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 Infobank Judengassse Frankfurt am Main
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Watchman

"Jobwächter" was an early name for a night watchman in the Judengasse.
The Jewish community was responsible for public safety in the Judengasse.
At the start of the 18th century the community employed five night watchmen.
The watchmen were menial community servants.
Mostly, they lived in houses at the southern end of the Judengasse, where they were given free lodging.
In addition they had an annual salary of 15 guilders.
This was at that time enough to cover certain basic necessities, but it was by no means enough to live on.
This meant that night watchmen had to find a daytime job, with the result that they were exhausted when it was time for their night shift.
Confidence in their vigilance was not particularly great, and may have been further reduced by the fact that some night watchmen were convicted of crimes.
In one case at the beginning of the 17th century a night watchman is reported as having been imprisoned at times for receiving stolen property and wounding a Christian.


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources