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 Infobank Judengassse Frankfurt am Main
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The creation of the Judengasse

In 1460 the Frankfurt city council resolved to establish a ghetto for the city's Jewish inhabitants to keep them apart from the Christian inhabitants. The Jews had to leave the homes they had established in the centre of the old city and give up their synagogue only a few metres from the cathedral. The council had already started considering relocating the Jews in the 1430s, with the alternative of expelling them entirely. King Frederick III had intervened in this dispute twice and written to the council demanding the destruction of the synagogue and the relocation of the Jews. It was claimed that the
"wailing of the Jews in their synagogue" was disrupting the mass in the cathedral. The Jewish community petitioned against the loss of their synagogue and their homes and for three decades they managed to resist relocation to a remote part of the city. The city council ultimately decided to build a Judengasse in the new part of the city, following a range of other measures it had meanwhile taken to reduce contact between Jews and Christians. From the 1450s the Jews had been required to wear a sign on their clothing that distinguished them from Christians, Christians had been banned from attending Jewish celebrations and weddings, and Jews were not allowed to visit the bath houses in the city. When the city had started work on building a new synagogue, ritual bath and the first houses, the Jews were ordered in 1462 to move into their new homes. In contrast to former practice they were forbidden to buy any other houses or land. The houses in the Judengasse remained the property of the city council, although the Jews had to finance new buildings themselves after 1462.


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources