E_statisches Bild der interaktiven Figur »Changeling«
Exhibition photo of segment »Jewish Life in Rural Areas«
View of the exhibition in 2013
© Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe (Detail)

Town, Country, Court

Jewish Life in Rural Areas

Tales of peddlers and traders, of army agents and court Jews take us to the west and south of the country. In the many small principalities of what later became Germany, the Jews in the countryside mostly lived in great poverty.

As merchants and animal traders, they traveled between the towns and the countryside, so filling an economic niche. The wide dispersal led to the founding of rural Jewish communities. Piety shaped the daily lives of both Jews and Christians, who enjoyed a more neighborly existence than they had in former times in towns.

This stood in stark contrast to the luster of the court Jews, who as financiers and diplomats invariably remained dependent on the goodwill of their absolute rulers. As a small minority, they moved perpetually between two worlds: the aristocratic society of the court and Jewish community life.


Jewish Museum Berlin
Lindenstr. 9-14
10969 Berlin


Grades 7 to 13

Type of school

All types of schools

Number of participants

Max. of 15 participants


1 hour


30 euros (including admission)

Educational method



Education Department
Tel.: +49 (0)30 259 93 305
Fax: +49 (0)30 259 93 412
E-mail: groups[at]jmberlin.de

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