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Jewish Culture and Trade Routes

Germany, Nürnberg
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GALLERY
The Golden Road has many people, and peoples to thank for it’s success and
Large synagogue in Pilsen.
shine, although it has shown little appreciation of some of its Jewish sponsors, such as the great intellectual Rabbi Löw of Kaiser Rudolf’s Court or the literary giants of Prague Franz Kafka, Max Brod and Franz Werfel. Nuremberg was no kinder in its treatment of Jewish citizens, for instance during the pogrom of 1298 when 627 Jews were murdered, including the famous Talmud academic Mordechai ben Hillel Aschnekenasi.

The high point of Jewish/Christian coexistence in central Europe, if not cooperation, involved the most important Hebrew Printer in Sulzbach producing literature about the Golden Road. The absolute low point of this relationship is undoubtedly the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi regime in the concentration camp one of which is in Flossenbürg.
Synagogues and the Star of David: The synagogue in Plzeň is the second largest in Europe. There is also an abundance of majestic Jewish architecture in Prague’s Josefstadt- the Jewish quarter that surrounds the modern synagogue built in early gothic style. In 1354 Kaiser Charles IV allowed the Jewish residents to hoist a flag with the Star of David upon it. In later years the residents used the star in their seals and to adorn buildings like the town hall and the synagogue, and so began in Prague a practice that quickly became a popular symbol of Judaism as far afield as Amsterdam.

Jewish daily life has taken place on a knife-edge for hundreds of years. Tradesmen and merchants have done their bit for the region, for example the mirror makers working in the Upper Palatinate enjoyed a reputation far beyond the boundaries of their province.

This Article is part of the tour "The Golden Road"
Travel
 

 

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