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The Judengasse fire of 1796

1796 saw the end of the Jewish ghetto in Frankfurt. In July, French troops besieged and bombarded the city. The northern part of the Judengasse was hit and set on fire: one third of the houses were burnt down, and their former occupants had to be lodged in other houses outside the Judengasse, as in the previous major fire of 1711. However, where the Jews had to return to the ghetto in 1711 after the Judengasse houses were rebuilt, it was impossible to enforce this in 1796, so that the fire became effectively the start of emancipation in Frankfurt. The final demolition of the wall around the ghetto was followed in due course by improvements in the social and legal status of the Frankfurt Jews.
The northern part of the Judengasse was rebuilt in the fashionable Classical Revival style, in sharp contrast to the cramped state of the older southern end.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources