Up to 3,000 Jews were killed in Black Death massacre in Efurt

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Date:
21.03.1349
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The Erfurt massacre refers to the massacre of the Jewish community in Erfurt, Germany, on March 21, 1349.

Accounts of the number of Jews killed in the massacre vary from over 100 to 1000 to approximately 3000, and some Jews set fire to their homes and possessions and perished in the flames before they could be lynched.

The many Black Death persecutions and massacres that occurred in France and Germany at that time were sometimes in response to accusations that the Jews were responsible for outbreaks of the Black Death, and other times justified by the belief that killing the local Jews would prevent the spread of the Black Death to that locale.

Although these beliefs, and the accompanying massacres, were frequently encouraged by local bishops or itinerant Flagellants, the Catholic Church, including Pope Clement VI under whom the Flagellants and the Black Death began, and his successor, Innocent VI, were firmly against it. In a papal bull condemning the Flagellant movement in late 1349, Pope Clement VI criticized "shedding the blood of Jews" among their other objectionable activities. Erfurt later suffered the ravages of the Black Plague, where over 16,000 residents died during a ten-week period in 1350.

Massacres were generally accompanied by extensive looting. One of the items looted in the Erfurt massacre was what is now the oldest remaining manuscript of the Tosefta. It was recovered, bloodstained, from the Erfurt Evangelical Church Library in 1879 along with 15 other manuscripts stolen during the looting.

Many of the Jews of Erfurt preemptively hid their valuables. Some of those valuables were found in 1998, and are now referred to as the Erfurt Treasure.

Among those martyred was prominent Talmudist Alexander Suslin

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The first Black Death massacres directly related to the plague took place in April 1348 in Toulon, France, where the Jewish quarter was sacked, and forty Jews were murdered in their homes, then in Barcelona.

In 1349, massacres and persecution spread across Europe, including the Erfurt massacre (1349), the Basel massacre, massacres in Aragon, and Flanders.

900 Jews were burnt alive on 14 February 1349 in the "Valentine's Day" Strasbourg massacre, where the plague had not yet affected the city.

Many hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed in this period.

Of the 510 Jewish communities so destroyed in this period, some killed themselves to avoid the persecutions.

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Sources: wikipedia.org

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