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The historisches museum frankfurt stands for the fruitful combination of the past with the future, something which can be clearly sensed and experienced when visiting its collections, themed special exhibitions and discourse-centered program of events. In the historic buildings of the Saalhof are brought together five permanent exhibitions: The museum of 'Collectors and Donors of Frankfurt', the 'Toll tower' of the 15th century, the times of the emperors of the Staufer dynasty, the vaste hall with huge models of the old town and the memory project 'Bibliothek der Alten'.

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Die neue Tuberkulosebehandlung, aus: Die Gartenlaube 1, Leipzig 1891 © Berliner Medizinhistorische Museen


Arsenic and new medicine


Paul Ehrlich (14 March 1854-20 August 1915) moved in 1899 with his state institute of serum testing to Frankfurt am Main, now known as the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute and located in Langen (Hesse).His studies made him one of the founding fathers of immunology earning him the Nobel Prize in 1908.

In Frankfurt, Ehrlich found supporters within the Jewish business world, as well as partners in the dyeing industry. In his laboratories he was searching intensively for a 'magic bullet' as an effective remedy which solely kills disease causing agents. He finally gained a substantial breakthrough against syphilis with the arsenic containing 'Salvarsan' in 1910. The exhibition places Ehrlich's achievements in the context of the times. The growing tar dyeing industry supplied him with all necessary reagents. Bacteria which were discovered more and more quickly formed a therapeutic goal for his research. However, as a Jew he also encountered the growing anti-Semitic tensions in the German Empire. It was only in his final year of life that Ehrlich saw his wish fulfilled when he received a full chair at the newly founded University of Frankfurt am Main.

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