Raul Hilberg, JudenThe Destruction of the European Jews, Princeton 1985
"Every city has its own deportation history, and each of those histories reveals a lot about the mechanisms of the deportations and the psychological climate in which they took place."
The "Old" Großmarkthalle
The Großmarkthalle was designed by the architect Martin Elsaesser in the mid-1920s. Architecturally, it was of the highest standard and conceived for modern trading and the smooth handling of fruit and vegetables: with practical loading ramps, generously sized cold storage cellars, railway connections with roofed tracks and its very own signal box.
A Place for Food Supplies Becomes a Place of Terror
As of 1941, the Secret State Police (Gestapo) and the NSDAP district command used the building and its facilities for the mass deportations of Jews. This particular place was chosen because it was located in the inner city and convenient, from a transportation viewpoint, situated as it was between the harbor railway and the East End railway station. Hence, the Gestapo rented the cellar area to the east as a gathering place for carrying out the deportations. The cellar ensured that the crime could not be seen by curious eyes and it offered sufficient space for hundreds of people. Women, men, and children were humiliated and physically mistreated by the staff on duty. Robbed of their last belongings, they were then forced in the direction of the tracks in front of the large hall, where the Deutsche Reichsbahn trains were waiting to transport them to ghettos and concentration camps. Close by, daily market activities continued, and the cruel procedures did not remain hidden from the people working there.
Berny C. Lane alias Werner Levi, 1998
"It was hell. Interrogations, screams and endless harassment the whole night long."
Not only Gestapo and party officials were deployed in the Großmarkthalle. "Normal" policemen, finance and railway officials as well as employees from different city departments were also involved in the deportations. The city administration and many non-Jewish citizens benefitted from the property the displaced people left behind. Others moved into the apartments and houses from which Jews had been ousted.
Views of the Memorial
For this year's "International Holocaust Remembrance Day" on January 27, we have produced a film about the memorial site at Frankfurt's Grossmarkthalle. It provides information about the deportations of the people from Frankfurt who got persecuted as Jews and explains the artistic concept of the memorial.
The cellar of the Großmarkthalle was used by the Secret State Police (Gestapo) and the NSDAP district command as a gathering place for carrying out the deportations. The cellar lies on the ground of the European Central Bank and can only be visited during guided tours.
A newly built ramp leads down to the cellar of the Großmarkthalle. It lies on the ground of the European Central Bank and can only be visited during guided tours.
View of the former Großmarkthalle, which is today part of the European Central Bank, with the new building of the ECB in the background.
Engraved into the ground of the memorial, visitors find quotes from victims and eyewitnesses of the deportations.
The Grossmarkthalle once had its own railway system. This structure belonged to the switch tower and is today integrated into the memorial architecture.
Quotations from Witnesses of the Crime
The design of the memorial site by the architects’ office KatzKaiser uses quotations from the persecuted Jews and observers of the deportations. These quotations, inscribed in the ground and on the wall, are in chronological order. Indirect events and emotions are also addressed: suicides related to the deportations, reactions among the city’s population, and reflections of the crimes in Frankfurt.
Ilse Kahane, née Wetterhahn, around 2004
"In 1942, I was deported. I was one of the last Jews leaving my city. We were first gathered in a big hall and then put on freight trains and sent to Berlin, where another 1,000 Jews were added to our transport, all in all 1,250 Jews. Ultimately, I am one of the final 25 survivors of this transport. After four days with hardly any food, we arrived in Estonia."
Guided Tours of the Site
As part of the memorial site is in the area of today’s European Central Bank, this section can only be visited in the framework of a guided tour. It includes the cellar that served as a gathering point for the deportations. The area east of the former Großmarkthalle is open to the public. Both sections have a route guide with testimonies to how the deportations proceeded: from rumors and the actual notification of those affected to imminent deportation and the forced transportation to the ghettos and camps aboard Deutsche Reichsbahn trains.
Tours are currently only taking place on the grounds of the memorial. Until April 20, 2020, the ECB has canceled all visits to its premises that are not absolutely necessary due to the current COVID-19 situation. It is therefore currently not possible to visit the cellar, which served as a collection point for the deportations.
The main sections of the memorial (ramp, signal box, tracks, quotes embedded in the ground) are still accessible.
Public Guided Tours
You can register for our public guided tours which are held in German. Dates 2022:
February, 4th, 4pm (booked up)
February, 18th, 4pm
March, 2nd, 4 pm
March, 18th, 4pm
April, 1st, 6pm
April, 22th, 6pm
May, 4th, 6pm
June, 10th, 6pm
Please note that all participants are required to submit a valid ID or passport when entering the grounds of the ECB and will not be admitted otherwise. Please be advised that you are not permitted to bring luggage. Only handbags and backpacks are allowed.
Guided Tours for Groups and Class Workshops
Visitors can book individual guided tours for groups of up to 20 people. They last around one hour and cost 60 Euros. They are available in German, English, French, Italian and Modern Hebrew.
Workshops for classes last around three hours and include an introduction, a tour through the memorial, and a final workshop. Cost: 100 Euros.
Opened today: 00:00 – 23:59
The public section of the memorial is permanently accessible free of charge.
- The public section of the memorial is acsessible free of charge.0€
The public section of the memorial as well as the closed section are barrier-free.#
60314 Frankfurt am Main
Tram 11, Bus 32, U6 (RMV station Battonnstrasse)