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 Infobank Judengassse Frankfurt am Main
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Schloß und Weiße Gans

Width at front: c. 4.8 metres
The Gans was built around 1540 on a site which belonged to the Weißer Schwan opposite. To indicate its origin the city authorities gave it a bird name ("goose"). In 1620 this name was supplemented and the house became known as the Weiße Gans ("white goose"). This was the first of several houses with bird names on this site.
25 years later another house was built between the Gans and its neighbour the Schlüssel. This was called Schloß. At the start of the 18th century it was combined with the Weiße Gans. During the house numbering of the Judengasse in 1761 the complex of buildings just under 5 metres wide formed by the front and rear buildings was treated as a unit and assigned the house number 60.
The original Schloß was occupied by a family from the Rheinland. The house became the family home and they adopted the house name Schloß as their family name. Many of the members of this family chose the profession of shochet or rabbi.
The Gans was occupied by a family from Mainz which took the name Gans, but were also known as Menz or Mainz. Members of this family worked as moneychangers, for example Mose Mainz, who was convicted of clipping coins in 1573. A century later the three families occupying the house lived by dealing in silver, selling books and working as a scribe. Several years later the complex of building housed six families, making it one of the most crowded in the Judengasse. After the fire of 1711 the complex was rebuilt with a front building and two rear buildings.
In 1879 it was taken over by the city for demolition.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources