At Rosen Strasse 36, not far from today’s Dr.-Hermann-Neumark-Strasse the new Jewish hospital was inaugurated on 13 May 1838. It was built upon the site of the old hospital. Above the entrance of the small two-story building large letters spelled out “Jüdisches Krankenhaus”. The back of the building abutted the remains of the old city-wall and the site where Peter Joseph Lenné was planning to build a public park.
With a total capacity of only 15 beds, the hospital’s equipment was inferior to that of the municipal clinic. Additionally, Frankfurt’s wealthier Jews preferred to be treated privately at home. In order to keep the hospital from going unused, in 1840 the community began hosting visiting Jewish merchants there during trade fairs.
In 1866 the hospital was converted into a retirement home, where it served as such into the 1930s.
Transformation into the “Judenhaus”
Just when and how the National Socialists turned the Jewish hospital into the “Judenhaus” cannot be determined. Evidence that it was used as such can be found on a transport manifest dated 1942.
According to this, 20 Jews lived in the former hospital at Rosen Strasse 36. At the time of their deportation, another three people were living at Wollenweber Strasse 60, next to the Synagogue. This is evidence, that this location – along with the Jewish hospital – was a second “collection-point” for Frankfurt’s remaining Jewish citizens.
In the context of National Socialist rhetoric, the term “Judenhaus” was another euphemism for the forced ghettoization of the Jewish population. Those classified as Jews were forcibly removed from their apartments and homes and forced to live in these “Jewish houses” under crowded, confined conditions. After 1945, the former caretaker of the graveyard testified to the appalling living conditions in the “Judenhaus” in Frankfurt. Hunger and cold were constants in the terrible daily life of those living there. Separating them from the rest of Frankfurt’s non-Jewish population was the first step before their deportation to the ghettos and death camps.
The building that housed the former Jewish hospital was destroyed during the war and has not been rebuild.
Lea Dittbrenner, Signe Olesen, and the Editors