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 Infobank Judengassse Frankfurt am Main
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The Kann family is a branch of the older Haas family. For some two hundred years between about 1550 and 1750, this was the wealthiest and most influential family of the Frankfurt Jewry. Extensive moneychanging linked primarily with services as court factor to the surrounding princely houses of Hessen enabled the family to accumulate the largest fortune in the Judengasse. They held important positions in the Jewish community, and family members were frequently elected "master builder" or treasurer. However, the family's main fame was as learned Talmudists and as major donors in support of Talmudic studies.
The rise to great affluence, powerful influence within the Jewish community, and a luxurious and opulent lifestyle comparable to that of the city's Christian patricians are only one side of the Kann family history. The Kanns lived through a period when bankruptcies in the Frankfurt ghetto were at their highest level ever, the result of the insolvency of several debtridden princes. The Kann family were also faced by envy and rivalry from other families within the Jewish community. At first the Kanns attempted to eliminate rivals for high office; Isaak Kann, for example, fought against the powerful court factor Abraham Drach at the end of the 17th century. In the mid18th century, Bär Löb Isaak Kann was himself attacked by members of the Kulp family, and forced out of his leading position within the Jewish community. These conflicts are recorded in the history of the Frankfurt Jews as the DrachKann disputes and the KulpKann disputes. The latter disputes started the decline of the Kann family's influence from around 1760.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources