300 Years of Jewish Activity in Wiesbaden’s Spas and Health-Cures (1635 – 1935)

Wiesbaden has been known as a international spa centersince the middle of the 19th century. Much less well-known, however, is that there were already Jewish-owned spas in 1635, which were in 1781 forced by decree to accommodate, at no cost, Jews who were sick or without means. As restrictions on Jews lessened, and they became more integrated into non-Jewish society, Jewish representatives of the Spa Administration contributed significantly to Wiesbaden’s development into a “World-Spa-Center”. In 1851, for example, Samuel Löwenherz founded a cold-water bath center in Nerotal/Wiesbaden, which became known as one of the largest cure centers in the entire Rhein-Main region.

When the World-Spa-Center of Wiesbaden was at its prime, the number of Jewish spa guests, who arrived not only from Germany, also grew. Great numbers of East-European Jews, in particular, preferred the Wiesbaden spas, as well as those of Bad Ems and Bad Nauheim. Research into the development of Jewish spa life and its influence on the spa and health-cure industry in Wiesbaden has been long neglected. This gap will be filled by studies, which will also be able to investigate the relationship between Christian and Jewish spa life.

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