ashkenazim this was the end of the 18th century or the beginning of the 19th) although many remember names being changed after emigration to other countries, such as the United States and Israel in recent years. A noteworthy person of this name was Alfred ADLER (l870-l937) pioneer Austrian psychiatrist, born and trained in Vienna. He became a prominent member of the psychoanalytical group that formed around Sigmund Freud in l900. He opened the first Child Guidance Clinic in Vienna in l92l and in l932 he moved to the U.S.A. to teach. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in Germany.


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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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