The Rhineland Massacres, also known as the German Crusade of [the year] 1096, were a series of mass murders of Jews perpetrated by mobs of German Christians of the so-called People’s Crusade. Some 5,000 Jews were victims. The massacres are seen as the first in a sequence of antisemitic events in Europe that culminated in the Holocaust. The intermittent murder of Jews by Crusaders continued for some 200 years.
Quote: “After a brief struggle [in Worms, Germany], a wholesale massacre ensued. More than 1,000 Jews met their deaths, either at the enemy’s hands or their own. Those who managed to escape were overtaken; almost no one survived. A comparable disaster occurred in Cologne, where the community was attacked on the sixth of Sivan (May 30, 1096). The bishop dispersed the town’s Jews to hide them in nearby localities… The crusaders located them and a bloodbath followed.
“At Trier the bishop could not protect his Jews, as he himself had to go into hiding, and he consequently advised them to become Christians. The great majority refused, preferring suicide. At Regensburg, all the Jews were dragged to the Danube where they were flung into the water and forced to accept baptism. At Metz, Prague, and throughout Bohemia , one massacre followed another… There had been more than 5,000 victims.”
Sources: Wikipedia, Jewish Virtual Library
Learn more about the Rhineland Massacres from Wikipedia. ►
Learn more about the history of the Jews and the Crusades from the Jewish Virtual Library. ►
Watch “Crash Course in Jewish History: Session 13 — Crusades, Libels & Black Death” [6:15]. ►
Watch “The First Crusade and the Jews (Jewish History Lab)” [19:45]. ►
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