1914 - 1945 :
The First World War marked a change of
fortune and emphasis for Rothschild.
After the First World War, merchant banks yielded their traditional
place in raising finance for governments yielded to new international
The Rothschild banks now began a steady transition towards the raising
of finance for commercial and industrial concerns.
British clients between the wars included the London underground and
In 1919, in a new page in the long history of Rothschild involvement
with gold, N M Rothschild & Sons took on the role of permanent chair
for the new daily fixing of the world gold price, a City tradition which
has taken place ever since at New Court.
The crash of 1929 brought problems, not least in Austria where Louis
von Rothschild struggled hard to shore up the Creditanstalt, Austria's
largest bank, to prevent collapse.
Less than a decade later a darker tide arrived.
The Austrian Rothschilds' interests were seized in 1938 by the Nazis,
bringing to an end more than a century at the heart of middle European
banking. In France and Austria, the family was scattered for the duration
of the war.