In September, several Jews were tortured at the Castle of Chillon on Lake Geneva. Resulting confessions from the torture suggested Jews poisoned well water so as to destroy Christianity. This is a very interesting conclusion considering many believed the plague resulted from God’s anger at Christians for not converting or eliminating all Jews. Regardless, it was a complete and utter lie. Citizens in Zurich, Switzerland reacted by burning several Jews on September 21, 1348, forcing the rest out of town.
Pope Clement VI understood the Jews were not the cause of the plague and did his best to suppress the persecution. During 1348, he wrote two papal bulls denouncing the attacks on the Jewish communities, presenting his first one on July 6. Following the forced confessions, he produced a second one on September 26, condemning the accusation, stating "certain Christians, seduced by that liar, the devil, are imputing the pestilence to poisoning by Jews." Unfortunately, neither document provided any sort of relief or protection for the Jews.
News of the “confessions” were distributed to several cities in Germany on October 3, and they spread faster than the plague. Also noted was that all Jews above age 7 were accountable as they were all aware of the poisoning. Anti-Semitism already existed within Europe and this escalated it to heights beyond measure.
While massacres and evacuations occurred in France and Spain, the vast majority of the brutality occurred within the Germanic areas as the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV did nothing to discourage such behavior. In actuality, his decrees to plunder the Jewish communities and forgive debts to Jewish lenders encouraged it.
Considered second-class citizens, opportunities for work and employment was greatly limited for the Jews. Therefore, they took the only position left for them, that of lenders. As a result of their job, Jews became friendly with the ruling class, including town leaders and master tradesmen. This only magnified anti-Semitic feelings among the common people, many of whom were indebted to the Jews. While the rumor spread they were causing the plague, many saw it as an opportunity to rid themselves of their creditors while stealing their property.
On January 9, 1349, city leaders attempted to stop a massacre in Basel, Switzerland. More than 600 Jews were taken to an island on the Rhine and shoved into a building. When all were inside, the Basel massacre commenced as the building was set on fire, burning all inside including the town rabbi. Approximately 140 Jewish children were spared, but they were forced to convert to Catholicism.
One of the worst mass executions occurred on February 14, 1349. The “Valentine’s Day” Strasbourg massacre resulted in 2,000 Jews burning to death. Those spared from the torture were thrown out of the city and their entire community was destroyed. Property and possessions left by the Jews were distributed amongst their assassins as the aristocrats and merchants remained powerless to help the victims.
Fearing their own town slaughtering, Jewish citizens in Erfurt, Germany, gathered within their homes on March 21. To avoid their coming lynchings, they set their homes and all their possessions on fire, perishing in the flames. The actual death toll of the Erfurt massacre is unknown, but it is believed to be as many as 3,000. When the plague finally ascended on Erfurt in 1350, 16,000 townspeople fell victim.
The Jewish community of Mainz, Germany, decided they would fight back against their oppressors, killing 200 non-Jewish citizens on August 24. They soon realized their efforts were in vain and locked themselves within their homes. With food running out, the only salvation to starvation was baptism. Therefore, they followed Erfurt’s lead, setting fire to their homes. At least 6,000 Jews died within the flames, the most victims recorded in one massacre.
As the slaughters, or pogroms, continued throughout Europe, many Jews fled to Poland, not to escape the plague but those branding them as scapegoats. In several towns, Jews took their own lives to avoid painful torture and slaughter, and in some cases, forced baptism. However, a portion chose conversion as an alternative to assured death.
By 1351 the plague had run its course but the persecution carried on. Over 200 Jewish communities disappeared as a result of these massacres and forced expulsions. Anti-Semitism continued to grow while Jews throughout all of Germany remained in fear of more attacks. Therefore, leaders concluded the only solution was to completely rid themselves of the Jewish populations. Those that survived not only the plague but the massacres escaped to the east. By the turn of the century, Jews had been almost completely banished from Germany.
The perceived lower plague mortality rate among the Jews compared to non-Jewish population started the suspicions of the Jews causing the pestilence. Not completely immune to the disease, Jewish tradition provided real protections for those communities.
At the time of the plague, most never washed their hands until they were adults. Even baths and washing your hair was a rare event. It was normal to prepare and eat food without washing, even right after using the bathroom. When someone died, unsanitary burial practices endangered family members and people in contact with the deceased and decaying body.
The Law of Moses, found in the Jewish holy book as well as the Holy Bible, made the difference for the Jewish people. Through Moses, God instructed people to wash several times a day, especially before eating, after intimate contact, and following a trip to the facilities. They took a bath at least once a week, right before the Sabbath. There were also detailed, strict laws about handling the dead, such as washing them, burying them quickly, and cleaning yourself if you touched a dead person or animal. Those contracting a disease, especially leprosy, were separated from the community and quarantined, therefore reducing the spread of infection. Taking these practices into account, adding the fact that Jewish communities were themselves segregated from the rest of the population, sheds light into the lower Jewish mortality phenomenon.
Liberty, atheists insist that the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, are not real and just folklore like Greek mythology. They are convinced some people several centuries ago made up and wrote down a collection of interesting stories, believed now by a bunch a simpletons. Yet if that is so, how did those authors thousands of years ago come up with pages and pages of laws about how to wash, prepare food, and interact with illness and death that just happen to be exactly what we now know prevents infections? Is it just a coincidence? Absolutely not. God, the creator of all, knows all including how germs and bacteria behave. His commands to the Israelites were not just rules they were required to follow. They were instructions on how to protect themselves and reduce and prevent disease.
When Peter, Paul, and the other apostles started planting Christian churches, it was still considered a sect of the Jewish religion. As more Gentiles became believers, Jewish rituals faded among the Christians, leading to a split in the first century. Before long, Christians completely forgot their religious roots and became enemies of the Jews along with the rest in the world. Satan has done a great job turning God’s people, who were given the Law in part to be the example for the world, into the world’s patsy.
While most have at least heard of the bubonic plague epidemic, the Jewish massacres and expulsions were lost to history and in some cases denied. As a result, 400 years later Adolph Hitler led Germany in another devastating Holocaust of the Jews. We are on that same path again as our public schools and universities have purposely perverted Hitler’s atrocities. This is proven every time a socialist embracing millennial, or democrat operative, calls Republican President Donald Trump “Hitler” and his supporters “Nazis”. Not only are such comments denigrating and demeaning to Holocaust survivors and their families, hiding the truth only increases the probability of such savagery happening again. (see Remembering The Holocaust and Diary Of A Young Girl) Our youth know it is a powerful insult, but would they honestly use it if they knew Nazis were the German National Socialist Workers Party? Likewise, would they continue to espouse Socialism knowing the truth of it?
So, Liberty, continue to educate yourself and others regarding history, facts, and the truth. It’s the best way to prevent another genocide. (see Finishing The Master Race)
That’s my 2 cents.
January 9, 2019
During the 14th century, the bubonic plague, known as the Black plague, Black death, or Great Pestilence, swept across Europe. Estimates of deaths vary greatly as many likely passed without record, yet roughly 25-50 million Europeans died during the pandemic. This equates to 30-60% of the total population. However, the actions taken against a certain group of survivors elevates this horrific event from a catastrophe to a holocaust.
At the time, the cause of the plague was unknown. Today, the contagious bacterial disease is believed to have been spread by fleas living on rats. Historians suspect the disease started in Asia and was unknowingly dispersed along a trade route, known as the Silk Road, by Mongols. Connecting China to India, North Africa, Rome, the Middle East, and Europe, food sacks exposed to the rats and fleas were hauled along these routes, infecting consumers throughout these areas.
Europe’s outbreak began in 1348, skipping some cities while devastating others. Without an explanation for the disease and death, Christians argued it resulted from God’s wrath, or punishment, for their individual sins. Muslims in the Middle East widely accepted this reasoning, even killing a holy man for suggesting the disease spread through the air.
Some contended God’s anger resulted from them abandoning the crusades (see Crusade For The Truth). Others cited the fighting between England and France, as well as wars within all Europe, with others blaming the strife within the papal states. Many Christians proclaimed the End Times as they believed they were witnessing the Horseman of Pestilence. As happened so many times before and since, blame eventually landed on the Jewish population.
With bodies literally starting to pile up, many believed the Jewish communities were not affected by the plague. Before long, rumors circulated they were somehow responsible for the disease. As a result, communities began collecting the Jewish people and massacring them. The first such recorded event occurred in Toulon, France in April 1348.
GERMANY'S FIRST HOLOCAUST