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Division of houses

The Judengasse was a ghetto from its creation in 1462 until its dissolution at the end of the 18th century. In the early years there were about a dozen houses with around 100 inhabitants, growing to almost 200 houses with numerous rear buildings and some 3,000 inhabitants. As the city council permitted only minimal expansion in the Judengasse, the only solution was steadily increasing overcrowding. Open shelters or sukkot tabernacles were converted into dwellings. The plots originally quite generous were successively divided, increasing the number of plots but reducing the size. In the process, many houses were torn down and replaced by two or more houses or rear buildings. The new houses were often divided in turn, so that the overcrowding particularly in the northern part of the Judengasse resembles nothing so much as a family tree.
By the end of the period, the Judengasse was very densely developed. Most of the houses were very narrow and long. Probably the smallest house, the Rote Hase, was only about one and a half meters wide.


© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources