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Drach-Kann dispute

The DrachKann disputes is the name given to the struggle for dominance within Frankfurt's Jewish community from 1669 to the mid1680s between Isaak Kann and his supporters and the highlyregarded Abraham Drach. Through his supporters, who included some people with very bad reputations, such as Amschel Schuh, Kann spread false accusations against Drach. Among other things, he accused him of reconverting Jews who had converted to Christianity, which the Christians of the time regarded as a serious crime. The accusations proved baseless.
Kann's supporters succeeded in involving external authorities in the disputes, such as the Church court in Mainz, the emperor, the Frankfurt city council and the imperial court of justice. Many of these institutions were engaged in a struggle for power with each other, and it was possible through bribery in particular to play them off against each other and obtain their support. In this way the Kann faction succeeded in having Drach imprisoned in Mainz for some time. After years the dispute was finally settled in 1684 by the imperial council in favour of Abraham Drach. Both parties suffered: Isaak Kann was sentenced to a fine of 100,000 talers, a huge sum in those days, but Drach's fortune was also severely reduced by the dispute, and he had little success with his claims for damages. Kann on the other hand quickly managed to regain his position as one of the richest men in the Frankfurt Jewish community.
The Kann family continued to play a leading role among the Frankfurt Jews. Several decades later, in the mid18th century, the family became involved in another major power struggle within the community, which has gone down in Frankfurt history as the KulpKann dispute.


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources