Businesses owned by Jews

Kaiserstrasse viewed from Barbarossaplatz, showing the Zapf store, 1930s © WVV Archives
Kaiserstrasse viewed from Barbarossaplatz, showing the Zapf store, 1930s © WVV Archives

According to the Würzburg Address Book of 1930, 20 firms in Kaiserstrasse were owned by Jews. A further business still bore the name of the Jewish owner who had died in 1928.

Before and after 1930 there were, of course, other businesses with Jewish owners as, like in any street, there was a certain fluctuation.

At least half of the businesses were founded by 1886, soon after the Kaiserstrasse was opened. In 1929/30 eleven were clothing and textile traders including shoes and leather goods, of those six were wholesalers.

Two further wholesalers dealt in wine. A large number of Jews in Würzburg were textile or wine traders. In addition there were two lawyers’ offices and three doctors’ surgeries as well as one paint and dye manufacturer, one crate maker and the art and crafts dealer Laredo. Nine of the 54 owners were women.

All of the businesses owned by Jews were seized by the Nazi regime by 1938 and the owners evicted. The six properties owned by Jews were also forcibly sold under value.

Some of the owners died in Würzburg of natural causes before 1941, four were deported with their families and murdered. Most, however, managed to flee abroad, traumatized and empty-handed.