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 Infobank Judengassse Frankfurt am Main
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Mail carrier

From the 18th century onwards there was an unofficial "Jewish mail carrier" in Frankfurt.
As Christian mail carriers were not allowed to work in the Judengasse and many letters were addressed in Hebrew script, a Jew had to be appointed for this work.
The Prince of Thurn und Taxis, who operated the postal system throughout Germany at that time, employed a local Jew for this purpose in Frankfurt.
The appointee held the position for life.
In 1748 Moses Marx Schuster was appointed, and he passed the position on to his son, who passed it on to his son in turn.

The Jewish mail carrier had to collect the mail from the post office, the Thurn und Taxis palace in the Eschersheimer Landstraße.
To do this, he had to stay outside the building, since as a Jew he was not allowed to enter it.
Then he delivered the mail in the Judengasse.

The Jewish mail carrier did not receive a fixed salary.
Instead, anyone who received mail had to pay him a set fee.
In the course of time the work grews to the point where it was a lucrative business.
The last mail carrier, Isaak Hayum Schuster (1781 1850), employed two assistants and in many years made more than 5,000 guilders.
In those days, that made him a prosperous man.




© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources