Joseph Süß Oppenheimer (1698?-4 February 1738) was an Ashkenazi Jewish banker and court Jew (German: Hofjude), the financial adviser in Stuttgart for Karl Alexander, Duke of Württemberg (1733-1737). During his career, Oppenheimer made numerous enemies, a number of whom plotted to exact their revenge on him following the Duke's death.
Oppenheimer was accused of various crimes – fraud, embezzelment, treason, graft, and lecherous relations with gentile women – all of which were traditional anti-Semitic charges. At his heavily publicized trial, Jud Süß (Jew Süß) as he was colloquially known by the citizenry, was sentenced to death on unspecified crimes. While in custody awaiting execution, he was twice given the opportunity to convert to Christianity, which he refused. Strangulated at a gibbet outside Stuttgart, his corpse was displayed in a cage there for six years until the then Duke of Württemberg allowed it to be buried below the gallows. A number of medals, including this Shraubtaler, were produced as keepsakes for those who attended the events.
The case was so notorious that the records were sealed for 180 years. The story intrigued a number of writers and film-makers. Beginning with the 1827 novella by Wilhelm Hauff, they saw in the subject a way to examine deeper metaphysical themes. A 1940 German film, entitled Jud Süß, was a vehicle to exploit anti-Semitic tropes for the purposes of Nazi propaganda and made it the most anti-Semitic film produced. After the war, the Allied Military Occupation banned the film and most of the extant copies were destroyed.