The essay analyzes the complex events of the Frankfurt Opera House reconstruction, from 1946 to 1981, by examining it in the context of Frankfurt’s middle class, who gave this reconstruction a strong political significance, also connecting it to a process of re-appropriation of civic identity. Due to the different meanings it has assumed over time, both in a local and national context, the Frankfurt Opera House can be considered one of the most important historic buildings in Germany. A symbol of integration, it then became a figure of isolation, closely connected to the destiny of the Jewish middle class. For this reason, the debate on reconstruction had a relevant political implication, also regarding its location - relevant for urban image - and for other elements that have contributed, over time, to define strong collective values. On the one hand, the Opera House has been an unspoken witness of the history of inter-confessional middle class integration, on the other hand it was a sort of monument to the Second World War victims, above all for those who a bombed town could represent. A ruin like this, so outstanding in an urban context, long preserved in the heart of the dynamic, rich and hard-working Frankfurt, attests to the willingness of the town to develop a strong relationship with its history.
Keywords: Frankfurt, Opera House, Reconstruction, Civic identity