Frankfurt: Germany Says Sorry

I am a proud Jewish woman. During my visit to Frankfurt my cousin wanted to note that Frankfurt monuments that memorialize  the atrocities in the Holocaust.

Frankfurt has had a strong Jewish community since the 12th century, however in the 12th and 13th century there are records of large pogroms going through the Jewish ghettos. (Pogrom: organized massacre of particular ethnic group.)  However the beginning of the19th century looked bright for the Jewish community there.  Jewish scholars commanded resepct through the city and the community was the second largest in Germany.  Frankfurt even had a Jewish mayor in 1924, Ludwig Landmann.  Then the war began and the population of Jews went from of 26,158 to 160.

The names of all the Jewish victims of the Holocaust are memorialized in multiple places through the city. Outside every house that a Jew was taken out of is a little bronze brick with their name, time of birth and estimated death. Seeing these sporadically placed stones paints a vivid picture, horrific scenes of families being dragged out of their homes with only the clothes on their back and thrown into a truck by Nazis.

Frankfurt2

The Jewish Museum seemed quite large from the outside however I did not go inside. Behind the museum is a beautiful monument. It’s a small graveyard with a wall wrapping around the lush green area. The wall has all the names of Frankfurt victims of the Holocaust. People place stones, as tradition, on the markers. The visual representation of the victims is daunting. We see their names and it helps us put a face, so to speak, to the atrocities in the Holocaust.

Frankfurt1

So while Germany did commit these atrocities, I find solace in the fact they own up to the mistakes made at that time. It will never be enough but it is something meaningful.  I’m glad to see that though this atrocity was horrifying, that modern Jews in Frankfurt experience lots of respect and community support.

Frankfurt3 

There was also a monument for homosexuals killed in the holocaust but we weren’t able to visit it. If you have time it is probably a good stop and it’s in the center of town.

For more information:

http://en.juedisches-frankfurt.de/

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/frankfurt.html

4 thoughts on “Frankfurt: Germany Says Sorry

  1. Amazing post! This definitely hit home for me because I’m Jewish as well and my grandfather and his mother were survivors. You covered a very hard topic absolutely beautifully. I grew up hearing about this stuff a lot and I still learned so much from this post because you went into such detail. I especially love what you said about taking solace in the fact that Germany owns up to the tragic mistakes in its history. I’m definitely proud of the way the Jewish community discusses the holocaust without being vengeful, often emphasizing the dangers of hate. Most posts on wordpress (mine included) tend to be on the fluffier side, and while I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with fluff, this post has a level of depth that is very rare for wordpress. Great job!

    Like

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