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  • Christian History 1200 to 1399


    1257, 1267 Jewish communities of London, Canterbury, Northampton, Lincoln, Cambridge, and others exterminated. [DO41] (6 p. 41) *1290 in Bohemian (Poland) allegedly 10,000 Jews killed. [DO41] (6 p. 41)


    November 17, EDWARD I (England) Arrested all the Jews for alleged coin clipping and counterfeiting. 680 were arrested, jailed and put on trial. The judges were given prior instructions clearly biased against the Jews. Although many Christians were accused, many more (ten times as many) Jews were hung than Christians (269 Jews and 29 Christians). Edward received 16,500 pounds from the property of the executed Jews and the fines of those charged. At that time Jews comprised 1% of the English population. 16,500 pounds was almost 10% of the exchequer's national income. [56] (21)


    PARIS (France) A Jew by the name of Jonathan and his wife, living in the Rue de Billetts, were accused of stabbing the wafer (Host). Blood was said to have flowed unceasingly from the wafer. They were both burned to death at the stake, their house was razed and a chapel was erected on the site. The "Miracle of the Rue de Billetts" is still celebrated in Paris. [57] (22)


    The rest of the Crusades were recorded in less detail until the fall of Akkon in 1291. Probably 20 million fell victim in the Holy Land and the Arab and Turkish areas alone. By the end of the Crusades, most European Christians believed the unfounded blood-libel myths. This particular rumor that the Jews engaged in human sacrifice of Christian children resulted in a long series of Christian persecution of the Jews which continued in Europe and Russia, well into the 20th Century, laying down the foundation of the Nazi Holocaust.


    June 19, BOPPARD AND OBERWESEL (Germany) - A blood libel instigated by Rindfleish, a German knight, resulted in the murder of 40 Jews. Heine's Der Rabbi von Bacherach was based on this massacre. Over the next few years the slaughter of thousands of victims, if not tens of thousands, in 146 communities in southern and central Germany and Austria were attributed to Rindfleish and his mobs. Emperor Albert I was too busy with internal threats to defend the Jews. A few years later he did make a half-hearted attempt at restoring peace, which was mostly ignored. [57] (22)


    April 20, ROTTINGEN (Germany) - Rindfleish accused the local Jews of profaning the host. He then incited the Burgher and local populace to join in the killing. Twenty-one Jews were murdered. [57] (22)


    January 21, FRANCE - Phillip the Fair, needing funds after his war with the Flemish, issued secret orders to ready for the expulsion of the Jews and the confiscation of their property. Any Jews found after a given date were to be executed. [58] (24) 1307 (4 Adar 5067) RABBI MEIR OF ROTHENBERG (Germany) - The last of the Tosafists, he was the leading rabbi in Germany. Convinced that there was no future in Germany, he agreed to lead a large contingent of families to Eretz Israel. While waiting for the other families, he was seized by the Bishop of Basel. The emperor ordered him held in prison as a lesson to any of "his Jews" who might want to leave Germany (thereby causing him a financial loss). He refused to be ransomed, saying that to do so would serve as an impetus for further extortions. He died in a prison near Colmar, and his body was held there until it was ransomed some years later. He had died in prison more then 10 years earlier, and was finally allowed to be buried after being ransomed by Alexander b. Salomo Wimpfen for a large sum of money. He was buried in Worms in 1307.[51] (15)


    1310 - C. 1375 NISSIM BEN REUBEN GERONDI (Rabbenu Nissim - the Ran) (Spain) - Talmudist, scholar and physician. He was recognized as one of the most authoritative halachic interpreters of his generation. His halachic commentary on Alfasi is considered a standard text. His commentary on Tractate Nedarim is printed together with the Talmud and is used instead of Rashi which is not extant for that section of the Talmud. The exact date of his death is unknown. It is presumed he died while being held captive in prison. [59] (25)