KASKEL (originally Kaskele), 17th-century family of German Court Jews and bankers, who went from Poland and settled in Dresden, Saxony, during one of the Polish-Saxonian unions. They became court bankers to the royal house of Saxony and Poland, bankers to the government, and founders of the Dresdner Bank, one of Germany's leading commercial banks. The first prominent member of the family was JACOB KASKELE (d. 1778), who in 1772 was appointed court agent. Several of his eight children, too, served as court agents in Warsaw and Dresden. One member of the family became a commissioned officer in the Austrian army in 1813. MICHAEL KASKEL (b. 1775) continued the family's banking business; he also acted as a purveyor to the Saxonian army and the mint, in addition to wider-ranging trading activities.
Michael's son KARL (1798–1874) acquired citizenship in Dresden in 1830, rose to be privy councilor, consul general for Sweden and Norway, and in 1867 obtained Austrian nobility. He converted to Christianity. At the initiative of Eugen Gutmann, Karl Kaskel in cooperation with the Rothschilds of Frankfurt, Oppenheims of Cologne, and Bleichroeder of Berlin, incorporated his banking firm and formed the Dresdner Bank.
Aus der Geschichte der Dresdner Bank (1969); J.F. Kaskel, in: Zeitschrift fuer Unternehmensgeschichte, 28 (1983), 159–87; C. Buergelt, in: Der alte juedische Friedhof in Dresden (2002), 196–201.
[Joachim O. Ronall]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.