Johann Philipp Palm

Portrait: Johann Philipp Palm
Portrait of Johann Philipp Palm, lithograph, 1867
Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek Leipzig

Johann Philipp Palm

A victim of Napoleonic justice

But whoever among the wealthy in Germany still has some sense of German honesty and a sense of propriety will happily give a contribution for the survivors, for whom he who was executed sacrificed his integrity.

Appeal by the author Friedrich von Cölln, 1806

On the 16 July, 1806, three copies of the banned anonymous pamphlet Deutschland in seiner tiefen Erniedrigung (Germany in its Deep Humiliation) were confiscated in an Augsburg bookshop. Under interrogation, the book dealer revealed that the pamphlets had been delivered to him by the Stein book dealership in Nuremburg. The proprietor of the small Stein bookstore was Johann Philipp Palm, who had married into and taken over the business in 1796.

Like many other book dealers, Palm was involved in the lucrative trade in anti-Napoleonic literature. In the main, the authorities took action against the dealers with reprimands and seizures of books. In 1896, however, Napolean wished to set an example. Palm was arrested and tried by a French court martial in Braunau. On 26 August 1806 he was put to death after a show trial.