The Teaching Against the Jews

by Gerald Darring

Throughout most of their history, Christians have believed that it was no longer meaningful to be a Jew,[1] and both the law and the covenant are now obsolete.[2] They concluded from what they read in the New Testament that they would replace the Jews as God’s people, a message which they felt was clearly presented in the teachings of Paul.[3] The only hope that the New Testament seemed to hold out for the Jewish people was for them to accept the Christian faith,[4] because Christians are the true believers and the true descendants of Abraham.[5]

The early Christians developed their theology of Judaism and the Jews based on their understanding of their scriptures and their reading of the Jewish scriptures. Already in the second century the Letter of Barnabas was asserting that the Jews had lost their covenant and that the covenant with God now belonged to the Christians. St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Magnesians that “Christianity did not believe in Judaism, but Judaism in Christianity.” St. Justin wrote in his Dialogue with Tryfo the Jew that the hardships imposed on the Jews by the Romans in excluding them from Jerusalem and the land of Israel “were justly imposed upon you, for you have murdered the just one.” In his dialogue, Justin defends the scriptures in terms of its witness to Christ’s divinity and he contrasts this with the Jewish conception of the permanent obligation of the law. Justin’s reading of scripture was typological, so that, for example, the Prophets were understood to represent types of Christ.

Tertullian vilified the Jews in nearly all of his works, and theological antisemitism seemed to define for him what it meant to be a Christian. He accused the Jews of a variety of sins, the principal one being that they murdered Jesus Christ. Jews provided the principal inspiration to heretics, and indeed, Tertullian viewed deviations from orthodox Christianity as essentially Jewish in spirit. He looked forward to witnessing the severe punishment which Christ would inflict on the Jews.

St. Jerome identified all Jews with Judas and with the immoral use of money. Jerome asked his parishioners to forgive the Jews, but only after telling them that “the ceremonies of the Jews are harmful and deadly to Christians, and whoever keeps them, whether Jew or Gentile, is doomed to the abyss of the Devil.”

By the third century, the great Father of the Church, St. Cyprian, in the first of his Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews, had codified the biblical material into a set of theological propositions. The Jews, Cyprian wrote, have fallen under the heavy wrath of God, because they have departed from the Lord, followed idols, and did not believe the prophets but rather put them to death. Their own scriptures foretold that they would neither know the Lord, nor understand nor receive Him, and that the Jews would not understand their own scriptures. Their scriptures foretold that the Jews would lose Jerusalem, and leave the land which they had received; that their circumcision of the flesh would be made void, and their law, which was given by Moses, was about to cease. A new covenant would be given, replacing the old one, and along with it would come a new baptism, a new yoke, new pastors, and a new house of God, Christ, replacing the temple. The old priesthood would cease, and a new priest would come to last forever. The new people of God, the Church, would grow larger than the old people had ever been, and because the Gentiles believe in Christ, they will receive the bread and the cup of Christ, and all His grace; and they will attain to the kingdom of heaven, while the Jews will lose everything. The only way for the Jews to obtain pardon of their sins is if they accept baptism, pass over into the Church, and obey Christ’s precepts.

During these first three centuries, the ancient Jewish scriptures and the Jewish patriarchs were used by the early Christians to provide the new church with the prestige of a long history. Christian writers presented the Jews as hateful in order to keep the faithful from being attracted to Judaism, and they felt that they were helping Christian self-identity through the development of a powerful and pervasive anti-Jewish theology. They tended to scapegoat the Jews, presenting them as the villains who explained the plagues, wars, and revolutions of history after the arrival of the Messiah and the coming of the kingdom of God.

The Fathers developed their theology of Judaism under the pressure of contemporary circumstances. They needed the ancient Jewish scriptures and traditions in order to make a convincing argument in winning over pagans to Christianity, and so their writings aimed at non-Christians tended to include a more positive image of the Jews. But they feared the attraction of Judaism among Christians and so their writings aimed at Christians presented a much more negative image of the Jews. Overall it is clear that the breaking off of contact between Judaism and Christianity resulted in greater hatred aimed at the Jews. Once the Christians despaired of converting the Jews, they lost interest in any self restraint.

“Because of this, the real, flesh-and-blood image of the Jew was lost, and replaced by an abstract, one-dimensional, and Satanic figure, delineated in a mosaic of derogatory verses and statements from the Jewish Bible and the New Testament. At the root of the matter lies, then, not the actual condition or behavior of the Jews, but rather the image of the Jews required for the purposes of Christian theology. The theologians created this image according to the New Testament, on the one hand, and the allegorical interpretation of biblical heroes personifying the wicked and sinful Israel who persecutes the true and good Israel, that is, Christianity, on the other. In this way, expositional exercises and unbridled, hate-filled denunciations, written and expressed in response to contemporary conditions, established a long-enduring attitude toward the Jews.”[6]

John Chrysostom was the harshest of the Fathers in his treatment of Jews. He associated all Jewish sins of past and present with the Jews of the contemporary generation. The Jews were the ultimate evil and therefore they “are fit for killing. And this is what happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit for slaughter.” (John Chrysostom, Orations against the Jews, 1:1). “It was not by their own power that the Caesars did what they did to you: it was done by the wrath of God, and His absolute rejection of you” (Sermon VI:3).  In their synagogues they drive out the cross, they blaspheme God, they ignore the Father, they outrage the Son, and they reject the grace of the Spirit.

Chrysostom’s anti-Jewish homilies remained enormously influential down to our own time, setting the tone for much of the popular attitude towards Jews. But the major theological influence on Church practice was exerted by St. Augustine. Augustine preached love of the Jews in the sense that Christians should show their love by convincing the Jews to leave their Judaism and convert to Christianity. He helped develop the idea that “there is no salvation outside the church,” and he made the Jews a special subset of those damned to hell. His special contribution was the development of the theology of the Jews as “witness people,” the idea that the Jews are to exist as suffering Cains in collective punishment for their deicide until their conversion to Christ. The effect of this theology was, on the one hand, to legitimate the enslavement of Jews, and on the other hand, to protect Jewish people from mass murder.

Augustine’s “witness-people” theology was stated clearly by St. Bernard of Clairvaux: “The Jews are not to be persecuted: they are not to be slaughtered: they are not even to be driven out. Examine the divine writings concerning them. We read in the psalm a new kind of prophecy concerning the Jews: God has shown me, says the Church, on the subject of my enemies, not to slay them in case they should ever forget my people. Alive, however, they are eminent reminders for us of the Lord’s suffering. On this account they are scattered through all lands in order that they may be witnesses to Our redemption while they pay the just penalties for so great a crime.”

The teachings of the Fathers became codified in the secular laws of the late Roman empire. The Christian Roman emperors established a Jewish Policy based on discrimination, making Jews less deserving of protection under the law than Christians. This can be seen in the fifth century Theodosian code, a compilation of all the laws regarding Jews that were in force at the time. It included, for example, a 329 law which made it a criminal offense to become a Jew or to prevent a Jew from converting to Christianity or to encourage Christians to convert to Judaism. Two laws of 383-384 punished conversion to Judaism by exile, expropriation, or death, and a 388 law provided the same punishment for marriage between Christians and Jews. A 418 law stipulated that for a Jew to serve in the military, he had to first be baptized a Christian. The sixth century Justinian code also contained laws concerning the Jews which were religious in motivation. It included laws which classified Jews as heretics, punished Jewish marriages as abominable, and forbade the construction of synagogues. The code implied that the whole Talmud and Midrash should be forbidden to the Jews, and it decreed harsh punishment for Jews who denied the resurrection or the last judgment.

The adversus judaeos tradition found expression in liturgical prayer. The most notorious was the Good Friday prayer for Jews, referring to them as perfidious and unfaithful, blind and in darkness. The faithful were instructed not to genuflect when praying for the Jews, for they had mocked Jesus by genuflecting before him. In another part of the Good Friday liturgy called the Reproaches, a devastatingly anti-Jewish passage pictured Christ crucified, hanging upon the cross, and castigating the Jewish people for their ingratitude for all that he had done for them throughout their history.

Medieval writers had their own things to say about Judaism and the Jews, but they added nothing new to the fundamental theology of Judaism established by St. Augustine. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that the Jews sin more in their unbelief than do pagans because they have abandoned the way of justice “after knowing it in some way.” Peter the Venerable of Cluny wrote: “Really I doubt whether a Jew can be human for he will neither yield to human reasoning, nor find satisfaction in authoritative utterances, both divine and Jewish.” Other saints of the Catholic Church preached or wrote against the Jews, including Bernard of Clairvaux, John Capistrano, Isidore of Seville, and Vincent Ferrer, but their writings added nothing new. The fact is that the first fundamental change in Christian theology regarding Jews and Judaism came in 1965 with the rejection by the Second Vatican Council of the notion that the Jews were, and continue to be, responsible for the death of Christ. In other words, by the end of the Patristic period, the basic theology was in place that would guide the treatment of Jews down to our own time.

This kind of teaching was bound to have catastrophic effects in practice, for it was unreasonable to expect Christians to ignore the Jews living among them. Something had to be done about them, and the Christian response to their anti-Jewish teaching was to make life miserable for Jews. Jews living in the world of Christendom often had to endure verbal, psychological and physical abuse.

Verbal Abuse

Many Christians believed that the Jews “suffered more than others ... because they were very ignoble people; and although they committed many sins they did not suffer for them any comparable calamities to those caused by what they had dared to do against our Jesus” (Origen of Alexandria). These Christians believed that “the Jews have fallen under the heavy wrath of God, because they have departed from the Lord, and have followed idols” (St. Cyprian). Christian leaders were teaching that the Jews were “murderers of the Lord, assassins of the prophets, rebels against God, God haters, advocates of the devil, race of vipers, slanderers, calumniators, dark-minded people, leaven of the Pharisees, sanhedrin of demons, sinners, wicked men, stoners, and haters of righteousness.” (St. Gregory of Nyssa). They were comparing the synagogue to a harlot, and that God cast off the synagogue “because she was wanton between the legs” (Ephrem the Syrian), “a place of unbelief, a home of impiety, a refuge of insanity, damned by God Himself” (St. Ambrose). The synagogue was “brothel and theater” and “a cave of pirates and the lair of wild beasts,” for “the Jews behave no better than hogs and goats in their lewd grossness and the excesses of their gluttony” (St. John Chrysostom). Christians were taught that God “has utterly abandoned” Jews because they “are in a state of dishonor and disgrace.... We must hate the Jews and their synagogue” (St. John Chrysostom). St. Agobard said in so many words that he hated Jews, and wrote treatises entitled “On the Insolence of the Jews,” “On the Superstitions of the Jews,” and “On the Necessity of Avoiding Association with Jews.” Even some popes weighed in, such as the thirteenth-century Pope Innocent III, who said that the Jews “on being admitted to our acquaintance in a spirit of mercy, repay us, the popular proverb says, as the mouse in the wallet, the snake in the lap and fire in the bosom usually repay their host,” and the twentieth-century Pope Benedict XV, who said that “the Jewish race is permeated with a revolutionary and rebellious spirit.” These things were not taught at all times and in all places, but they were taught frequently enough to catch the imagination of the ordinary Christian.

The results were devastating. Jews living at the time of the Black Death in 1348-1350 were accused of poisoning the wells in order to kill Christians, and Jews living in Israel at the time of its rebirth would have the same accusation hurled at them: the semi-official Vatican newspaper, Civilta Cattolica, reported on June 19, 1948, that “the Zionists have poisoned the municipal wells at Gaza and spread typhoid and diarrhea by putting germs in feeding troughs.”

Jews were often accused of blood libel, the idea that Jews kill Christian children so they can draw their blood for use in their Passover rituals. After a blood libel in Trnava, Slovakia, in 1494, the citizens declared that the Jews needed blood because it would help heal the wound of circumcision, it would help love-making, it would help cure menstruation in women (and Jewish men, who also menstruate), and Jews have “an ancient but secret ordinance by which they are under obligation to shed Christian blood in honor of God.” There were 11 recorded incidents of blood libel in the 12th century, 17 incidents in the 13th century, 12 in the 14th century, 20 in the 15th century, 15 in the 16th century, 11 in the 17th century, 12 in the 18th century, 24 in the 19th century, and seven in the 20th century.

Jews were also accused of desecrating sacred Hosts. The first recorded case of alleged Host desecration was in 1243 near Berlin, and the accusations continued even into the 19th century. An alleged Host desecration could lead to dire consequences for Jews: a case in Brussels in 1370 led to the extermination of Belgian Jewry; a case in Deggendorf in Bavaria in 1337-38 resulted in a series of massacres throughout the region; another in 1510 in Knoblauch near Berlin resulted in 38 executions and the expulsion of Jews from Brandenburg. The alleged Host desecration at Segovia in 1415 was thought to cause an earthquake, and as a result the synagogue was confiscated and the leading Jews were executed. In Paris around 1295, some Jews were accused of torturing a consecrated wafer, and a chapel was built on the spot.

Other accusations were hurled against the Jews. Jews living in Trier in 1066 were accused of using black magic to cause the death of the archbishop. Jews living in London in 1244 were accused of ritual murder when it was alleged that some gashes found on the body of a dead child constituted Hebrew characters. Jews living in Leszno, Poland in 1709 were accused of bringing a plague into town. According to Pope Innocent III, writing in 1205, the Jews of Europe were guilty of usury, blasphemy, arrogance, employing Christian slaves, and murder. Another pope, St. Pius V, accused Jews in 1569 of many evils, including the practice of magic.

Psychological Abuse

Jews were often subjected to various forms of psychological abuse: isolation from the surrounding society, restriction of activities, denigration of their religion, and forced expulsions. Christians often made it clear to Jews that they were not wanted in society.

The Church for many centuries had an official policy of separating Jews from Christians. As the council of Wroclaw expressed it in 1267, Christians might be “misled by the superstitions and evil habits of the Jews that live among them.” The Council of Elvira decreed in 304 that Christians could not eat with Jews, marry them, use them to bless their fields, or observe the Jewish Sabbath. These prohibitions were repeated in a number of 5th and 6th century synods. Subsequent synods and councils went on to curtail contact with Jews, at different times forbidding the clergy to engage in conversation and fellowship with Jews, forbidding Jews from showing themselves in the streets during Passover Week, ordering Christians not to live in Jewish homes, and forbidding Jews to employ Christian servants.

The isolation of Jews took on a more visible form in the 13th century when the Fourth Lateran Council decreed that Jews were to wear distinctive clothing. This became institutionalized into the Jewish badge, which was decreed by some forty councils during the 13th and 14th centuries. In 1435 King Alfonso of Sicily ordered Jews to attach a round patch to their clothing and over their shops.

As a further step in the isolation of Jews, they were often, though not always, forced to live apart from Christians. Jews were forced to live in a ghetto by the Synod of Breslau in 1267, or forbidden to live in the countryside in France in 1283. Jews living in Venice were confined to a ghetto in 1516. Pope Paul IV restricted Jews living in the Papal States to a ghetto and decreed that Jews were to wear distinctive headgear. Other popes joined in enforcing the policy of Jewish isolation: Pope Callistus III banned all social communication between Jews and Christians; Pope Benedict XIV encouraged clergy and laity to refrain from dealings with Jews so that “neither your property nor your privileges are hired to Jews; furthermore you do no business with them and you neither lend them money nor borrow from them. Thus, you will be free from and unaffected by all dealings with them”; Pope Leo XII decreed that Jews were to be confined to a ghetto and their property was to be confiscated.

Jews were restricted not only in where they could live but also in what they could do. Under the Emperor Constantine Jews could not own Christian slaves, and under the Emperor Theodosius II they could not practice law or enter state employment. The 6th century Council of Narbonne ordered Jews not to recite prayers aloud, even in funeral processions, and the Third Synod of Toledo decreed that Jews could not be appointed to positions of authority and they were not permitted to circumcise their slaves. In 1555 Pope Paul IV prohibited Jews from engaging in any commercial activity except the sale of rags.

All over Europe, Jews were frequently forced to limit their activities. In the Castile region of Spain, for example, after a series of anti-Jewish sermons by St. Vincent Ferrer, Jews were ordered to inhabit separate quarters and grow their hair and beards so as to be distinguishable from Christians, and Jews could not farm, fill public office, or lend on interest. All professions were closed to Jews, and Jewish physicians could not treat Christians. A 1738 Venetian law required Jews to wear red or yellow hats, remain in their ghetto between midnight and sunrise as well as on Thursday and Friday of Holy Week, close their shops on Christian holidays, and refrain from employing Christians.

During the 13th century in Gerona Italy, the priests of the local cathedral chapter would throw stones on the Jewish part of town from the cathedral tower at Easter. During the 17th century in Grodno, the activities of some Jesuits resulted in frequent calumnies against Jews, the kidnapping of Jewish children for forced conversion, and heavy debts incurred in defending and ransoming the victims. Throughout the second millennium of Christianity, Jews were often required to wear distinguishing garments or insignia, and they were told where and how they could do business, where they could live and how many houses they could build, and whether or not they could build synagogues. Jews were taxed for everything imaginable, and they were often taxed into destitution. Mistreatment of Jews took many forms. Jews living in Bologna in 1569, for example, were forced to leave after first paying an enormous fine. Their cemetery was given to the nuns of San Pietro, who completely destroyed it so they could use the ground.

Jews had to endure the bishop of Brescia encouraging the populace of Rome to set fire to a synagogue in 388; the Emperor Theodosius II prohibiting the construction of new synagogues; the Christian population of Ravenna being incited by the clergy to burn down the synagogue in 519, and again in 1491 after anti-Jewish preaching by Franciscans; the 17th Synod of Toledo reducing to slavery all persons practicing Judaism: their children were to be taken away to be brought up by Christians and to be married off to Christians; the prohibitions against having more than one synagogue in a town by the 13th and 14th century councils of Oxford, Chichester, Breslau, Vienna, Zamora, and Prague; Pope Benedict XII ordering the destruction of a synagogue in Posen in 1335 because it had been erected too close to a Cistercian chapel; the destruction of a synagogue in Rovigo, Italy, in 1629 because it was situated in the vicinity of a church; King Henry III confiscating the principal synagogue of London in 1232 because the chanting could be heard in a neighboring church; the bishop of London ordering the closing of all synagogues in his diocese fifty years later; the destruction of the synagogues of Hallein and Salzburg in 1498 as a result of an accusation that Jews had stolen a sacred church object; the confiscation, after the Black Death, of the synagogue in Selestat, France, which was turned into an indoor market; from the middle of the 16th century it was used as an arsenal.

As part of the official policy of attacking Judaism, the Church made a concerted effort to discredit and outlaw the Talmud. Pope Gregory IX wrote to the kings and prelates of France and Spain in 1239, ordering them to seize and examine the Talmud and all other Jewish books suspected of blasphemies against Jesus and Christianity. The confiscation of Jewish sacred books in France took place on the first Saturday of Lent in 1240, while Jews were gathered in synagogue. Two years later the Talmud was condemned, and 24 wagon loads of books were handed to the public executioner for public burning. Several popes urged the burning of the Talmud, which was condemned by popes Innocent IV, Alexander IV, John XXII, and Alexander V. Pope Eugenius IV prohibited Jews from studying the Talmud. In 1553 Pope Julius III declared the Talmud blasphemous and ordered all copies to be burned: on September 9, the Jewish New Year, a huge pyre was set up in the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome of Hebrew books seized from Jewish homes. Copies of the Talmud and other Hebrew books were also burned in Bologna. The first Index of Forbidden Books, published in 1559, contained the Talmud, and that same year the Inquisition in Lodi, a town in the duchy of Milan, ordered copies of the Talmud to be burned. Burnings of the Talmud took place in cities all over the Papal States, and in Venice over a thousand complete copies of the Talmud were burned. Another thousand copies of the Talmud were thrown into a pit at Kamenets, Poland, and burned by the hangman. Possession and study of the Talmud remained prohibited in the Papal States down to the 19th century.

Contempt for Judaism could be shown in a variety of ways. For example, in Lublin around the 17th century, the execution of Jews, usually for blood libel, was carried out on Saturday, the Sabbath, in front of the Maharshal Shul synagogue and in the presence of the elders of the Jewish community. Throughout the Middle Ages, attacks on Jews became attacks on their religion. In 1270-1294 a blood libel, raised against the Jews of Trani, developed into a violent campaign to convert all the Jews in southern Italy; about half of the Jews were forced to abjure their faith, and many synagogues were converted into churches.

The low esteem in which the Jewish religion was held in the heyday of Christendom was given artistic expression in the twin figures of ecclesia and synagoga, embodying the victory of Christianity over the fallen religion of the Jews. So strong was this Christian view of a worthless Judaism that it became a common practice between the 13th and 19th centuries to force Jews to listen to sermons aimed at converting them to Christianity. In 1584, for example, Pope Gregory XIII ordered the Jews of Rome to send 100 men and 50 women every Saturday afternoon to listen to conversionist sermons which were delivered in a church near the ghetto.

The isolation of Jews eventually led to the possibility of their being forced to leave. St. Cyril of Alexandria expelled Jews from his city in 414. Jews were expelled from Verona in the 10th century as a consequence of incitement by the bishop Ratherius. Around 937 Pope Leo VII encouraged his newly appointed archbishop of Mainz to expel all Jews who refused to be baptized; an expulsion took place in 1012. Jews were expelled from France in 1182 , all their property was confiscated, and Christians’ debts to them were canceled. Jews living in Bingen were driven from the city on the Jewish New Year’s Day of 1198 or 1199. Jews were constantly being expelled from towns and regions in the 13th and subsequent centuries.[7] Some of these expulsions lasted only a few years, but others were successful in keeping Jews out for centuries.[8] Partly as a result of Jews being constantly forced to move around, Christians developed the legend of the Wandering Jew, a figure who was supposed to have been condemned to wander by Jesus until his second coming for having rebuffed or struck him on his way to the crucifixion. Chroniclers report encounters with the Wandering Jew by pilgrims in the monastery of Ferrara in 1223, by an Armenian bishop in 1228, by the bishop of Schleswig in 1542, and by various Christians in Lubeck in 1603, Paris in 1604, Brussels in 1640, Leipzig in 1642, Munich in 1721, and London in 1818. Throughout the Alps his appearance presaged some calamity, and in France his passing was connected with storm, epidemics, or famine.

Physical Abuse and Death

The result of all this verbal abuse and the centuries of psychological abuse led inevitably to physical abuse and death, and from the eleventh century on, untold thousands of Jews were killed throughout Christian Europe. To give just a few examples: 37 Jewish men, women, and children living in Blois in 1171 were burned at the stake following an accusation that they were plotting to sacrifice a Christian; Jews living in Frankfurt am Main in 1241 had their homes demolished by the populace and about 150 Jews were massacred;  about 300 Jews living in Überlingen in 1332 were burned to death in the synagogue after an accusation that they had killed a Christian child; in Vienna a terrible persecution of Jews took place in 1420 as the result of a Host desecration libel, and approximately 1,500 Jews lost their lives, with the poor put into boats without oars on the Danube at the mercy of the river, the children separated from their parents and sent to monasteries to be baptized, some committing suicide, and the final 120 women and 92 men burnt at the stake.[9]

Some popes, bishops, and preachers endeavored to offer some protection to the Jews. Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) afforded Jews protection in Rome and other cities, and elsewhere against attacks by local bishops, insisting that the goal of converting Jews should not be pursued through violence. Pope Calixtus II (1119-1124) afforded Jews protection from assaults against their person, property, or religious practices, and from conversionist pressures. His decree was confirmed repeatedly by succeeding popes. Pope Gregory X (1271-76) condemned the blood libel, declaring that it was an invention propagated to extort money from Jews. During the Black Death crisis of 1348-50, Pope Clement VI defended Jews against the charges that they had poisoned the wells. Pope Martin V (1417-1431) issued two bulls of protection and endeavored to control the anti-Jewish preachings of the Franciscans. The very fact that the leaders of the Church had to keep reminding Christians not to deal too harshly with Jews was an indication that the harsh treatment was ongoing.


[1] Matt 3:9; Gal 5:6

[2] Gal 2:21; 3:24-25; Rom 7:6; Heb 8:7-13

[3] Acts 13:45-46; 18:5-6; Rom 11:12

[4] Rom 11:23; Acts:3:19

[5] Rom 2:25-29; Gal 3:29

[6] David Rokeah, "The Church Fathers and the Jews in Writings Designed for Internal and External Use," in Shmuel Almog, ed., Antisemitism through the Ages, New York: Pergamon Press, 1988, pp. 64-65.

[7] Lombardy 1225, Nantes 1240, Lyons 1250, Vienne 1253, Gascony 1289, Anjou 1289, England 1290, southern Italy 1290, Berne 1294, Narbonne 1306, Nîmes 1306, Aschaffenburg 1348, many parts of Germany 1350, Hungary 1376, Strasbourg 1381, Luxembourg 1391, Berne 1392, France 1394, Basle 1397, Mainz 1420, Austria 1421, Freiburg 1424, Zurich 1424, Jihlava 1426, Moravia 1426, Cologne 1426, Berne 1427, Fribourg 1428, Dresden 1430, Meissen 1430, Torgau 1432, Zurich 1436, Mainz 1438, Düsseldorf 1438, Augsburg 1439, Graz 1439, Utrecht 1450, Würzburg 1453, Brno 1454, Breslau 1454, Liegnitz 1454, Schweidnitz 1454, Croatia 1456, Slavonia 1456, Hildesheim 1457, Erfurt 1458, Mainz 1462, Arnstadt 1466, Bavaria 1470, Mainz 1471, Tübingen 1477, Bamberg 1478, Passau 1478, Andalusia 1483, Warsaw 1485, Perugia 1485, Vicenza 1486, Albarracin 1486, Verona 1490, Eslingen 1490, Heilbronn 1490, Geneva 1490, Mecklenburg 1492, Olesnica 1492, Spain 1492, Pomerania 1492-93, Halle 1493, Magdeburg 1493, Perpignan 1493, Aschersleben 1494, Reutlingen 1495, Lithuania 1495, Cracow 1495, Wiener Neustadt 1496, Maribor 1496, Carinthia 1496, Styria 1496, Portugal 1497, Wurttemburg 1498, Würzburg 1498, Nuremberg 1498, Salzburg 1498, Ulm 1499, the island of Rhodes 1499, Provence 1501, Pilsen 1504, Bingen 1507, Nordlingen 1507, Alcase 1510, Spandau 1510, Cottbus 1510, Villingen 1510, the Kingdom of Naples 1510, Merseburg 1514, the royal cities of Moravia 1514, Ljubljana 1515, Lowicz 1516, Regensburg 1519, Rottenburg 1520, Zagreb 1526, Sopron 1526, Ribeauville 1530, Saxony 1537, Litomerice 1541, Zwickau 1541, Plauen 1542, Prague 1543, Mühlhausen 1543, Genoa 1550, Stadtamhof 1551, Schweinfurt 1553, Lomza 1556, Ansbach 1561, Würzburg 1565, the Papal States 1566-67, Ravenna 1569, Berlin 1571, Eisenstadt 1572, Piotrkow 1590, Göttingen 1591, the duchy of Milan 1597, Wetzlar 1598, Baden 1614, Worms 1615, Hamburg 1649, Giessen 1662, Vienna 1670, Fulda 1677, Pecs 1692, Groningen 1710, Sandomierz 1712, Russia 1742, Prague 1744, Hodonin 1774, Friuli 1779, Wuppertal 1794, Šabac 1873, Smerderevo 1873, Pozarevac 1873.

[8] The expulsion of Jews from England in 1290 removed Jews from that country until after 1650, and Jews were kept out of France from 1394 to 1789. In Münster, where Jews were expelled in 1350, they were not allowed back into the city as residents until 1810. Jews were expelled from Nuremberg in 1498 and were not allowed to return until 1850. The law excluding Jews from the Kingdom of Naples went into effect in 1541 and remained in effect for three centuries. Jews were expelled from the royal cities of Moravia in 1514 and were not allowed back in until after 1848. After expelling Jews in 1349, St. Gall, Switzerland, did not allow Jews to return until the 19th century, and there were no Jews in Geneva for 300 years.

[9] Other examples, mostly from after the tenth century: — 413. A group of monks swept through Palestine, destroying synagogues and massacring Jews at the Western Wall. — 1010-1020. In Rouen, Orléans, Limoges, Mainz, and probably also in Rome, Jews were converted by force, massacred, or expelled. — 1020. Pope Benedict VIII ordered the execution of a number of Roman Jews on a charge that they had mocked the cross and thereby caused an earthquake which killed many Christians. — 1096. Massacres of Jews took place in the First Crusade, destroying entire Jewish communities in Mainz, Speyer, Worms, Cologne and other cities. More than 5,000 Jews were killed. The Jewish chronicler reported: “The enemies stripped them naked and dragged them off, granting quarter to none, save those few who accepted baptism. The number of the slain was eight hundred in these two days.” The chronicler Guibert de Nogent reported that the Rouen Crusaders said: “We desire to go and fight God’s enemies in the East; but we have before our eyes certain Jews, a race more inimical to God than any other.” — 1099. The Crusaders entered Jerusalem and massacred all the Jews that were not sold into slavery. — 1146. Recruiting for the Second Crusade, the monk Rudolph declared: “Let us first avenge the crime of the crucifixion on the enemies amongst us and then wage war on the Muslims.” Twenty Jews were killed in Wurzburg, 150 in Bohemia, and there were Jewish victims in Elul, Cologne, Worms, Mainz, Halle and Carinthia. — 1179. Following a blood libel in Boppard, 13 Jews were murdered.— 1189. Anti-Jewish riots broke out at the coronation of King Henry I, and when the Jewish quarter in London was set afire, 30 Jews were killed. — 1190. Crusaders in England massacred most of the Jews living in the towns of Lynn, Norwich, and Stamford. In York 150 Jews chose suicide rather than submit to baptism. In Bury St. Edmunds 57 Jews were put to death. — 1190. In Bray-sur-Seine, France, after a Christian was executed for murdering a Jew, a rumor spread that the Jews had taken revenge by crucifying the murderer. The king sent an armed force to the town, and the entire Jewish community was burned at the stake. — 1196. Crusaders massacred eight Jews in Boppard and 16 Jews in Vienna. — 1218. In Neustadt, 71 Jews were massacred. — 1221. Riots broke out in Erfurt, Germany: the synagogue was burned down and a number of Jews were murdered. — 1235. Thirty-four Jews were burned to death in Fulda on a blood-libel charge. In Tauberbischofsheim, 8 Jews, accused of murdering a Christian, were tortured and executed. — 1247. Following a blood libel in Valreas, France, 10 Jews were burned at the stake, and a number of other Jews were quartered or burnt alive; men were castrated, and women were mutilated by the ablation of their breasts. — 1267. The discovery of the corpse of a drowned girl gave rise to a blood libel against the Jews living in Pforzheim, and their communal leaders were all killed. — 1283. In Bacharach, 26 Jews were massacred as the result of a blood libel. — 1285. A blood libel in Munich resulted in 180 Jews being burned alive in their synagogue. — 1287. Forty Jews were massacred in Boppard and Oberwesel. — 1288. A mass burning of 13 Jews took place in Troyes following a blood libel. In Bonn 104 Jews were killed. — 1294. A blood libel in Berne resulted in some Jews being executed and the remainder expelled. — 1298. The entire Jewish community of Röttingen, charged with profaning the Host, was burnt at the stake. A German knight named Rindfleisch instigated massacres in 146 localities in southern and central Germany, including 55 Jews killed in Mosbach, 728 in Nuremberg, 16 in Mergentheim, 143 in Heilbronn, 135 in Bamberg, 900 in Würzburg. — 1303. In Weissensee 126 Jews were massacred. — 1309. All the Jews in Louvain who refused baptism were massacred. — 1320. The “Shepherds’ Crusade.” Some 120 Jewish communities south of the River Loire were destroyed. In Verdun 500 Jews were killed, and another 115 were killed in Toulouse. A Christian chronicler recorded: “The shepherds laid siege to all the Jews who had come from all sides to take refuge... the Jews defended themselves heroically... but their resistance served no purpose, for the shepherds slaughtered a great number of the besieged Jews by smoke and by fire... The Jews, realizing that they would not escape alive, preferred to kill themselves... They chose one of their number (and) this man put some five hundred of them to death, with their consent. He then descended from the castle tower with the few Jewish children who still remained alive... They killed him by quartering. They spared the children, whom they made Catholics by baptism.” — 1321. In Chinon, France 160 Jews were put to death. In Vitry-le-Brûlé the Jews were accused of poisoning the wells together with the lepers, and 77 were immediately massacred. Another 40 were captured while trying to escape, and they chose death at the hands of one of their companions, who was then killed by the Christians. — 1326. In Constance, Germany, 27 Jews accused of Host desecration were murdered. — 1337. A group of marauders ravaged 120 Jewish communities; the Jews of Rouffach, Ensisheim and Mülhausen were massacred, and their belongings in the first two cities were confiscated by the bishop of Strasbourg. — 1338. In Pulkau, Austria, a bleeding Host was allegedly found in front of a Jew’s house on Easter Sunday, and the town’s Jews were burned at the stake. The disorders spread, and Jews were massacred in 27 localities. The rumor of a Host desecration also led to the massacre of all the Jews in the Bavarian city of Straubing. — 1347-1350. During the Black Death, Jews were accused of poisoning wells in order to overthrow Christendom, and many thousands of Jews were killed. In Germany alone, 300 Jewish communities were destroyed. 560 Jews were burnt to death in Nuremberg. The Jews of Cologne that did not die in their burning synagogue were murdered. In Berlin the houses of the Jews were burned down and the Jewish inhabitants were killed or expelled from the town. The Jews of Frankfurt am Main were completely wiped out, many of them setting fire to their own homes rather than meet death by the mob. In Bamberg as well, all the Jews set fire to their homes and perished in flames. All the Jews of Freiburg im Breisgau, except pregnant women and children, were imprisoned for a month and then massacred by burning. In the burning Mainz synagogue, 6,000 Jews died. All of the Jews living in Marburg, Meissen, Wetzlar and Meiningen were killed. In Constance, Germany 350 Jews were burned to death. 1,200 Jews lost their lives in the area of Salzburg. In Strasbourg 2,000 Jews were burned to death on a wooden scaffold in the Jew ish cemetery. Most of the Jews living in Worms set fire to themselves in their homes or were massacred by rioters. All the Jews living in Bonn were killed: the archbishop took over their property and pardoned the burghers for the crimes they had committed. Most of the Jews living on the shores of Lake Geneva were burnt at the stake. In Basle, 600 Jews, with the rabbi at their head, were burned at the stake. 300 Jews living in Tarragona and Solsona, Spain, and another 300 Jews living in Tarrega, were massacred. 40 Jews were slain in Toulon. In Grenoble, 74 Jews were burned at the stake. The Jewish community in Brussels was completely destroyed. — 1367. The Jews of Barcelona were accused of desecrating a Host, and three Jews were put to death. — 1389. The Jewish community of Prague was massacred. — 1391. Anti-Jewish riots broke out all over Spain, and many Jews were massacred, including 250 in Valencia, over 300 in the Balearic Islands, more than 400 in Barcelona, and most of the Jews living in Madrid. The only Jews who survived in Vich were the six that agreed to be baptized. In Palma on the island of Majorca, Christian youths bearing crucifixes broke into the Jewish quarter and massacred scores of Jews. The Majorcan Jewish communities of Inca, Soller, Sineu and Alcudia were completely wiped out. — 1404. A host desecration libel in Salzburg resulted in many Jews being burnt at the stake. — 1407. A Jewish moneylender accused of forgery was led through the streets of Cracow adorned with a crown set with forged coins, tortured, and burnt at the stake. — 1415. A host desecration libel in Segovia resulted in the execution of the leading Jews. — 1420. In Enns, Austria, 270 Jews were burnt at the stake after a blood libel. — 1430. A blood libel in Überlingen resulted in 12 Jews being burned at the stake. In Lindau, Bavaria, 15 Jews were accused of the murder of a Christian boy and were burned at the stake. — 1453. St. John Capistrano accused the Jews of Swidnica, Poland, of desecrating the Host, and 17 Jews were burnt to death. He also accused the Jews in Wroclaw of Host desecration, and 41 Jews were burned at the stake. — 1454. After a visit to Cracow by St. John Capistrano, anti-Jewish riots broke out and many Jews were killed. — 1467. Eighteen Jews in Nuremberg were accused of killing Christians and burnt to death. — 1474. In Modica, Sicily, 360 Jews, including men, women, and children were massacred. Another 500 Jews were killed in Noto. — 1475. The entire Jewish community in Trent, northern Italy, was put to death on the allegation that it had murdered a boy for religious purposes. — 1478. In Passau, 10 Jews were sentenced to death after being tortured into confessing that they had stabbed a Host and caused it to bleed. Those Jews who did not accept baptism were expelled, and the synagogue and Jewish homes were demolished. — 1480. In Treviso, Italy, five Jews were accused of killing a Christian child and burned at the stake. In Venice three Jews were burnt at the stake. — 1481-88. Over 700 Jews were burned at the stake in Seville. — 1484-86. In Teruel, Spain, 30 Jews were burnt at the stake. — 1485. The Spanish Inquisition condemned 52 Jews to death by burning in Ciudad Real, and another 52 in Guadalupe. In Saragosa, about 600 Jews were burned at the stake. In Perpignan, 22 Jews were burnt at the stake. — 1488. The Inquisition began operating on the island of Majorca. By 1771 it would send 594 Jews to the stake. In Toledo, 40 Jews were burned at the stake, and in Valencia 100 Jews were burned. — 1490. 422 Jews were burned at the stake in Toledo. — 1492. Five Jews were burned at the stake in Toledo. — 1494. Sixteen Jews were killed in Trnava, Slovakia, as the result of a blood libel. — 1501. Over 100 Jews, most of them women, were burned at the stake by orders of the Inquisition. — 1506. When a converted Jew refused to acknowledge a miracle that was supposed to have happened in a church in Lisbon, he was dragged out and butchered. A massacre ensued in which between two and four thousand Jews were killed. In Venice, a Hungarian Jew was accused of killing a Christian child and was stoned to death by the crowd. — 1510. A host desecration libel in Knoblauch near Berlin resulted in the execution of 38 Jews. — 1529. In Pezinok, Slovakia, 30 Jews were burned at the stake as the result of a blood libel. Another blood libel in Bazin, Hungary, resulted in 30 Jews being burned at the stake. — 1532. An elderly Jewish woman was burned alive in Mantua on a charge that she had convinced a nun to embrace Judaism. — 1547. Rioting broke out in Asolo, Italy, and 8 Jews were killed. — 1555. In Ancona 25 Jews were burned alive. — 1556. A Host desecration libel during a Catholic synod in Sochaczew, Poland, resulted in the execution of three Jews. — 1563. When Ivan the Terrible captured Polotsk, he ordered that the 300 Jews who refused to be baptized should be drowned in the Dvina River. — 1571. Seven Jews sent from Naples to the Papal States were burned at the stake. — 1572. Condemned by the papal Inquisition, 7 Jews were burned at the stake in Rome. — 1602. Seven Jews were hanged in Mantua on a charge of blasphemy. — 1605. In Bochnia near Cracow, the Jews were accused of stealing the Host and the alleged instigator, a Jewish miner, was tortured to death. — 1619. A Jewish woman living in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France, was accused of spitting at the Host and was burned at the stake. A blood libel in Sochaczew, Poland, resulted in a Jew being burned at the stake. — 1630. A Jew of Przemysl was sentenced to death following a Host desecration libel. — 1648–49. Bogdan Chmielnicki set out to remove all Jews from Ukraine, killing tens of thousands of Jews and destroying hundreds of Jewish communities. — 1655-60. Polish army units attacked Jews in many parts of Poland, devastating synagogues and massacring entire Jewish communities. In Checiny, for example, 150 Jews were killed, and another 150 were killed in Chmielnik. All the Jews of Tarnobrzeg were massacred. In Brzesc Kujawski 100 Jewish families were massacred when they refused to be baptized, and another 40 Jewish families were killed in Brzeziny. — 1657. After a blood libel in the White Russian town of Ruzhany, two Jews were executed. — 1738. A proselyte officer and the Jew who had introduced him to Judaism were burnt at the stake in St. Petersburg. — 1744. A number of Jews were massacred in Roudnice nad Labem, Bohemia. — 1763. Following a blood libel incited by extreme Catholic circles, four Jews were sentenced to death in Kalisz. — 1799. The people of Senigallia, Italy sacked the ghetto and killed 13 Jews. — 1800. The Jewish ghetto in Siena was stormed and 13 Jews were massacred, some of them inside the synagogue. — 1834. The Spanish Inquisition was officially abolished by the queen mother. It is estimated that about 32,000 Jews were burned at the stake during the Inquisition. — 1878. Anti-Jewish riots occurred in Kalisz, and 13 Jews were killed. — 1881. In an Easter pogrom in Balta, two Jews were killed and 120 injured. — 1884. A pogrom in Nizhni Novgorod resulted in nine Jews being killed. — 1903. Eight Jews were killed in a pogrom in Gomel, Belorussia. — 1905. Over 800 Jews were killed in pogroms that took place all over the Ukraine, Bessarabia, and Belorussia. — 1906. In pogroms in Bialystok and Siedlce, about 110 Jews were killed. — 1936. A pogrom in Przytyk, Poland, resulted in the death of three Jews and the wounding of 60 more.