Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main

Life in the Frankfurt Ghetto

Logo und Link Museum Judengasse
Logo und Link Familie Frank Zentrum
D | E
facebook
AA
Departments
Life in the Frankfurt Ghetto

For more than three hundred years, the Jews of Frankfurt were isolated from the rest of society, living in the Judengasse from its inception in 1462 until its dissolution in 1796 under the influence of the French Revolution. During this time, the Frankfurt Jews made efforts to reduce the discrimin­ation and restrictions of Frankfurt's regulations governing Jews, the Judenordnung.

Yet the Christian com­munity's deep-seated feelings of animosity and contempt towards the Jews, coupled with their business rival­ry, meant that they were more inclined to maintain the status quo and, if any­thing, even tended to tighten existing restrictions.

View of the exhibition area showing “Life in the Frankfurt Ghetto”

View of the exhibition area showing “Life in the Frankfurt Ghetto”


The city council, whose arrogance and incompetence had made it highly unpopular, was soon unable to con­tain the wrath of the Christian com­munity at the increase in the Jewish population and the involvement of the Jews in Frankfurt's trading and busi­ness.

At the height of a conflict with the guilds, who demanded greater participation in municipal govern­ment, the Judengasse was attacked and looted and the Jews driven out of Frankfurt.

Ringleader Vinzenz Fettmilch and his associates were out­lawed by the emperor and executed after the failed uprising in 1616. The Jews were allowed to return to Frankfurt.

  • Jews being driven from a town in Germany, c. 1470From a Haggadah manuscript, formerly in the Sassoon collection, Jerusalem
  • 
The looting of the Frankfurt Ghetto on 22 August 1614Copperplate engraving from Johann L. Gottfried's Historische Chronica of 1657
  • 
The execution of Vinzenz Fettmilch and his comrades, and the return of the Frankfurt Jews (right) on 28 February 1616Woodcut in a contemporary pamphlet of Johann Ludwig Schimmel
  • Jews being driven from a town in Germany, c. 1470
    From a Haggadah manuscript, formerly in the Sassoon collection, Jerusalem
  • The looting of the Frankfurt Ghetto on 22 August 1614
    Copperplate engraving from Johann L. Gottfried's "Historische Chronica" of 1657
  • The execution of Vinzenz Fettmilch and his comrades, and the return of the Frankfurt Jews (right) on 28 February 1616
    Woodcut in a contemporary pamphlet of Johann Ludwig Schimmel
  • Jews being driven from a town in Germany, c. 1470From a Haggadah manuscript, formerly in the Sassoon collection, Jerusalem
  • 
The looting of the Frankfurt Ghetto on 22 August 1614Copperplate engraving from Johann L. Gottfried's Historische Chronica of 1657
  • 
The execution of Vinzenz Fettmilch and his comrades, and the return of the Frankfurt Jews (right) on 28 February 1616Woodcut in a contemporary pamphlet of Johann Ludwig Schimmel

After crushing the uprising, imperial commissioners drew up a new Judenordnung which remained in force until 1808.

It included almost all the restrictions that had previously applied and limited the number of Jews residing in Frankfurt to the 500 families already living there.


“Frankfurt Jew and Jewess”. Copperplate engraving by Christoph Weigel in Abraham a Santa Clara's “Neu-Eröffnete Welt-Galleria” of 1703

“Frankfurt Jew and Jewess”. Copperplate engraving by Christoph Weigel in Abraham a Santa Clara's “Neu-Eröffnete Welt-Galleria” of 1703


This lavishly ornamented eight-branched candelabrum, which is lit during Hanukkah, the festival of lights, is based on the description of the original candlestick of the Jerusalem Temple as described in the Bible (Exodus 25: 31–38). Its base is a rectangular plate borne by four shield-bearing lions, bounded by a small gallery and ornamented with putti.

Four branches, decorated with blossoms and bell-shaped components, extend on either side of the shaft. The eight holders for oil are crowned with olive trees, and there are bells on the spouts and animal figures on the lids: a squirrel, a stag, an eagle and a pelican on either side.

The removable small oil jar on the central shaft is crowned by a male figure with helmet and weapons, probably Judah Maccabee. The central shaft itself bears the figure of Judith with the head of Holofernes. The four animal figures are very probably refer­ences to four houses in the Judengasse and may even refer to the marriage of Moses Michael Speyer and Scheinle Bing-Kann in 1681. The bridegroom came from the house known as Goldener Hirsch (Golden Stag) and his mother from the house known as Goldener Adler (Golden Eagle).

The bride came from the Eichhörnchen (Squirrel) branch of the family Goldene Kanne (Golden Jar) and her mother from the house of Pelikan (Pelican). Thus, the links between these four families are illustrated in the decoration of this candelabrum, which may have been a wedding present.


Calendar of events
July 2016 zurück weiter
MoTuWeThFrSaSu
 0102
03
04
05
06070809
10
11
12
131415
16
17
18
19
20212223
24
25
26
282930
31
* Jewish feasts
 


Impressum
© ® 1999-2016 Jüdisches Museum
Frankfurt am Main
Last change: 2013, April 02





Recommend page