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Broker

At the end of the 17th and start of the 18th centuries there are four brokers shown in Judengasse.
Brokers played an important role in Frankfurt as a trading and trade fair city, as intermediaries in trade and financial transactions.
Originally they functioned as customs officials, measuring, weighing or inspecting goods etc.
From the end of the 16th century, however, their commercial functions became increasingly important.
Brokers brought together buyers and sellers for a fee, helped negotiate the modalities of transactions and witnessed agreements.
They were important in ensuring fair and reliable dealing.
To perform this function they had to be registered with and take an oath before the city treasurer.
They also had to pay part of their income to the city treasury.

With the growth in trade at the Fairs the number of brokers increased from nine in 1580 to 48 in 1589.
Jews also tried to gain a footing in this business.
However, Christian brokers protested, and for a long time the number of Jewish brokers was limited to four.
The occupation has much in common with the business of moneychanging or moneylending frequently pursued by Frankfurt Jews.


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources