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 Infobank Judengassse Frankfurt am Main
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Rotes Schwert

Width at front: c. 3.8 metres

The Schwert was built around 1538 by Isaac from Isaac from Nauheim on a plot belonging to the neighbouring Wolf. In 1530 Isaac acquired right of residence in Frankfurt when he married the daughter of Majer Scheinfeld from the Wolf. He then built this new house.
The house sign showed an upright sword, and was painted in red. When this house was subdivided in 1584 to create the Goldenes Schwert, the word "red" was added to the name ("Rotes Schwert") to make the difference clear.
From 1550 to 1700 the house was occupied by members of the Oppenheimer family and the founder of a branch of the family, Mosche zum Schwert. He dealt in cloth and in 1590 was one of the highest taxpayers in the Jewish community. His fortune was estimated at 90,000 guilders. His son Joseph Juda (Löb), who died in the house in 1655, held office as a "master builder" in the community and was described on his gravestone as a "Godfearing and wise" man.
There was wide variation in the wealth and status of the occupants. For example, one occupant was Samuel Hecht, who died in 1685 and two years earlier was arrested and expelled from the city on suspicion of conspiring with church robbers. In 1694 the visitation list states bluntly that a widower living in the house was
"depraved". However, during the same period the Metz family also lived here. One member of the family, Nathan, was described on his death in 1709 as
"a decent, highly respected man who devoted himself to scholarship day and night".
The house was destroyed in the fire of 1711 but soon rebuilt. In 1879 the city took it over for demolition.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources