Vincenz Fettmilch

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Vincenz Fettmilch (died 1616) was a grocer and gingerbread baker who led the Fettmilch uprising of the guilds in 1612-1616 to get rid of foreigners (mainly Jews) in the city, whom they viewed as competition and usurers.

Fettmilch settled in Frankfurt in 1602. On August 22, 1614 he led a mob that stormed the Judengasse (Jews' Lane) and plundered the city's 1,380 Jews, forcing them to leave the city until the emperor personally intervened, and on February 28, 1616 Fettmilch and six others were executed in Frankfurt's Rossmarkt (horse market) square. On the same day (20 Adar in the Hebrew Calendar) the exiled Jews were led back into Frankfurt by imperial soldiers. Above the gates to the Judengasse a stone imperial eagle was mounted bearing an inscription reading "Protected by the Roman Imperial Majesty and the Holy Empire". The first act of the returning Jews was returning the desecrated synagogue and devastated cemetery to religious use. The anniversary of the return was celebrated as the Purim Vinz; the Purim-Kaddisch featured a merry march to commemorate the joyful return. After this, pogroms virtually ceased in Germany until the rise of the Nazis in the 20th century.

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