Welcome toThe Rothschild Archive'swebsite

Sources for business history: catalogues of bank files

Sources for art history: Catalogue of the pictures of Alfred de Rothschild 1901

Sources for yachting history: Plans for Nathaniel von Rothschild's yacht Veglia 1905

Sources for natural history: Walter 2nd Lord Rothschild and his zebra carriage: c.1910

Sources for global financial history: Map of lines of the Brazil Railway Company: c.1920

Sources for business history: index cards to bank files

Sources for social history: Rothschild Hospital Paris: 1920s

Sources for business history: detail of a Rothschild bond coupon

Sources for architectural history: Halton House: 1890s

Sources for the history of travel: Lionel de Rothschild's tours of Spain: 1909

Sources for local history: Tring Park: c.1900

Sources for Royal history: shooting party with Edward Prince of Wales: 1893

Sources for political history: Lionel de Rothschild: first Jewish MP: 1858

Sources for sporting history: St Amant winner of the Derby: 1904

Sources for local history: gardeners at Aston Clinton: 1899

Sources for Rothschild family history: Lionel de Rothschild's yacht Rhodora: 1927

Sources for London history: entrance to New Court: 1965

Sources for design history: plans for Lionel de Rothschild's Rolls-Royce: 1930

Sources for business history: Rothschild gold bars produced by the Royal Mint Refinery: 1930s

Sources for business history: letters of August Belmont Rothschild Agent in New York: 1860s

Images of the Frankfurt Judengasse

The Rothschild family trace their origins to the city of Frankfurt. It was here that Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812) laid the foundations on which his five sons and their descendants would build a Europe wide banking empire.

000/2243 and 000/2251 Images of the Frankfurt Judengasse 

early twentieth century

The Frankfurter Judengasse (from German: “Jews' Alley”) was the Jewish ghetto of Frankfurt and one of the earliest ghettos in Germany. It existed from 1462 and was home to Germany's largest Jewish community in early modern times. It was here, that confined by many restrictions, the Jewish community lived. Some time in the 16th century, one Izaak Elchanan had moved to the house zum roten Schild, where the family became to be known by the name Rothschild.

It was Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), son of a money-changer and cloth dealer, who set the family on their rise to fame and fortune. A trader, he came to the attention of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Hesse, an enthusiast for antique coins in which Mayer dealt. By careful cultivation of this relationship, Mayer Amschel was made Court Agent to the Crown Prince in 1769, and by the early 1800s he was Imperial Crown Agent to the Habsburg Emperor. In 1770, Mayer Amschel married Gutle Schnapper, daughter of another Judengasse merchant. The marriage produced ten children: five boys and five girls. Instilling into his sons the values of partnership and enterprise, Mayer Amschel encouraged them to leaves the confines of the Judengasse to establish financial businesses in London, Paris, Vienna and Naples. Within a generation, the Rothschilds were the most important bankers of the age.

The Rothschild Archive has a number of postcards dating from the early twentieth century of the buildings of the Judengassse. In November 2014, the Archive was fortunate to acquire by gift a rare copy of the Stammbuch der Frankfurter Juden, by Dr Alexander Dietz. Published in Frankfurt in 1907, this volume is a significant survey of the Frankfurt Jewish families from 1349-1849, together with a copy of a plan of the Judengasse dating from 1711.

At the end of the 19th century, most of the buildings in the Judengasse were demolished. The area suffered major destruction during the Second World War and reconstruction has left no visible signs of the ghetto in today's townscape of Frankfurt, making these documents important sources for the history of this vanished area.

 

 

 

Colour postcard of the Frankfurt Judengasse c.1910

Colour postcard of the Frankfurt Judengasse c.1910

Map of the Judengasse c.1711

Map of the Judengasse c.1711