Jan. 13, 1755

“Edict Regulating Interest Rates” issued by King Fredrick II of Prussia [Prussia / Present-day Germany, Poland]: “After it was pointed out to His Majesty the King, that local ‘Protected Jews,’ who were given permission in the Jewish-Privilege of 1750 to take 12-8 per 100 Reichstaler, are very much abusing this privilege – which in effect ruins local (civil) families and nobles; and especially, young people. That is why the highly esteemed Majesty the King has decided that a change to the present business practices is appropriate. 1) That is why from now on, Jews – if they lend money with interest and without a deposit – whether it maybe as exchange or out of an obligation – or whether it is more or less than 100 Reichstaler – or whether it is financed for one or multiple years – are no longer allowed to charge more than 7 out of every 100 [Reichstaler]. 2) However, if Jews loan money with a deposit, they have to be content with 6 per 100 Reichstaler; they are not to charge more [in interest] under any pretext and circumstances. There is also no reason why a Jew, who is given a deposit – hence a security [for his money] should require higher interests. 3) Also, up until now, Jews were permitted to take 1 Pfenning per Taler when they were loaning out small amounts (10 Reichstaler or less) on a deposits; however, these weekly interests were adding up to more than 18 Reichstaler per 100 annually, which resulted in more poverty and destitution. That is why, henceforth, Jews are no longer permitted to charge more than half a Pfenning per Taler.”
Stern, Selma: Der Preussische Staat und die Juden, Dritter Teil, 2. Akten, 1. Halbband (The Prussian State and the Jews) (1971) p. 282 ff., Researched and Translated by Ziba Shadjaani 1/8/2016