¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The first reported letter of protection was dated July 23, 165822 and makes reference to a similar document of the previous year. Subsequent letters followed in 1678, 1702, 1728, 1731, and 1760.23 In contrast to the German Schutzbrief (protection letter), the Swiss variety was called Schirmbrief. None of these ever found entry into the official collection of Swiss laws (Sammlung schweizerischer Rechtsquellen). The first official laws sanctioning the Jewish presence in the county of Baden were not passed until 1785.24
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 These letters of protection were quite restrictive, but they do not seem to have been applied very strictly. Jews did not have the right to own houses; they had to rent apartments from Christian owners, yet they were not allowed to live together with Christians. This resulted in a very particular house style, whereby houses owned by Christians had separate entrances for Jewish tenants.25
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Descendants of Lengnau Jews were automatically protected, but no outside Jews were supposed to settle there. Nevertheless, by 1678 Lengnau had run out of rentable space, and the Jews were allowed to expand into Endingen. We do know from Stühlingen sources that Jews had moved from Stühlingen to Lengnau , and later to Endingen; however, it is possible that these were Stühlingen sons who married Lengnau and Endingen daughters.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Transient Jewish settlements in the seventeenth century were also reported in other villages and towns south of the Rhine, such as Diessenhofen near Gailingen, Steckborn and Mammern on the shore of Lake Constance, and Rheineck in the Rhine estuary of Lake Constance.26
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Besides moving within this tight regional network of Jewish communities and settlements, the Jews of Stühlingen also maintained regular contact with communities in the Alsace, Breisgau, and Bavarian Swabia. Not only were they linked by close family ties, but they also shared a common idiom – southwest-Yiddish. Distinct from the Yiddish of Eastern Europe, it too had its roots in the proto-Yiddish of fifteenth-century Rhineland-Palatinate but was moulded by the regional Alemannic dialect.27
22Ulrichs, “Sammlung jüdischer Geschichten”, 271.
23Ulrichs, “Sammlung jüdischer Geschichten”, 274; Haller, “Die rechtliche Stellung,” 16; Weldler-Steinberg and Guggenheim-Grünberg, “Geschichte der Juden in der Schweiz”, 31.
25Amrein, “Aargauer ‘Judendörfer,’”
26Ulrichs, “Sammlung jüdischer Geschichten”, 247, 257, 252, 258; Burmeister, “Die jüdische Landgemeinde in Rheineck.”
27Weldler-Steinberg and Guggenheim-Grünberg, “Geschichte der Juden in der Schweiz”, 32; Guggenheim-Grünberg, “Wörterbuch zu surbtaler Jiddisch”; Guggenheim-Grünberg, “Gailinger Jiddisch”; Weiss, “Das Elsässer Judendeutsch.”