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Persecution of the Jews during the Black Plague

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Anjana Anandkumar

on 12 April 2013

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Transcript of Persecution of the Jews during the Black Plague

Why was this a popular concept? •Exaggeration and literary pessimism were common in the 14th century
•Christians believed that Jews had about half the death rate of other people
•They were recorded to have a lower death rate because they were buried somewhere else and deaths were not recorded
•This occurance is in part due to their sanitary practices- washing hands often, bathing regularly, not latrines in community
•They also buried the corpses instantly and washed the bodies
•However, Jews still had an appalling death rate Why the Jews? •Jews were popular scapegoats
•European Christians believed that since Jews lived with them, God was angry
•They believed that Jews partook in unholy activities
•Jews murdered Christian children and used their blood in Passover unleavened bread
• Christian believed that the Jews poisoned the water wells and bribed the Leapers to help (all done because they were paid by the King of Granda)
•Christians also believed that Jews poisoned wells because they were anti-Christ and worked for Satan, so they took delight in destroying the Christian world Introduction •Black Plague- 1347 AD to 1350 AD
•People had no idea why the plague had started
•People began to blame the plague on God's wrath
•They believed that God’s anger was based on the Jewish community What happened to the Jewish people? •First, they were moved to their own community within a city
•Then exiled completely from countries like France and England
•A widespread idea became that to save the community, Jews need to be tortured and killed
•Some towns were better- told Jews to return to the city and warned them against thievery and massacres
•In most, they were slaughtered and hanged and burnt
•Many communities were burned or committed suicide
•Even Jews that survived the Black Death were killed by mobs-almost no Jews in Germany or Low Countries
•Massacres were a chance for Christians who owed Jews money with interest a way out Other types of discrimination against the Jews
•Many Jews were converted into Christians and had to give Christians all their money or burnt alive
•Turned down Jews in church, not even listen to confessions
•Families abandoned each other
•Some popes like Boniface said the Jews were not at fault and protected them
•The situation was so out of hand that the word of the pope did not carry any weight Results of these actions •Jews left for Poland, and would not come back and fully integrate until four centuries later
•They essentially became the hatred figure in European society
•Jews got the worst of the plague because of religion
•Faced death, criticism, hatred, plague, and ethics. They faced much more pain than everyone else.
•Essentially No one was to blame but the Black Death
•However, with no other logical explanation of the time, they blamed the Jews. Racism and Ignorance in Medieval Europe Epic Fails in the Post-Classical Period Big Question Barbara Tuchman, a historian, said, "Its (Black Plague’s) loatheness and deadliness did not herd people together in mutual distress, but only prompted their desire to escape each other."
If an event like the Black Plague were to occur today (where something happens without any known reason), would people react in the same way and discriminate certain groups of people?
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