Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt am Main

From Moneylending to Trading

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From Moneylending to Trading

In the course of the Middle Ages, German Jews were gradually ousted from the fields of trade, crafts and agriculture. The only occupation left open to them was moneylending, since the church forbade Christians to lend money at interest.

In order to pay their protectors high taxes, the Jewish moneylenders were allowed to charge high rates of interest. Thus, the wrath of the debtors was aimed at the Jews, rather than against the ruling classes.


Jewish traders conversing with Christian clients. Copperplate engraving from Johannes Jodocus Beck's “Tractatus de juribus Judaeorum”, Nuremberg 1731, frontispiece

Jewish traders conversing with Christian clients. Copperplate engraving from Johannes Jodocus Beck's “Tractatus de juribus Judaeorum”, Nuremberg 1731, frontispiece


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