The Jews of Königsberg at the turn of the 20th century

To the best of your health! The lucrative medical tourism

Health Tourism

Many Jews came from the neighbouring Lithuanian and Polish areas to receive medical treatment in the good clinics and hospitals of Königsberg. Likewise, many pregnant women come to the city in order to have their children. In many years, for example in 1906, there were more Jewish births for non-resident parents than there were for Königsberg families. There were years during which the Jewish charitable associations seemed to groan under the burden that the steady stream of health-tourists placed upon it.

Hospital Newborns

Room for newborns of the University Women’s Clinic, 1904

Map Birth Tourism

Home addresses of Jewish mothers who came to Königsberg to give birth to their babies.

University Women’s Clinic

University Women’s Clinic

Director's Cut

From the files: The effects of health tourism

The excellent level of medical care in Königsberg’s hospitals and highly specialized university clinics was used by many patients from Lithuania and Poland. However, many patients could no longer be helped. Many Jews from other places found their last resting place at the Jewish Cemetery in Königsberg, which for this reason recorded a high number of burials from outside the city. Often the community had to pay for these costs.

Lea Goldberg

100 Shekel Goldberg

Since 2017, Lea Goldberg has been honored with the image on the 100 Shekel banknote in Israel.

Lea Goldberg is an example of birth tourism. Her mother came from Kaunas in Lithuania to Königsberg in 1911 to have better conditions for giving birth. Later she became one of the leading intellectuals of the state of Israel. She was a literary scientist, poet and became particularly popular for her children’s and youth literature.

Abraham Mapu

Mapu death certificate
Abraham Mapu Königsberg

Entry from the directory of the Chewra Kadischa (Archive in Berlin). His grave was at the Tragheim cemetery. The fees for the coffin, the linen, the coachman and the horse are also given.

Abraham Mapu, who came from the Kaunas region, was a Jewish writer and a representative of the Haskalah, a school of thought that encouraged an extended study of scientific and non-Jewish sources in Judaism. He died in Königsberg in 1867.

Israel Salanter

Israel Salanter Tomb Königsberg
Israel Salanter Lipkin

His tomb at the Old Jewish cemetery in todays Kaliningrad 2019

Rabbi Israel Salanter, original Yisroel ben Ze’ev Wolf Lipkin, (b. 1809 in Zagare /Lithuania d. 1883 Koenigsberg) was a famous Talmudist. He taught long years in Kovno, where he established a place, where ethical texts were studied. That was the beginning of the Musar movement. He travelled through several European countries and supported local Jewish communities.