Jellinek, Emil

BORN 6 Apr 1853, Leipzig, Sachsen - DIED 21 Jan 1918, Genève
GRAVE LOCATION Nice, Alpes-Maritimes: Cimetière du Château

Emil Jellinke was the son of Adolf Jellinek, a famous rabbi. His mother was Rosalie Bettelheim. Soon after his birth the family moved to Vienna, where he didn't well at school. When he was seventeen he became a clerk with a Moravian railway company but after organising secret train races he was fired.

He went to France in 1872 and using his father's conections he held posts in diplomacy and afterwards worked for a French insurance company. Around 1881 he married Rachel Goggmann Cenrobert (b.1854). They had two sons before a daughter was born in 1889. She was called Mercedes. Rachel died in 1893 and was buried in Nice. In 1899 he married Madelaine Henriette Engler.

His business activities went well and after he became Austrian Consul General in Nice he started selling cars. he conducted his business from his house that he named Villa Mercedes. In 1896 he had visited Daimler and Maybach of DMG (Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft) in Stuttgart and he started selling their cars in 1898. After trouble with using the name Daimler in France he started using the name Mercedes for them.

He specified a new type of car to be built by DMG that was officially named Daimler-Mercedes. When it was completed the car easily won the races in Nice in 1901 and attracted an enormous attention. Sales went up sharply and in 1903 he changed his own name to Jellinek-Mercedes. After a few years his focus on cars faded a bit and he was Austro-Hungarian Consulate General in Mexico and Monaco.

In 1914 he lived in Austria when the First World War broke out and he stopped speaking French in public. He returned to France, but there he was suspected of spying for Germany. In 1917 he arrived in neutral Geneva, where he was arrested but released soon afterwards. There he died in 1918. In 1982 his remains were moved to Rachel's tomb in Nice. His daugher Mercedes died in 1929 of bone cancer and was buried in Vienna.

• Daughter: Jellinek, Mercédès


The grave of Émile Jellinek at the Cimetière du Château, Nice.
Picture by Androom (29 Nov 2008)


The grave of Émile Jellinek at the Cimetière du Château, Nice.
Picture by Androom (29 Nov 2008)


• Beyern, Bertrand, Guide des Cimetières en France, Le Cherche Midi Éditeur, Paris, 1994
Emil Jellinek - Wikipedia

Jellinek, Mercédès

Published: 15 Oct 2010
Last update: 17 Feb 2022