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Ascher the Surgeon

Ascher (also known as Oscher), practised as a surgeon. This was a rarity, since surgery was regarded as a manual craft, which the Jews were forbidden to perform. He lived in Frankfurt from 1508 to 1549, but came originally from Wimpfen. He had learned his skill from his father, who, because of his skill, was the sole Jew permitted to reside there. However, there were always Jewish doctors in general medicine.
In the year 1508 Ascher requested permission to practice as a surgeon in Frankfurt. He wished to marry the daughter of the Jewish innkeeper Seligman of Praunheim, who ran the hostel at the house Affe. The city granted the licence and provisional right of residence at his fatherinlaw's house.He built himself a new house, the Traube, paying house tax on it from 1511 to 1549.
Like other Jews he also kept cattle, and was nicknamed "The Drover" as a result.He was highly regarded within the Jewish community and belonged to the leadership.
He died in 1549/1550.


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources