The Klaus

Rosenwinkel 18

The Klaus

The Klaus was founded by the Court Jew Berend Lehmann (1661—1730) as a Jewish house of learning around 1700. It was to be a place where eminent Jewish scholars would be able to devote themselves to the study of the Torah “in perpetuity”. In this way, Berend Lehmann wanted to secure his legacy in the Jewish world.  

Aron Hirsch (1783 – 1842) was supposed to become a Klaus rabbi like his father Naftali Hirsch Gumprecht (1743 – 1835) before him; however, in 1806 he took over his father-in-law’s metal trading business. Within a hundred years, the concern grew to become the internationally active company “Aron Hirsch & Sohn”. The family maintained their connection to the Klaus and continued to support it. Just as Aron Hirsch, all sons of the family received an in-depth religious education at the Klaus which was considered just as important as their university studies in metallurgy.

In 1857, the old half-timbered building of the Klaus was modernized and expanded by a brick building with a prayer room on the first floor.   

In the night of the November Pogrom in 1938, the building was able to be saved from destruction. However, it was no longer allowed to fulfill its actual purpose and was used as a Judenhaus. All of the Jews who had been housed here were deported to Warsaw on April 12, 1942. None of them survived.

From 1943 to May 1945, a sub-organization of the Nazis used the property as a forced labor camp.

The Foundation Moses Mendelssohn Academy has been located in the Klaus since November 1998.

The Klaus - audio guide

Here is a short audio text about the history of the Klaus. (German)

The Klaus - audio guide

Here you have a short audio text about the history of the Klaus. (English)

Other places

Booking for a thematic and guided city tour

Our little tour has aroused your interest? You are welcome to book more information and thematically selected city tours here at the Berend Lehmann Museum: