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1942 December 5, DR.YEHEZKEL ATLAS (Poland)

The founder and commander of a Jewish partisan unit fell in battle with the Germans. He and his second in command, Eliyahu Kowienski (who survived the war and now lives in Israel) received the highest Soviet Decoration - Hero of the Soviet Union.

1944 August 30, DOME SZTOJAY (Hungary)

Was forced to resign. General Geza Lakatos became prime minister and tried to prepare Hungary for an Allied victory. He requested that Eichmann remove the Einsatzkommandos.

693 DAHRA (Dahiya) AL- KAHINA (Carthage)

Defeated Hassan ibn Noman whose huge army was sent by Caliph Abd al-Malik to conquer the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. It took Hassan ibn Noman five years to regroup and carry on his conquest.

1945 August 28, DALIN (Eretz Israel)

With the end of the war, the last and largest movement of illegal immigration began. The ship Dalin dropped off 35 new immigrants near Caesarea and then took dozens of emissaries back to Europe to help bring others to Eretz Israel.

1934 May 1, DER STÜRMER (Germany)

The Nazi periodical, run by Julius Streicher, reminded people that Jews were accused of ritual murder of Christian children during the Middle ages.


Published by J.K. Buchner, it became the first Yiddish weekly published in the United States. The language itself was more of a German-Yiddish and the paper was conservative rather than socialist in direction.


An early anti Jewish polemic written in Greek, supposedly by Ariston Of Pella.

1897 June 4, DIE WELT (The World) (Vienna, Austria)

First publication of the Zionist weekly founded by Theodore Herzl. Die Welt ran until 1914 and was the official publication of the World Zionist Organization. The paper dealt with Zionist ideas and events as well as anti- Semitism. Among its editors were Martin Buber and Nahum Sokolow.

1945 April 29, DACHAU (Germany)

The first of the S.S. concentration camps was captured by the US Army. They found 32,335 prisoners, many of whom died in the weeks that followed. The Americans later used it as a prison camp for Nazi war criminals.

1933 March 10, DACHAU CONCENTRATION CAMP (Germany)

Was established. It was the first of the SS run imprisonment camps. A month earlier Germany passed a law which would allow people to be imprisoned for an unlimited period of time if they were deemed hostile to the regime. Soon after other camps were set up to hold such prisoners. Often factories were set up near the camps and paid for the "use" of laborers. Although not a "death or extermination camp" per se, Dachau and other camps like it practiced daily murder, starvation, and sadistic medical experiments on their inmates. Forty thousand Jews probably died in Dachau. Other camps included Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Ravensbrueck (for women). Several of the camps had crematoria to get rid of the large number of corpses. According to an agreement with Himmler, the Gestapo were the ones to make the arrests while the SS ran the camps. Only in 1941 were the special death camps or extermination camps created.

1857 DAGGATUNS (Western Sahara)

A Jewish tribe, was described by Rabbi Mordechai Abi Serour. The Daggatuns were part of the Tuareg tribes, but lived their own lives with Jewish practices. According to some they had been driven into the desert by Abd al - Malik (see 693). Eventually they assimilated into the Muslim community and disappeared as a Jewish entity. Abi Serour returned with his brother a few years later managed to form a tiny community in Timbuktu serving as Rabbi. But due to the hostility of the area, plus the lack of support the community proved unsustainable, and he moved to Algiers.

629 DAGOBERT I(Gaul)

Encouraged by Emperor Heraclius, he expelled all non-converted Jews from Frankish dominions. For the next 150 years, little was heard from any Jewish community there.

702 DAHRA (Dahiya) AL KAHINA (Southeast Algeria)

Jewish "priestess". She led an alliance of Berber tribes which was defeated by Moslem forces. She was said to have lived 127 years and ruled with her 3 sons over the tribe of Jerava for 65 years.

1392 DAMASCUS (Syria)

Local Jews were accused by the Mamluk ruler of setting fire to the central mosque. Though no real evidence was ever presented, a number of Jewish leaders were arrested, one was burned alive, and the synagogue was converted into a mosque. Two years later the synagogue was restored.

1840 February 5, DAMASCUS AFFAIR (Syria)

A blood libel was started with the disappearance of Father Thomas, a Franciscan superior. After a "confession" was extracted from a Jewish barber, seven others were arrested, two of whom died under torture. The French consul Ratti Menton, accused the Jews of ritual murder and requested permission from Mahomet Ali to kill the rest of his suspects. Other Jews were arrested, including sixty three children who were starved to convince their parents to confess. Sir Moses Montefiore, Adolphe Cremieux, and Solomon Munk intervened on behalf of the Jews and in August the charges were dropped. This affair spurred early Zionist writers like Hess to promote the Zionist cause. The United States, England, Russia, Austria, and Prussia also lined up against France, although this had as much to do with international politics as their desire to defend human rights.

1764 July 5, - 1876 DANIEL MENDOZA (England)

Known as the "father of scientific boxing". Mendoza was proud of his Jewish heritage and billed himself as "Mendoza the Jew". He became one of England's greatest boxing champions and the first boxer to win the patronage of the Prince of Wales.

1940 September, DANUBE (Yugoslavia)

1,300 Jewish refugees on the way to Eretz Israel were stranded when they could not find a vessel to continue their journey. Two hundred refugees (mostly children) received immigration certificates and were able to continue on to Eretz Israel. The remaining men were taken to the village of Zasavica in October 1941 and shot. The women and children that were left were taken from the Sajmiste camp in February and gassed in closed trucks. There were no survivors.

507 July 9, DAPHNE (NEAR ANTIOCH) (Syria)

A sporting event was held in the form of a chariot race between two parties, the greens and the whites. For no apparent reason the supporters of the greens attacked the local synagogue, killing the Jews inside. Callipoe a circus charioteer, and supporter of the Green Monophysite party (see 486),came to Antioch to fight the Blue ( Christian orthodox) party. The Jews once again became the scapegoat , with the local synagogue being destroyed and the Jews inside murdered.


R. Judah HaNasi predicted that the Messiah would come in this year (365 years after the destruction of the Temple). R. Hanina, his student, predicted that the Messiah would come in the year 470 (400 years after the destruction). This, coupled with persecution and natural disasters, resulted in the appearance of false messiahs. This phenomenon became so widespread that most rabbis forbade predictions of the coming of the Messiah, since often people bereft of hope would convert after grave disappointment.

1580 DAVID ABRABANEL (Netherlands)

W Survived a massacre by the Spanish which killed his family as they sailed to the new world. David joined the Royal Navy and won fame as a privateer attacking Spanish vessels. He was known as “Captain Davis” and named his ship Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). Abrabanel was purportedly one of the people who discovered Easter Island.


Promised to lead the Jews and take Jerusalem from the Crusaders. One evening he told the Jews of Baghdad that they were all going to fly to Jerusalem that night and asked them to give him their property. That night much of the Jewish population stood on their roofs waiting to fly. Alroy was killed, according to Benjamin of Tudela, after one "successful" battle, by his father-in-law, who was allegedly bribed and threatened by the governor of Amaida. Alroy's followers called themselves Menahemites and continued to live in the Azerbaijan area. They eventually faded out of existence. Disraeli's novel Alroy (1833) became a well-known, if fictionalized, version of his life.

1687 - 1769 David Altschuler (Galicia- Prague)

Biblical commentator. His "Metzudat David" (Tower of David) clarifies verses, while his Metzudat Tzion (Tower of Zion) explains the individual words and phrases. Altschuler's "metzudot" cover almost all of the Nevi'im and Ketuvim ( Prophets and "Writings/Hagiographa) and is printed today in most Hebrew editions of the bible which contain commentary

1886 October 16, - 1973 DAVID BEN GURION (Poland-Eretz Israel)

Came to Eretz Israel as David Green in 1906. He joined the Jewish legion, rose in the ranks of the Zionist Labor Party, and created the Histadrut or Labor Confederation. Ben Gurion formulated the official Zionist policies during the Second World War and became Israel's first Prime Minister. He founded his own party (MAPAI) and joined with the religious parties and the general Zionist party to form a coalition. He served on and off until 1963 as Minister of Defense and Prime Minister. He played an important part in the Israeli victory in 1956. After 1963 he retired to a kibbutz (Sde Boker) in the Negev, which he called on the younger generation to settle.

1586 - 1677 (26 Shvat 5427) DAVID BEN SAMUEL HALEVI (Poland)

Called the Taz after his commentary, Turai Zahav (Rows of Gold). This, together with works by the Bach (Joel Sircus 1650), and the Rama (Moses Isserles 1520-1572), formed the most important halachic commentaries upon which most of modern halacha is based.

C. 1479 - 1589 DAVID BEN SOLOMON IBN ABI ZIMRA (RaDbaz) (Spain- Eretz-Israel))

Rabbinical leader, Talmudist, and Kabbalist. He served as chief Rabbi of Egypt for 40 years. A productive writer he authored more than 3,000 responsa (halakhic decisions). Among his many works are Metzudat David ("The Tower of David"), Dinei Rabba ve-Zutra ("The Great and Small Decisions") and Divrei David ("Words of David"), Shivim Panim la-Torah ("Seventy Faces to the Torah")

C. 1440 - 1524 DAVID BEN SOLOMON IBN YAHYA (Portugal- Naples- Corfu – Constantinople)

Rabbi, biblical commentator, and grammarian. In 1496 Ibn Yahya was forced to flee Portugal after a death sentence was pass on him by king John (Joao) II ( 1455-1495) for encouraging conversos to return to active Judaism. He fled first to Naples where he served as Rabbi until expelled by the French losing all of his possessions. His works include Leshon Limudim and (probably) Shekel Hakodesh on grammar, Hilkhot Ṭerefot on ritual law, as well as commentaries on Proverbs, Psalms, and Maimonides’ guide for the perplexed.


David Camden De Leon, known as "the Fighting Doctor", was appointed as the first surgeon general of the Confederate Army.

1618 - C. 1685 DAVID CONFORTE (Salonika)

Rabbi and literary Historian , known for his Kore Ha-Dorot a record of authors from post-Talmudic times until his own. It included an alphabetical list of Rabbis during the tosafist period ( 1100-1328). Although it is not an original work in itself, its importance lies in his use of many sources which are no longer extant.


A dyer, he contracted with a Christian goldsmith from Prague offering to teach him art of dyeing in return for Hebrew letters ready for printing . Unfortunately the agreement did not work out. This was four years before Guttenberg's first printing of a poem in 1450.

1525 - 1593 DAVID DE' POMIS ( Italy )

Physician, philosopher, Rabbi, and linguist. He was forced to move from place to place according to where the current pope allowed Jews to practice medicine. His De Medico Hebraeo Enarratio Apologica, refuted charges made against Jewish physicians by Pope Gregory XIII. He is most renowned for his Tzemach David Offspring of David ),a Hebrew -Aramaic,Latin, and Italian dictionary.

1892 - 1982 DAVID DUBINSKY (Belarus - USA)

Pioneering labor leader. Dubinsky, like Sidney Hillman, was arrested for organizing a Bakers' Union in Lodz but managed to escape to teh USA in 1910. Arriving in New York, he rose from being an apprentice in Cutters' Local 10 to becoming president of the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) from 1932-1966. Dubinsky was active in the Jewish Labor Committee and a supporter the Histadrut, Israel's General Federation of Labor.

1824 DAVID D’BETH HILLEL (Lithuania- Eretz Israel- India)

A Jewish scholar, set out on a voyage, to discover and report on unknown Jewish communities of the East and the “Lost Tribes of Israel.” He left Safed where he had settled with followers of the Vilna Gaon around 1815. His book was entitled Travels from Jerusalem through Arabia, Kurdistan, Part of Persia and India to Madras 1824–32. He traveled though Syria, Kurdistan, Persia and India, studying the socio- economics, geography, and languages of Jews in far flung communities. He died on a second voyage to India in 1846.


Appointed as Rabbi of the Har Sinai Congregation in Baltimore. A noted German reformist, he was more radical than Isaac Mayer Wise, yet was against intermarriage. Due to his anti-slavery views he was forced to flee during the Civil War. In 1866 was appointed rabbi in New York at Congregation Adath Jeshurun.

1936 February 4, DAVID FRANKFURTER

A Jewish Yugoslav medical student, he killed the Swiss Nazi, Gauleiter Wilhelm Gustoff. Though the German government demanded the death penalty, he was sentenced to eighteen years instead. Some historians believe that his action served as a model for Herschel Grynszpan, whose assassination of ambassador Ernst vom Rath was used by the Nazi party as an excuse for an all-out attack on Jewish property and synagogues (Kristallnacht).

1541 - 1613 (8 Elul 5373) DAVID GANS (Prague, Bohemia)

A Jewish historian and scholar noted for his Tsemach David (Spirit of David), printed in 1592. It was based half on Jewish and half on general history and it was translated into other languages, including Latin and Yiddish. Gans was a student of Moses Isserles and Judah Lowe (the Maharal). He wrote in Hebrew on cosmography, Nehmad Ve'Naim (Delightful and Pleasant) and, as a noted astronomer, was in contact with Johannes Kepler.

1941 May 17, DAVID RAZIEL (1910-1941) (Iraq)

In cooperation with British Army intelligence, David Raziel, the commander of the I.Z.L. (Irgun Zvai Leumi) lead a group to sabotage the oil depots on the outskirts of Baghdad. Raziel had been captured by the British in 1939 but was released at the outbreak of the war. The next day, while on an intelligence gathering mission, Raziel's car was bombed and both he and the liaison British officer were killed. Yaakov Meridor, who accompanied him on the mission, was appointed commander in his stead.

1524 DAVID REUVENI (Italy-Portugal)

Arrived in Rome claiming to be a representative of the Ten Lost Tribes and requesting assistance from Clement VII to fight the Turks. Though he was burned at an Auto da Fe in Portugal in 1552, his effect on his fellow Jews was to raise their self-esteem, knowing that somewhere there existed a strong and independent part of Israel.

1772 - 1824 DAVID RICARDO (England)

Founded Political Economy as a science. His chief work was Principles of Politics and Taxation. Ricardo's theories provided the scientific basis for the rule of free trade.

1835 DAVID SALOMON (1797-1873) (England)

Was the first Jew to be elected Sheriff of London. He was a successful banker who led the fight for Jewish equality in England. In 1855 he became Lord Mayor of London.

1926 DAVID SARNOFF (1891-1971) (Russia -USA)

Created the first radio chain, the National Broadcasting Company. He was known as the "Father of American Television". Sarnoff won fame as a young worker in atelegraph office the night of the Titanic disaster, where he remained for 72 hours relaying up-to-date information.

1892 DAVID SCHWARTZ (Hungary)

Invented the dirigible airship. Since he died before he made his flight, his widow sold the patents to Count Zeppelin, who received the credit.

1896 - 1981 DAVID WECHSLER (USA)

Psychologist. Wechsler served as Chief Psychologist at Bellevue hospital in New York and produced a standard intelligence test which is named after him. His tests tracks performance by age and helps diagnose brain abnormalities.

1856 - 1914 DAVID WOLFFSOHN (Lithuania-Germany)

Second president of the World Zionist Organization. He met Herzl in 1896 and formed a symbiotic relationship. He is credited with providing the business aspect to the Zionist movement. He is also recognized by some with the suggestion to use a blue and white talit (prayer shawl) for a flag and the Skekel as a membership fee.

1845 July 1, DAVID YULEE (1810-1866) (Florida, USA)

Became the first Jew elected to the Senate, where he served until 1861. He resigned at the beginning of the American Civil War to become a member of the Confederate Congress.


Was observed in many countries in addition to the USA. Although a special broadcast was carried nationally by NBC, it did not receive prominent coverage by other radio stations or the press.

1222 April 17, DEACON ROBERT OF READING (England)

Was burned for converting to Judaism. The deacon had converted for the love of a Jewess. He was dismissed from his position in the church and delivered to lay authorities who promptly burned him. In general, heretics were not burned in England until the late 14th century.


Jewish leader and court appointee. He introduced brocaded silk into Spain and in gratitude was chosen as leader of the Jewish community and minister in charge of taxes by the chief chancellor (to the Umayyad Caliph Hisham II) al-Mansur ibn Abi Amir (aka Almanzor). During the war between the Umayyad’s of Cordova and the Idrissis’ of Maghreb, the Jews were caught in the middle, being heavily taxed and accused of treason by both sides. He later refused to extort money from his fellow Jews whose resources had diminished. As a result he was demoted and imprisoned for a year.

1792 DEATH OF JOSEPH TEOMIM (Lemberg, Germany)

1792-1862 URIAH P. LEVY (USA)

1164 (1 Adar 4924) DEATH OF ABRAHAM IBN EZRA

(see 1089-1164 ABRAHAM IBN EZRA)

1235 DEATH OF DAVID KIMHI (The Radak)(France-Spain)

The most famous member of the Kimhi family of translators. He played an important role in the controversy over Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed publicly defending him and his philosophy. Kimhi was himself the author an important grammatical work Mikhlol and of a biblical commentary known as the Radak.


(The son of Vespasian). He played an active part in the capture of the Galilee during the Jewish revolt. Upon Vespasian's appointment as ruler of Rome, he was given command of the Roman forces in Eretz-Israel. Titus' name is forever linked to the devastation of the Temple and the brutality of the destruction of Jerusalem. This is based on the writings of Tacitus, a Roman historian. Josephus tried to whitewash Titus and claim that he was against the burning of the Temple. According to talmudic legend Titus challenged God to punish him, where upon God sent in a gnat which ate at his brain causing him terrible headaches until he died. Upon his death he ordered his body to be burned and his ashes scattered so as to prevent the "God of the Jews" from punishing him.

1038 (20 Nissan 4795) DEATH OF HAI GAON (Pumbedita, Babylon)

Marked the end of the Geonic period. It also ended because the spread of rabbinical authority throughout Europe and North Africa meant that there was no longer just one center for Jewish thought. Hai Gaon wrote over 100 responsa as well as a civil law codification of the Talmud. Heskiah succeeded him at the Pumbedita academy, but its prestige and importance were on the wane.


High priest and education reformer. He proposed that children begin studies at age six. That public schools be opened in every town and that there be a supervisory system which would oversee teachers and prevent students from being rejected or expelled without reason. He is considered the founder of the Jewish educational system

1943 August 28, DEATH OF KING BORIS III (Bulgaria)

A new government was formed, headed by Dobri Bozhilov. Many of the anti-Jewish measures were slowly dropped.

846 DEATH OF NATAN BEN EFRAN (Venosa, Italy)

The head of the talmudic college. There is evidence of Jewish life in Italy as far back as the destruction of the Temple.


He was known as the Jewish pope because of a Jewish great-grandfather. The legend of Andreas, the baptized boy who remained true to the Jewish religion stemmed from stories about this pope. There was a priest by the name of Anderas who did convert to Judaism (see 1094).

499 (13 Kislev 4260) DEATH OF RAVINA II (Bar Huna)

Marks the closing of the Amoraic era and the beginning of the Saboraic era. During the Amoraic era, it was decided to commit the Oral Law (Talmud) into writing, despite protests that only the Bible should be written down, for fear that persecution would cause it to be forgotten. The compilation of the Talmud, begun by Rav Ashi 100 years before, was completed by Ravina II. There are some who believe it was Ravina I (his uncle) who worked with Rav Ashi.


Yiddish author, poet and educator. She was educated in the Bible, Talmud, Midrash and both Hebrew and Yiddish literature. Her book Meineket Rivkah deals with ethics, relationships, and health which she is prefaced with a poem. Tiktiner also wrote Simkhas Toura Lid ("A song for Simhat Torah "). She is considered to be the first woman to write a book in Yiddish.

1034 DEATH OF SAMUEL BEN CHOFNI (Hofni) (Babylon)

Probably the Last Gaon of Sura.A prodigious writer of 65 titles, his works (all in judeo-arabic) included an introduction to the Talmud with 145 chapters a well as a book of Laws. Thus ended the long line founded by Rav almost 800 years previously. Some historians believe that the Sura geonate moved to Egypt and continued there for another few decades.


Instigated by Raymond of Penaforte. Christiani, a converted Jew, compelled King James of Aragon to force a debate between him and Moses ben Nachman (Nachmanides). The Jews, afraid that no matter the outcome they would lose, pleaded with Nachmanides to withdraw, but the King ordered him to continue. Although Pope Clement IV insisted on the outcome, the King was so impressed that he rewarded Nachmanides with a present of 300 maravedis. Pablo was given permission to continue these debates throughout Aragon with the Jews having to pay his expenses.


Two young girls ages 6 and 12 were taken by their converted uncle to be baptized. Although the younger girl was clearly underage, she was not returned to her father, but kept in the House of Catechumens (see 1543), and "educated" until she was old enough to declare her desire to convert.

1860 DEBORA ROMM (Vilna)

Took over her husband's printing press after his death at the age of 29, renaming it "The Widow and Brothers Romm". Under her direction it became one of the most well known and respected printing houses in Europe. In 1889 she printed a full edition of the Talmud known as the Romm edition, which has remained a classic and is still in use. Twenty-two thousand copies of the first volume were sold in the first year.


King Richard, upon his return to England from the Third Crusade, decreed that "all debts of slain Jews are to be taken into the kings hands." In order to prevent the destruction of writs of debt by mobs (and the financial loss to the crown), he introduced a system of public registration of all deeds in a series of locked chests (the archae) in the main centers of Jewish residence throughout England.

1337 September 30, DECKENDORF, BAVARIA (Germany)

Host desecration was alleged and violence spread to fifty-one communities, including Bohemia and Austria. Mass pilgrimages to the church were made until 1843 where paintings show Jews in medieval dress desecrating the host "wafers". Under one the words were written "God grant that our Fatherland be forever free from this hellish scum." Only in 1967 were the pictures covered up.


This document provided the basis for religious tolerance in most other countries. While there were less than 2,500 Jews within the colonies, approximately 600 Jews participated in the revolution including 24 officers and the great-grandfather of Supreme Court Justice Cardozo. Isaac Franks, David Salisbury Franks and Solomon Bush all attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. One company in South Carolina had so many Jews that it was called the "Jews Company".


Pope Martin V after receiving payment, published a brief protecting the Jews and against forced baptism. Three years later he received additional payment for another bull - this one specifically addresses to monks.


Known as the Gezerat ha-tsadikim, it was ordered by the Governor-General of the southwest provinces of the Pale. Hassidic leaders were prohibited from traveling outside their own towns without a government permit. This was a reaction to the provocations on the part of some Hassidic Rabbis (e.g. Rabbi David of Talne/Tolne) over acquiring new members and fundraising in other towns. For the most part, it was not enforced.


Cardinal Francesco Albizzi in his De inconstantia in jure admittenda vel non , determined that the age of reason for baptism is seven rather than twelve. This will allow the church to legally baptize any child over seven, if he in "any way" expresses his desire to do so, even without parental consent. This decision will be quoted by many Popes justifying the baptism of children.


Was extended to "Persons … endanger the existence of …State" As such, anyone falling into the above category could be incarcerated without legal redress - particularly communists and Jews.

1909 December, DEGANIA (Eretz Israel)

The first kibbutz or collective colony was founded in Eretz Israel. Aaron David Gordon (1856-1922), one of its founders, was considered to be the "Apostle" of the kibbutz movement. Each colony was independent and democratically governed. Membership was voluntary and all earnings and expenses were shared.

1948 April 8, DEIR YASSIN (Near Jerusalem, Eretz Israel)

After repeated attacks on the neighborhoods of Bet Hakerem and Yefe Nof, the Irgun and Lehi, with the agreement of the Haganah, entered the town. A loud speaker was used calling on the population to evacuate. According to Shai (Haganah Intelligence) there were at least 100 Arab fighters in the town. During the battle, civilians were also killed. Deir Yassin became a battle cry for Arabs accusing Israel of atrocities. Hazen Nusseibeh, an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service's Arabic news in 1948, admitted he was instructed by the Arab Higher Committee to "make the most of this" and thus wrote an inflammatory press release.. The wide publicity given to the unpleasant incident intensified the panic among local Arabs and was one of the sources for their mass flight.


Was held with 15,000 people in attendance to protest Polish government inaction. In order to deflect the harsh criticism, Prime Minister Ignace Paderewski invited President Wilson to send a commission of inquiry.

1849 June 5, DENMARK

Article 84 of the new constitution negated discrimination against "any person on the basis of religious grounds." The Jews originally received the rights of citizenship in 1814.

1943 September 30, DENMARK

On Friday morning, the day before Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Marcus Melchior of Copenhagen announced that "There will be no services this morning ......tomorrow the Germans plan to ... arrest all the Danish Jews... By nightfall tonight we must all be in hiding." Melchior had been warned by Hans Hedtoft (later Prime Minister) who in turn had been warned by Georg Duckwitz, an attache to the German Merchant Marine. Thus began one of the heroic stories of the Holocaust. On the appointed day, which was also the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the raid took place.
During the next few weeks, over 7000 Danish Jews were hidden and smuggled to Sweden which had promised refuge to any Danish Jews who reached it. Only 202 Jews were found. After the war the Danish Government restored all Jewish property to their original owners.

1939 December 21, DEPARTMENT IV OF THE RSHA (Germany)

Was established by Reinhard Heydrich as the center for handling the evacuation of Jews from the Eastern territories. Himmler and Heydrich named Adolf Eichmann to head this department.


Jews were first sent to two transit camps, Westerbork and Vught and from there to Auschwitz and Sobibor. Approximately 13,000 Jews were successfully hidden by both Jews and non-Jews. Out of 140,000 Jews before the war, only 35,000 survived.

1942 July 24, DERECHIN (Poland)

After witnessing the murder of his sister and parents a few months earlier, Dr. Yehezkel Atlas joined with Boris Bulat and Pavel Bulak to form a partisan unit which included the surviving families from Derechin and the surrounding area. His second in command was a man of unbelievable strength named Eliyahu Kowienski. Atlas told those joining him "Every additional day in your life is not yours but belongs to your murdered families. You must avenge them."

1942 August 10, DERECHIN (Poland)

Yehezkel Atlas helped organize 300 partisans to retake the town. 17 Germans and 2 Lithuanians were killed. Another 44 were captured and executed over the Jewish mass grave.


Prepared by the Polish underground, it was distributed to the Office of Strategic Services, the War Department and the U.N. War Crimes Commission. None of them released the report.


Was arrested by the Gestapo for" conspiring to rescue Jews". Bonhoffer , a German pastor and anti-Nazi leader, was part of what was known as the Evangelical "Confessing Church". In 1933 he had written “The Church and the Jewish Question, calling for opposition to the Nazi movement, and remained a strong opponent of the regime. He was hanged on April 9, 1945 after two years in prison, for his alleged role in the conspiracy against Hitler.


A former Spanish diplomat, he decided after moving to Hamburg to return to Judaism and had himself and his sons circumcised. Despite a vicious denunciation by the Viennese court, the Hamburg senate refused to confiscate his property and wealth. Teixeira founded the international banking house that became known as Teixeira de Mattos. In 1655 he was appointed by Sweden as its local diplomatic and financial minister. Teixeira was active in the Jewish community and helped build the new Sephardic synagogue in Hamburg.

1943 March 9, DIMITAR PESHEV ( Bulgaria)

The deputy speaker of the National Assembly, along with 42 fellow members , protested the planed deportation of Bulgarian Jews after 12,000 Jews had been deported from Bulgarian occupied areas of Macedonia and Thrace. Peshev (1894-1973), met with Interior Minister Petar Gabrovski, and demanded that he halt all deportations. Backed by strong opposition within the country, as well as Metropolitan Stefan of Sofia, Kiril of Plovdiv and others, the orders were temporarily cancelled. He then introduced a resolution to cease any future deportations. As a compromise, none of the ( approximately 34,000) Jews from old Bulgaria were deported. Yet over 11,384 Jews from Macedonia and Thrace were sent to their death. As a result of his actions , Peshev was dismissed from his post by Prime Minister Bogdan Filov.


The combination of the reneging of Persian promises, local massacres against Jews, and the prohibition of Jews to live within three miles from the Jerusalem, led to a general disappointment by those who had believed that the redemption was at hand. Benjamin of Tiberius (see 613) was offered amnesty by Heraclius on condition that he convert – which he did. In Tomai Egypt, 375 Jews converted to Christianity possibly voluntarily.

1946 January 1, DISPLACED PERSONS (Europe)

Britain agreed to allow 1500 Jews a month to immigrate to Eretz Israel. The United States, still under quotas, allowed only 1500 permits for anyone from Eastern Europe (Jews and non-Jews alike). It is estimated that there were over 250,000 Jewish Displaced Persons (DPs) in Europe, approximately thirty percent of all the displaced persons in Europe. Britain closed off their sector to Jews, forcing 5000 Jews a month into the American zones over the next four months. Over the next few years Israel would take in 142,000, the USA 72,000, Canada 16,000, Belgium 8,000, France, 2000, and the rest of the world combined 10,000.

1941 October 13 - 14, DNEPROPETROVSK (Ukraine)

In one of the largest massacres of its kind, 37,000 Jews were shot by machine guns and placed in tank ditches.

1580 DOM ANTONIO (Prior of Crato) (Portugal)

Laid claim to the Portuguese throne after Henry II died without leaving an heir. Dom Antonio was the grandson of King Manual, whose son Dom Luiz married a Converso. King Phillip II of Spain quickly annexed Portugal. A French, and later English expedition backed by Converso funds, to take Portugal, ended in failure. Antonio later blamed the Marrano community for his failure and turned against them, especially against Roderigo Lopez (see 1525) accusing him of treason.

1944 March 22, DOME SZTOJAY (Hungary)

A rabid anti-Semite and the former Hungarian minister in Berlin, was appointed prime minster. Laszlo Baky, a leading member of Arrow-Cross Party, Laszlo Endre, a veteran anti-Semite, and Major Ferenczy all played prominent roles in the annihilation of Hungarian Jewry. All were eventually executed after the war.

1073 - 1134 DON ALONSO SANCHEZ ”el Batallador” (the Valiant) (Navarra, Spain)

During his 30 year reign he granted the Jews full civil rights.

1144 DON GARCIA RAMIREZ “The Monk” (Estella, Spain)

Gave the synagogue of Estella to the Church, (now called Jus del Castillo). Ramirez (1112 – 1150), also transferred the Jewish part of town to his local nobles.

1474 December, DON HENRY IV (Castile, Spain)

Don Henry IV died, and with his death fell the last barrier to the full persecution of the Jews. His half sister, Isabella, ascended the throne of Castile. Within five years her consort Ferdinand succeeded his father, John II of Aragon, thereby uniting most of Christian Spain.

1437 - 1509 (6 Av 5269) DON ISAAC ABRAVANEL(Abarbanel) (Spain)

Philosopher, financier and scholar. He interceded many times on behalf of his fellow Jews, including trying to stop Ferdinand II from expelling them. In 1492 he was foiled by Torquemada and followed them into exile. His commentaries cover the major and minor Prophets. Consistent with his belief that the Messiah would come in his lifetime, he also wrote three messianic texts called Migdal Yeshu'ot (Tower of Salvation).

1520 - 1579 (7 Av 5339) DON JOSEPH NASI (Joao Migues, Duke of Naxos) (Portugal-Ottoman Empire[Turkey])

Nephew and son-in-law to Donna Gracia (Beatrice de Lune). After fleeing Portugal, this rich merchant, adventurer and friend of Maximillian re-established himself in Turkey. Once there, both he and Donna Gracia did much to help the fleeing Conversos. As a high member of the Turkish Court, he planned a resettlement of Tiberias. In 1561, the sultan confirmed Donna Gracia's concession and the walls were rebuilt in 1564. He sent out invitations to various communities in Italy but it is not known if any major immigration took place. Unfortunately, he became involved in other political affairs, and fell from favor during the war against Venice.

C. 1460 - C. 1523 DON JUDAH ABRAVANEL(Abarbanel)(Spain)

Also called Leone Ebreo, he was the son of Don Isaac. While he was in Italy seeking refuge, his son was forcibly taken into the church in Portugal. He is noted for his Dialogues on Love (Dialoghi d'amore) considered one of the most significant works of Renaissance Neoplatonism and had an effect on later philosophers including Spinoza.

C. 1510 - 1569 DONNA GRACIA MENDES NASI (Beatrice de Luna) (Portugal-Italy-Turkey)

Philanthropist and Jewish Leader of Converso extract. She married a banker and merchant, Francisco Mendes, also a Converso, and was widowed with a daughter at age 26. Moving to Antwep to join the banking business with her brother-in-law Diogo Mendes, they established an underground organization to help fleeing Conversos. In Ferrara, she declared her Judaism and took on the name Nasi. She later relocated to Constantinople where she used her wealth for various philanthropies including establishing yeshivot, synagogues, and feeding the poor. When in 1555 the Italian city of rn Ancona burned 25 Conversos, she tried to organize a boycott of the port but was opposed by rabbinical authorities and some merchants including Benvenida Abravanel. She passed on her influence to her son-in-law and nephew, Don Joseph Nasi.

1848 December 31, DOV BERISH MEISELS (Austria)

Was elected to the Austrian Parliament. He was also elected to the Municipality of Cracow in the same year. A vociferous supporter of Jewish rights, he aligned himself with radicals because "Juden haben keine rechte" (Jews have no rights).

1861 DOV BERISH MEISELS (Warsaw, Poland)

Petitioned and led demonstrations against Russian oppression in Poland. Together with Marcus Jastrow (a Reform leader soon to emigrate to America) and Christian leaders, he organized a mass funeral for those slain by the Russians.

1766 DOV BER (The Maggid) OF MEZHIRECH (d.19 kislev 1772)

Was recognized as the successor of the Baal Shem Tov who had died six years earlier. Dov Ber, a talmudic scholar and kabbalist, is credited with organizing Hasidism as a movement. Among his ideas was the role of the Tzaddik as a holy leader and medium between man and God, as well as Deveikut (communion with God) in all actions.

1798 - 1870 DOV BERESH MEISELS (Poland)

Rabbi, banker, and Polish nationalist. Meisels was a descendent of Moses Isserles and authored Chidushei Mahardam, a commentary on the Sefer ha-Mitzvot of Maimonides. He became rabbi of Cracow and later of Warsaw. Meisels supported Polish (Cracow) independence from Russia and Austria (where he became a member of parliament (see 1861)). These views led to his frequent expulsions and imprisonment by the Czarist authorities (see 1848). Upon his death, the Russian authorities even banned any obituaries for him in the press. His funeral in Warsaw was attended by thousands.

1946 February 1, DP POLL (Europe)

By Major John Denny of the U.S. Army revealed that 95% of the 1,941 persons polled wished only to go to Eretz Israel. Another army poll showed that out of 5,057 participants, only 109 wished to go to other countries.

1845 DR. DAVID CAMDEN DE LEON (1816-1872) (USA)

Was known as a hero of the Mexican War. De Leon served as a doctor under General Zachary Taylor and took charge of the troops after all the other officers were killed. He succeeded in not only saving the troops but encouraging them to counter-attack. For his action, he won a Congressional Citation and earned the nickname of the "Fighting Doctor." He was selected in 1861 by Confederate President Jefferson Davis as the Surgeon General of the Confederacy.

1939 October, DR. EMMANUEL RINGELBLUM (1900-1944) (Warsaw, Poland)

Chief historian of the Warsaw Ghetto, laid the foundations of the clandestine operation code-named Oneg Shabbat (Hebrew for "Sabbath Delight") - the Jewish underground archives in the Warsaw Ghetto. Several dozen writers, teachers, rabbis, and historians took part in an effort to document ghetto life that was led by Ringelbaum. The archives became one of the key resources for information on Polish Jewry under Nazi occupation and were kept up on the Aryan side even after the ghetto's destruction in April 1943. His family's hiding place was discovered by the Gestapo and they were killed on March 7, 1944.

1942 August 8, DR. GERHART REIGNER (Switzerland - USA) (Poland)

Representative of the World Jewish Congress in Switzerland, brought the first irrefutable evidence of the German plans for their "Final Solution" to the American Consulate in Geneva. He asked that the Vice Counsel Howard Elting send it to the State Department and to Rabbi Stephan Wise. Elting sent it on to the American Legation in Bern along with a note that confirming that Reigner was "serious and balanced". They in turn sent a telegram to the State Department on September 11 with a note advising that it was probably "a war rumor." Although it was decided to send a copy to Wise ,Elbridge Dubrow, a State Department official , recommended that Bern decline to send any more such messages which could reach a third party. The State Department, especially Gordon Hull and Sumner Wells, refused to send it on to Roosevelt and told Wise, after he approached them, not to publicize it until it could be "confirmed". U.S. officials withheld the news for three months.

1942 July 10, DR. JOSEF MENGELE (Auschwitz, Poland)

Began medical experiments in Auschwitz. His experiments on twins were among the most horrific. Many were as young as 5 years old and they were usually murdered after the experiments. Of the approximately 3,000 twins experimented on, very few survived. Mengele succeeded in evading capture and was rumored to have died in 1979 in South America.


Published The Rising Tide of Color, a racist book describing the "under men" and calling for the development of a pure race while at the same time pronouncing anyone not of "superior stock" an enemy. His book ran to fourteen editions, and a later book, The Revolt Against Civilization, was equally successful. In 1939 he traveled to Germany where he expressed admiration for their eugenics court.

1943 November 9, DRANCY CONCENTRATION CAMP (France)

German guards led by Commandant Alois Brunner found a tunnel being built under the camp. Prisoners had been working twenty-four hours a day for three months and had only thirty meters left to dig. The underground leader, Col. Robert Blum, as well as others were shot in response. The rest were deported on November 25. Twelve out of the fourteen succeeded in jumping from the train and rejoined the resistance.

1941 August 21, - 1944 August 17, DRANCY CONCENTRATION CAMP (France)

Drancy served as the main French internment /Assembly camp (Sammellager). It was located near Paris and originally established late in 1940. Until its liberation on August 17, 1944, more than 61,000 Jews were sent onto various concentration camps, the vast majority to Auschwitz. In July of 1943, the camp was taken over by the infamous Alois Brunner. A day after it was totally reserved for Jews, the first escape attempt was made. During its two years, 41 inmates successfully escaped.


Was liberated. From August 21, 1941 until it was liberated over 61,000 Jews were deported from Drancy "to the East." Many Jews died in Drancy and its satellite camps (Noe, Gurs, and Recebedou). 1500 inmates were still in the camp when it was liberated.

1894 October 13, DREYFUS AFFAIR (France)

Began in France with the arrest of Alfred Dreyfus, an Alsatian captain. He was accused of passing military secrets to the Germans. Dreyfus was not religious or even acknowledged as a Jew, yet he became the pawn of anti-Semitic and anti-Republic forces. The entire country became divided between Dreyfusards and anti-Dreyfusards. The subsequent trial and its anti-Semitic overtones served as an impetus for many Jews (i.e. Herzl) to become aware of their own Jewishness.

1895 January 5, DREYFUS AFFAIR (France)

Dreyfus was tried and found guilt of treason. He was publicly degraded and sent to Devil's Island. Later on evidence was produced which proved that Major Esterhazy and Colonel Henry, Dreyfus' chief accusers, had forged the evidence, yet a new trial was not begun until 1899.

1899 September 9, DREYFUS' SECOND TRIAL (France)

Dreyfus was again convicted of treason but due to "extenuating circumstances" he was sentenced to "only" five more years of imprisonment. On the advice of his lawyer, Waldeck-Rousseau, Dreyfus withdrew his appeal and was granted a "pardon" by the president of the republic.

1906 July 12, DREYFUS WAS ACQUITTED (France)

On all counts by the Court of Appeals. After refusing compensation, he was promoted to Major. Dreyfus competently commanded an ammunition column in World War I. He died in 1935.


Was established in Philadelphia. Dr. Cyrus Adler was appointed its first president.

1533 April 5, DUARTE DE PAZ (Portugal)

An emissary of the New Christians of Portugal succeeded in gaining from Pope Clement VII a postponement of the establishing of the Inquisitions against New Christians in Portugal. The pope issued the , Bulla de Perdao, which was essentially a pardon for all past offenses. Unfortunately, the pope died a few years later, and the Inquisition was officially established (1536).

1941 September 3, DUBOSSARY (Moldavia, Romania)

In one of the first actions of its kind in the Dubossary ghetto, the Jewish underground run by Yankel Guzanyatsky (Guzinsky) killed the town's Commandant Kraft, and blew up an ammunition depot in retribution for his burning alive 600 old people in one of the town's synagogues. Guzanyatsky's unit had already been active since the summer and now he decided to leave the town and set up a partisan unit. General Kobpek's Partisans, located in that area made no effort to help. (Note: Although many small revolts took place we have little knowledge of them as there were often no survivors, furthermore in the Soviet Union, no research was allowed on "Jewish" revolts.)

1808 October 17, DUCHY OF WARSAW (Poland)

With Napoleon's arrival, the new State parliament called for equal rights. Unfortunately, this did not include the Jews, whose rights would be postponed for 10 years "in the hope of eradicating all their distinctions which set them apart".

1261 DUKE HENRY II (Netherlands)

Ordered in his will that all Jews be expelled from the province of Brabant. His widow requested and received an affirmation from Thomas Aquinas stating that it was permitted to benefit from the Jews, and the edict was cancelled.

1170 - 1196 DULCIE (Dulcea) OF WORMS

Business woman, and educator. She was the wife of Rabbi Eleazar ben Judah of Worms ( see 1165) and well educated. In addition to running an extended household and her investment business, she evidently was also involved in education. She also served as a Firzogerin (first reader), a woman who would lead prayers for other women. Dulcie, her daughters Bellette and Hannah, and one son Jacob died in an attack on their home.

C. 890 - C. 960 DUNASH IBN TAMIM (aka Adonim/ Abu Sahl) (Kairouan, North Africa)

Scholar, physician, and philosopher, he also wrote works in Arabic on astronomy. A student of Isaac Israeli, he is most remembered for his commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Creation), the earliest known book on Jewish esotericism. Ibn Tamin also undertook a methodical comparison between Hebrew and Arabic.


Its Converso publicly returned to professing Judaism.

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