BONN (Aug. 7)
The first museum for the history of the Jews in Europe is to be established in Frankfurt. In response to a proposal mode by all parties represented in the City Parliament, the Frankfurt Department of Cultural Affairs is already at work on appropriate plans.
Hilmar Hoffmann, head of the Frankfurt Department of Cultural Affairs, said he anticipates the participation of well-known historians in setting up the museum, which could be housed in the Rothschild Palace on the banks of the Main River. The Diaspora Museum of Tel Aviv might serve as a model for the plan and method of work, Hoffmann said. Precisely when the project can be realized is, however, not yet certain.
The museum, he said, will primarily portray the history of the Frankfurt Jews within the context of world history through the use of documents, cultural objects, paintings, photos, and writings showing the historic significance for the city of Jewish spiritual life. Presentation of the history would also provide an opportunity for investigating the causes of the events under Nazism.
The development of Frankfurt was characterized even during the Middle Ages by the social and cultural participation of Judaism. Jews were living on the Main as early as the 12th Century, and their numbers steadily increased despite pogroms and confinement to ghettos. Some 38,000 Jews, the most well-known of whom included the Rothschilds, Paul Ehrlich, and Moritz Oppenheimer, were living in Frankfurt when the Nazi’s come to power.