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Residence code /Right of residence

The term "Stättigkeit" (right of residence) was used from the Middle Ages into the 19th century to describe the special status of the Jews within Frankfurt society. The residence codes covered the political, legal, commercial and social aspects of this status. The most important codes in Frankfurt were issued in 1616 and remained in force for two centuries. On the one hand they established a secure right of residence in Frankfurt for Jews, protecting them from the expulsions and persecutions that Jews suffered in other German cities and also in Frankfurt until the Fettmilch uprising in 1614. On the other hand, the code only applied to Frankfurt Jews who had right of residence, and not for foreign Jews who were only passing through Frankfurt. The residence code also isolated the city's Jews within Frankfurt society by subjecting them to special restrictions. Specifically, they had to live in a sealed ghetto, in this case the crowded Judengasse, which they were not allowed to leave at night or on Sundays and religious holidays. They had to wear a yellow ring on their clothing, had no say in the political affairs of the city, and were subject to a range of restrictions on the occupations available to them, particularly in trade. In addition a limit was placed on the annual number of Jewish marriages in order to prevent any natural growth in population.
However, the residence code did give the Jewish community a broad degree of autonomy in dealing with its internal affairs.




© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources