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Judengasse /Judenmauer /gates

The Judengasse, Frankfurt's ghetto, was located in what today is the eastern part of the inner city. It started at the Konstablerwache, ran along the Staufenmauer (old city wall), crossed what is today the KurtSchumacherStraße and ran down to the site presently occupied by the city utilities building. The Judengasse was completely surrounded by walls, separating it from the rest of the city. There were gates at the northern and southern ends and in the middle of the western side, the socalled Judenbrückchen, leading to the inner city. These gates were locked every night and on Sundays and religious holidays, so that the Jews were able to leave their crowded alley only on workdays. As a result they were strictly segregated from the rest of the Frankfurt population, both spatially and (above all) legally.
At its longest, the Judengasse ran for c. 330 metres from north to south. The width of the ghetto ranged between 45 and 50 metres, and the street itself was between 3.70 and 7.30 metres wide.
The entire area covered some 15,000 square metres, and was originally founded by the city council in 1462 as living space for 1015 families. However, over the space of two centuries there was considerable population growth. As the city council refused to allow any significant expansion, the inevitable result was enormous overcrowding. Ultimately, in the 18th century there were almost 200 houses, many of them with rear buildings, with a total population of c. 3,000.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources