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Helle, Abraham

Abraham Helle was a Jewish doctor who practised in Frankfurt for many years in the 17th century. During this period the Christian doctors were concerned about the competition from their Jewish colleagues and took action against them, questioning their qualifications and persuading the city council to force the Jewish doctors to take an extra examination. When Helle took the examination it was claimed that there were serious gaps in his knowledge. It was also claimed that patients had died under his treatment. He was accordingly banned from treating Christians, although he was allowed to continue practising in the Judengasse. Even so, Christians, and particularly women, continued to have great confidence in Helle. As a result the senior evangelical church authorities in Frankfurt complained to the city council in terms that included a strong antisemitic vein: " rather suffer illness as the will of God than be healed by the Devil through forbidden means. To go to a Jewish doctor is exactly the same as taking a viper to your bosom and raising wolves in your home."


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources