A story that has moved mankind for decades and since then mobilized millions of people worldwide against xenophobia, anti-Semitism and the atrocities of the Nazi regime, tells the diary of the young Frankfurt-based Jewess Anne Frank. In her honor, Frankfurt has been celebrating Anne Frank Day since 2017 with a varied program of readings and guided tours, as well as podium discussions and projects demonstrating the importance of teaching in the history of the girl today. In Frankfurt's Dornbusch, you can search for traces of your childhood in Frankfurt, for example at the birthplace in Marbachweg 307, or at the former home on Ganghoferstraße 24, where commemorative plaques commemorate the Frank family. Since the summer of 2018, the Anne Frank meeting place, also in the Dornbusch, has been attracting a modern interactive learning laboratory that not only deals with the history of Anne Frank, but also wants to provide very practical food for thought for a life without racism, anti-Semitism, hatred and violence. The visit of the learning laboratory is possible after registration for groups over 13 years.
While the history of the Franks has attracted worldwide attention, however, especially in a city like Frankfurt, which housed Germany's largest Jewish community before 1933, the untold fates of all those around 30,000 Frankfurt Jews who had been forced to flee under the Nazis prevail, were tortured and murdered. They are reminiscent of more than 1,000 stumbling blocks throughout the city. The discovery of the memorial stones will be particularly exciting with the help of the book "Ten Tours" by the initiative Stolpersteine Frankfurt, which combines the life story and fate of various Jewish Frankfurters in an exciting and touching way and offers a city tour of a different kind.
Some of the regular city tours also deal with the Jewish history of the Main metropolis. To discover the history of Jewish traditions in Frankfurt's city center, between Römerberg and Dom, Saalgasse and Staufenmauer during the two-hour Frankfurt tour "Jewish Frankfurt on foot". The equally long bus tour also starts at the Römerberg, but then leads along the Friedberger Anlage and Eckenheimer Landstraße past the locations of former synagogues to the New Jewish Cemetery. The tours are bookable for groups.
The fact that the horrors of history did not prevent the Jewish life and Jewish religion from being lived today is proved by the Frankfurt Westend Synagogue, which today has about 7,000 members. Here you can experience authentic Jewish culture during services and come with parishioners in many Jewish celebrations from the festival calendar into conversation. Several guided tours also tell the story of the church. The building was built in the first decade of the 20th century and survived as the only Frankfurt synagogue the Kristallnacht. During the war, the synagogue in the Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße was severely damaged, inaugurated in 1950 after reconstruction and restored in the 1980s and 90s according to historical model.
Anyone who wants to discover the capital of Mainz and also wants to explore Jewish traditions in the most international city of Germany has plenty of opportunities. When kosher shopping in the Migdal kosher shop on the Saalburgallee near the subway station Eissporthalle / Festplatz for example, or directly delicious ready made at Sohar's restaurant in the Savignystraße in the Jewish Community Center.
And even in bright sunshine, there is the perfect place in Frankfurt to enjoy the exploration of Jewish Frankfurt: In the Rothschild Park, not far from the Alte Oper, you can simply relax and unwind among the various shades of green as well as numerous sculptures. The park was founded and named after and by the Rothschild family of Jewish bankers, which shaped Frankfurt like no other, and whose traces can still be found here in the park. The numerous banking towers all around make it clear how the influence of the family on the city to the modern age manifests itself.
Since November 1988, Frankfurt has the first independent Jewish Museum in Germany, which can cover more than 800 years of Jewish history in everyday life in Frankfurt's life with its collection. The main location of the museum in the Rothschild-Palais is currently closed due to construction, but the 1992 opened Dependance, the Museum Judengasse is used all the more actively as an area for temporary exhibitions. The focal point of the exhibition is primarily Jewish life in the center of Frankfurt over several centuries since the Middle Ages. In addition to the exhibitions in its two houses, the museum also organizes guided tours of the Großmarkthalle memorial site, which has been reminiscent of numerous Frankfurt Jews deported by the Nazis since 2015 on the grounds of the new European Central Bank in Frankfurt's Ostend.
The New Jewish Cemetery in Frankfurt-Eckenheim was opened in 1929 and, with its more than 54,000 square meters of space, still serves today as the cemetery of the Jewish community of Frankfurt, whose story he tells his visitors a bit. Its outer wall was rebuilt after the war from stones of the main synagogue and the Börneplatz synagogue, which had been destroyed during the November pogroms of 1938 by Nazis. Not accessible to the public, however, is the Old Jewish Cemetery, Germany's second oldest Jewish burial ground. Despite its closed gates in the middle of the inner city – more precisely in Battonnstraße – you can experience Frankfurt's history on its walls. They pass the northern outer wall, where memorial stones commemorate nearly 12,000 Frankfurt Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. Looking through the grates of the locked access gates, it becomes clear how the Nazis raged on the site of the tomb, destroyed tombstones are still reminiscent of hatred, exclusion and atrocities.
In the end, shortly before the end of the war, Anne Frank fell victim. The message she stands for today is very clear: Our society needs openness, acceptance, historical awareness in order to leave behind racism, hatred and resentment against everything foreign. The international population of this city makes this idea tangible day by day. Time to get an overview of Frankfurt and its people: First in the foyer of the Helaba in the Main Tower, Frankfurt's only publicly accessible skyscraper, where the wall mosaic "Frankfurter Treppe" shows 56 Frankfurt personalities, including the young Anne Frank. A few minutes later, you will be looking at the city from the rooftop bird's eye view. All people and stories take place at their feet. It's worth taking a look!