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70 (9 Av 3830) JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Fell to Titus after 4 years of fighting. The Temple was destroyed. According to Josephus, some 1,100,000 Jews perished during the revolt and another 97,000 were taken captive.

70 FISCUS JUDAICUS (Jewish Tax) (Eretz Israel)

As a result of the war, Vespasian ordered the donations of a half-shekel, given by most Jews to the Temple, now be paid to Rome. This marked the first time that a disability was imposed on religious grounds. Anyone who tried to deny their Jewish origin was subjected to a humiliating examination especially under the reign of Domitian, brother of Titus.


Convinced the poorer Jews of Cyrene to revolt by promising them as a "prophet" that he would walk them through the desert. The Roman Governor, L. Valerius Catullus, had them executed. At the same time the Governor also murdered a few thousand wealthy Jews and appropriated their property.


(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.

81 ARCH OF TITUS (Rome, Italy)

Which commemorates Titus' conquest of Eretz Israel, was erected by his brother Emperor Domitian. There is a Jewish custom not to walk under the arch which depicts the taking of Jews into captivity as well as the vessels from the Temple.

C. 100 - C. 165 JUSTIN MARTYR

Early Christian philosopher, and author of Dialogue with Tryphon, as well as his Apologies. Justin considered Judaism an enemy of Christianity. He professed that the Jews bear the responsibility for the death of Jesus, since they "insulted, shamed and murdered him on the cross." This he believed was part of by a conspiracy by the Jews and Herod , who in turn was guided in his actions by "Satan himself". He also proposed that Jews persecute and kill Christians as soon as they have the power to do so.


Written in Greek, its goal was to deter new Christians from being influenced by Judaism , stressing that Jews no longer share in God's covenant. It is one of the earliest examples of Adversos-Judaeum , theology, which concludes that Jews have been abandoned by God, and thus by the church and all Christians. It was read in churches in the first three centuries, though it was not included as part of the canon.

115 - 117 THE SECOND ROMAN REBELLION (Roman Empire)

While Trajan (98-117) was busy fighting against the Armenians and Parthians, a revolt which was mainly led by Jews, broke out in Cyprus, Egypt, and Cyrene on the north coast of Africa. In Cyrene, it was led by a Jewish "king" called Lukuas, and in Cyprus by Artemion. Some violence also flared in the Jerusalem area and the Galilee. These wars were known as Polemos Shel Kitos (War of Quietus) named after the Moorish General Lucius Quietus who put down the rebellion. After almost a year of fighting, Trajan's General, Marcius Turbo, succeeded in putting down the rebellion. In all of the cities, there was widespread destruction including the capital of Cyprus, Salamis, much of Alexandria, and most of the Island of Cyrene. In Alexandria, the great synagogue and library were destroyed as well. As a result, Jews were forbidden to live in Cyprus. The rebellion forced Trajan to abandon his campaign to conquer Babylon which continued to provide a refuge for the Jews.


The Jewish population numbered between 100,000 and 200,000, which was between 10-12% of the entire population. The Jews were semi-autonomous and had full freedom of religion.

135 (9 Av 3895) BETAR (Eretz Israel)

The last major stronghold in Judea fell against overwhelming Roman forces. Simon bar Kochba (bar Kosiba) the leader of the revolt was killed. An estimated half a million Jews perished in this revolt which left over 985 villages and 50 fortresses in ruins. So great were the Roman losses that the emperor in his annual report to the Senate left out the customary: "I and my army are well."

136 JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Hadrian built a pagan temple on the site of the destroyed Temple. He renamed the city Aelia Capatolina and forbade Jews to enter into the city.

155 - C. 235 Cassius Dio (Dio cassius)

Roman historian. He is the primary non-Jewish source regrading Jewish history of the time. Although much of his information is reliable, he tended to imaginative exaggerations when it served his Roman patrons. Regarding the Cyrene revolt (see 115), he reported that Jews killed a half a million romans and Greeks, would eat the flesh of their victims, and anoint themselves with their blood.rn rn rn rn


Published a sermon "On the Passion" in which he blamed the Jews for the persecution and death of Jesus and absolved Pontius Pilate and the Romans from any guilt. Although there was much evidence to the contrary his stand served to rid the Romans of any responsibility or shame and thus encourage them to convert. This is one of the first times the Jews were officially accused of deicide.


An important early Christian theologian. He wrote Expository Treatise Against The Jews , which linked the condition of the Jews to their rejection of Jesus. He also identified the anti-Christ as being from the tribe of Dan.


Wrote two books against the Jews . " Saint" Apollinaris defended Christian beliefs and strongly castigated the Jews for their "blindness".

193 - 211 LUCIUS SEPTIMIUS SEVERUS (Roman Empire)

Numbered as one of the emperors friendly to the Jews. Part of his attitude was in response to the support he received from the Jewish communities in his war against Pescennius Niger, who had once told a Jewish delegation that he was sorry he couldn't tax the air they breathed. In spite of this, Severus forbade Jews from converting anyone to Judaism. Under his reign Jews could be appointed to public offices, but were exempt from those formalities which were contrary to Judaism.


Wrote his "Adversus Iudaeos" (Against the Jews), supposedly portraying an argument between a Jew and Christian. In it (the first of its kind in Latin), the Christian "proves" that they have displaced Judaism, taking over as the "People of God". Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240) wrote another book in 221 ("Against Marcion"), which included much of his anti-Judaic ideas. Chrysostom (see 386) and Pseudo-Gregory of Nyssa (see 390) wrote a number of other texts with similar names (Adversus Iudaeos).

C. 200 EARLY SYNAGOGUE IS BUILT (Stobi, Macedonia)

By Tiberius Polycharmus, who converted the bottom floor of his house into a prayer hall. Letters sent by Agrippa to Caligula proved that Jews settled in the region during Roman times.


Wrote Contra Judaeous, which blamed the harsh conditions of the Jews on their rejection of Jesus.

212 EMPEROR CRACALLA (Roman Empire)

Allowed all free men including Jews within the empire to become full Roman citizens. Cracalla (188-217) the son of Septimius Severus, was evidently friendly to the Jews. Also named Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, he is considered by some to be the "Antoninus" mentioned in the Talmud as a friend and benefactor of the patriarch Judah I.


Founded by Ardusher I (Artaxerxes)(r.224-241). Despite occasional outbursts of Zoroaster fanaticism and persecution, Jews were welcomed by Ardusher and Jewish schools of learning were encouraged. This open atmosphere helped create the great centers of Torah study.

247 SAMUEL (Babylon)

Samuel became the acknowledged leader of the Jewish community in Babylon. A friend and colleague of Rav, he lived and taught in Nahardea where he was head of the academy. He was also an astronomer who composed a fixed calendar. He did not publish it, however, out of respect for the Patriarchate in Eretz Israel. In monetary and civil matters his rulings were accepted as binding. He also instructed Jews to adopt the laws of whichever land they dwelt in (Dina d'malchuta Dina), thus preparing them for survival in foreign environments. He served for only seven years.


Became a Bishop. He then wrote a series of biblical proofs entitled Testimoniorum adversus Judaeos, (Testimony Against the Jews). This was basically a compendium of the church's teachings on Judaism. He was greatly influenced by Tertullian (see 198), insisting that the Jews have been forsaken by God because of their rejection of Jesus.


Although some scholars have dated Jewish arrival to the end of the second temple, the first actual proof can be found on an inscription on a tombstone in Adra written as follows: " here lies ... nia daughter of Solomon one year four months and a day, a Jewess". Some use Paul's Letter to the Romans (58 ce), which mentions the need to visit the Jews of Spain, as proof of an earlier date.


Made sacrifices to the emperor obligatory, though he exempted the Jews from the order. Galerius (r.293-305) also upgraded the respect given to the patriarchal office.


A well known and still respected Syriac Christian poet and theologian .Over 400 of his hymns are still in existence. He wrote a quite a few of anti-Jewish hymns ( e.g. Hymns of the Unleavened Bread, Carmina Nisibena) which were incorporated into the Syriac and Orthodox church. Recognized as a " Doctor of the Church", he called on his fellow Christians to;" Avoid the Jew… Your death and blood is nothing much to him!... he tramps around the ocean and the land to find companions for the road to Hell." The Prayer of Saint Ephrem, is still recited at every service during Lent and other fasting periods in Eastern Christianity. He is also honored with a feast day by the Episcopal Church (USA) on June 10.There was also a pseudo-Ephram fifty years later who continued fulminations against the Jews including ; " He who eats with a Jew, shall not inherit life in the afterworld."


One of the earliest Christian councils, and origin of some of the first pre Constantine canons against Jews. It included a ban on intermarriage and social intercourse or hospitality. In addition, crops were forbidden to be blessed by Jews.

307 - 337 CONSTANTINE (Roman Empire)

United the Roman Empire. Part of his policy was to protect Jews who converted to Christianity. Constantine also founded a new capital city in the East at Constantinople (modern Istanbul). This reflected the increasing weakness of the Western part of the Roman Empire and the strengthening of the Eastern part.


Wrote his Historia Ecclesiastica, , a chronological account Early Christianity. Eusebius (c. 260–c. 339), tried to prove that immediately after rejecting Jesus, the Jews were punished by heaven with many disasters. In his fear that some Christians still sympathize with Judaism, he wrote a Jew is "a liar, even as also is his father the devil" He urged Christians to have nothing to do with Jews ,"For where there is Christianity there cannot be Judaism".


Eusebius of Caesarea (260-339) published his Onomasticon. A geographic guide to 4th century Eretz Israel. In his description South Hebron he denotes 68 Jewish towns in the south of Hebron area making up 70% of the population. They included Eshtemoa " .. a large Jewish town of priests", and Yatta " a very large village of Jews". The number decreased following the Crusades and up to the Mamluk times there were about 26 settlements. All eventually disappeared with many inhabitants converting to Islam.

321 December 11, THE RHINE (Germany)

The first evidence of Jews along the Rhine was found in a letter from Emperor Constantine to the prefect of Cologne regarding special taxes. The synagogue originally thought to be dated to the 11th century is now believed by archeologist to have been built 200 years earlier.

325 COUNCIL OF NICEA (present Iznik Turkey)

Officially changed the date of Easter from that of Passover. It also forbade Jews to own Christian slaves or convert pagans to Judaism. (It should be stressed that neither this nor the consequent bans on Jews owning slaves had anything to do with the Church's attitude to slavery. It was solely a matter of not allowing the slaves to be owned by non-Christians.) This began a total separation between early Christianty (most of whose adherents were Jews) and Judaism.

331 - 396 ST. GREGORY OF NYSSA (Asia Minor/Central Turkey)

Is considered together with John Chrysostom, to be one the formulators of the anti-Jewish doctrine in the Byzantine Church. He called Jews "…murderers of the Lord, assassins of the prophets, rebels and detesters of God,... companions of the devil". He also claimed, "The Jews are a brood of vipers, (and) haters of goodness." Gregory is recognized as a saint by all catholic and many protestant churches.


Abbaye (278-338) was the nephew of Rabba Bar Nachmani who adopted him when his parents died. Abbaye was admired for his integrity by both Jews and gentiles. His Talmudic debates with Rava (who opened an academy at Mahoza on the Tigris River) became famous and are known as Havayot (Reflections) deAbbaya veRava. They both encouraged elementary education for children. He wrote many popular sayings underlying his belief in the importance that one be beloved above and well liked below.


He served as the Pope (314-335) the time of Nicea. Though little is known about him, he did forbid priests to "be friendly or sociable with Jews", on pain of excommunication. Today in many parts of Europe and Asia New year's day is also known as "Sylvester".

339 CONSTANTIUS II`(Roman Empire)

Son of Constantine the Great, declared intermarriage with Jews and the circumcision of heathen or Christian slaves punishable by death. Considering that slaves fueled the economy, this put any Jewish owned businesses into a position where they could not compete – which was one of its goals. He also called synagogues "concliabula" (brothels). This is the first time this term is used.

342 - 420 JEROME

Early church father of Christian parentage. His major work was a Latin translation of the Bible known as the Vulgate. Jerome believed that Mosaic law was a trick by G-d to destroy the Jews.


Referred to in Catholic literature as "the man with the golden tongue". A virulent hater of Judaism, he disseminated his views through violent writings and preachings. He considered it meritorious to kill Jews.

C. 345 . SYNAGOGUE DESTROYED (Dertona/Tortona, Northern Italy)

By Bishop Innocentis, who then confiscated the property. Local Jews were then offered a choice between baptism or expulsion.


The first definite evidence of Jewish presence in Bukhara is related in the Babylonian Talmud (Av. Zar. 31b) regarding an amora (Samuel bar Bisna) who lived in the town of Margwan, i.e., Margiana, the medieval Merv (now the region of Mari, the Soviet Turkmen republic). There are some archeological remains which suggest a Jewish presence as early as the first century. The Jews from the area of Tajikistan were later referred to as Bukharim, named for the Emir of Bukhara.

361 - 363 JULIAN THE APOSTATE (Roman Empire)

The only non-Christian emperor since Constantine, he preferred Judaism to Christianity, considering Judaism closer to his conception of the Greco-Roman viewpoint. He planned to rebuild the Temple and even began construction, but he was killed on the battlefield. His plans died with him.In his war with Mesopotamia he encouraged the Jews to support him. The vast majority despite his promises of rebuilding a third temple continued to support Persia and were allowed to bear arms in self defense.


Shapur II (309-379) forcibly transferred approximately 7000 Jews from outlying territories to the interior of Persia.


Referred to the Jews as “a perverse people whom God has cursed forever”. Hilary (300-368) was recognized as one of the 36 "Doctors" or teachers of the church.


Often confused with St Gregory, wrote Testimonies against the Jews,. In it he emphasizes gods rejection of the Jews, and the obsolescence of Jewish law.


Was a series of eight sermons by John Chrysostom denouncing and slandering Judaism. They were published as part of the battle to totally sever Christianity from Judaism, and to prevent Christians from participating in Jewish festivals. Although there was little new in his sermons they are unique in their intensity and vitriol. "Although such beasts [Jews] are unfit for work, they are fit for killing . . . fit for slaughter. (I.II.5) Shall I tell you of their plundering, their covetousness, their abandonment of the poor, their thefts, their cheating in trade? (I.VII.1)"

395 January, ARCADIUS (Eastern Roman Empire)

Succeeded Theodosius the Great at the age of 17. Arcadius (377-408) was a weak ruler, influenced by advisors, church officials, and his wife Aelia Flaccilla, who Ambrose considered a " pillar of the church". His first few years of reign were more or less favorable, continuing the status quo regarding the Jews. This changed as the local population spurred on by the preaching of Chrysostom in Antioch and Cyril in Jerusalem rioted, and urged him to promote new legislation against the Jews.


Canon 89 prohibited the celebration of " Jewish superstitions and festivals", on pain of excommunication. In another canon, all those deemed "infamaia to wit, actors, persons of evil habits heretics, pagans, and Jews", were not permitted to give evidence in court.


During a siege on Yathrib (Medina) Abu Karib Asad Kamil (c. 385-420), a Himyarite (Southern Arabian) king became ill. Reportedly he was saved by two Jews in the besieged city and in return agreed to lift the siege and converted to Sadduceean Judaism. He succeeded in conquering much of the Arabian peninsula together with Jewish tribes and pagan allies.

404 April 22, HONORIUS (Co-Emperor)

Decreed that Jews and Samaritans are to be deprived of all military rank nor allowed to bear arms A number of years later believing this didn't go far enough he added also excluded Jews from all civil service ( see 418).


Incited the Greeks to kill or expel the Jews. Cyril (376-44) who was appointed patriarch of Alexandria in 412 forced his way into the synagogue at the head of a mob, expelled the Jews and gave their property to the crowd. The Prefect Orestes, who refused to condone this behavior, was set upon and almost stoned to death. Only one Jew, Adamanlius, agreed to be baptized. Within a few years Jews were allowed to return, but a majority of them returned only after the Mohammedans conquered Egypt.


Jews were allegedly accused that during their revelry of the Purim holiday they " mistreated ( a Christian boy) until he died". The incident was only reported by one church historian Socrates Scholasticus and totally ignored by all others for hundreds of years. It is only in 1150 that it was revived and embellished by Thomas of Monmouth who claimed that it was not drunkenness, but actually part of a Jewish ritual in his book, The life, and miracles of St William of Norwich (see 1150).

418 MAGONA ( Minorca- Balearic Islands off Spain's eastern coast)

Severus, the bishop of Minorca, claimed to have forced 540 Jews tornaccept Christianity upon conquering the Island. This is the first we know ofrnJews on this Island as well as the first case of Jews being forced tornconvert or face expulsion. Although in general forced conversions (as later laidrndown by Pope Gregory I) were officially frowned upon, they were consideredrnvalid - and backsliding was usually considered heresy. Harsher "no choice"rnforced conversions began in the 9th century. rnrn


As part of what would be known as the Codex Theodosianus (CTh 16.8.24), Jews were banned from joining the imperial service, "They are however allowed to continue to serve as advocates before judges (see 439).


A local bishop (411-435) and supporter of Cyril of Alexandria, converted one of the two local synagogues into the Church of St Stephen. He claimed to have converted " thousands "of Jews sometimes through violent means.

420 February 15, 420 February 15 THEODOSIUS II (ILLYRICUM -East coast of the Adriatic Sea and its inland mountains.)

After local attacks on the Jews, he prohibited the burning of synagogues. At the same time, he warned Jews not to "provoke" Christians.

423 June 8, EMPEROR THEODOSIUS II ( Eastern Empire)

Ordered, that "Jews may not construct new synagogues or improve existing ones, but old ones will not be torn down, and if so they will be compensated." No penalty was attached to those who ignored his order. This was his last effort to offer some protection to the Jewish community in the Roman Empire. From here on he made no attempt to stop anti- Jewish persecution by the clergy and himself began to denounce Judaism in no uncertain terms.

423 April 8, VALENTINIAN III (Western Roman Emperor)

Jews were forbidden to disinherit their children who became Christians.


Branded Judaism a corruption and called for the enslavement and severe persecution of Jews until they agreed to convert.

425 July 9, FRANCE

In one of the earliest official mentions of Jews in France, a declaration was sent to Amatius the prefect of Gaul by emperor Theodosius II (401-450). In it he prohibited Jews and pagans from practicing law or holding public offices in order to prevent them from being subjected to or influenced by them.

425 July 9, VALENTINIAN III (Western Roman Emperor)

Reemphasizes the law " deny(ing) Jews and pagans (the right) to try cases of law or serve in the army".

425 February 1, THEODOSIUS II ( Eastern Empire)

Ordered Jews to observe Christian holidays.

429 THEODOSIUS II (Emperor of the Eastern (Byzantine) Roman Empire)

Ordered that all funds raised by Jews to support schools be turned over to his treasury. (They are still known as the patriarchal funds.)

430 VANDALS (a Germanic tribe)

Established a kingdom in North Africa. The Jews there lived peacefully and flourished until the Almohad conquest of the 11th century.


Wife of Theodosius II visited Jerusalem, and arranged for Jews to visit and pray at the ruins of the temple for the feast of tabernacle later that year ( see October 438). This encouraged a movement of Jews to Jerusalem. Eudocia returned to Jerusalem after being banished by Theodosius II around 443 and remained there until her death in 460. rn


After Eudocia had arranged for Jews to pray at the ruins of the temple for the feast of Tabernacles, the monk Barsauma of Nisibis, and forty of his followers, attacked them, killing many. At their trial, he claimed that he was innocent, and that by a miracle the stones fell from heaven. Although the case was originally brought before the empress, it was later transferred to the governor of Caesarea, who acquitted them. Over the next three years, Barsauma roamed the holy land, attacking and destroying synagogues. In 460 he became the Metropolitan Bishop of Nisibis (present Turkey). He was a favorite of King Firuz/Peroz or Persia.

438 THEODOSIUS II ( Eastern Empire)

In his Novella III he once again absolutely prohibited Jews from holding any public office and " you have lost the right to the title of clarissimus (most renowned)."

439 January 1, CODE OF THEODOSIUS II (Byzantine Empire)

The first imperial compilation of anti-Jewish laws since Constantine (c.312) went into effect. Jews were prohibited from holding important positions involving money, including judicial and executive offices. The ban against building new synagogues was reinstated. Theodosius was the Roman emperor of the East (408-450). The Code was also readily accepted by Western Roman Emperor, Valentinian III (425-455).


Prohibited the clergy from participating in Jewish feasts. This was designed to place Jews further beyond the pale of Christian civilization.rnrn


The Mazdaks named after its founder), also known as the Zandiks, were avowed communists, who banned marriage and property ownership. The Sassanids looked somewhat in favor of the Mazdaks since it weakened the nobles. The Zoroastrians, who were fire worshippers, defeated Kavad I, a mazdak , but he soon regained power in his own province. Many Jews were killed by both sides.


King Firuz (Pheroces/Peroz) (r. 457-484) added to the edicts of Jezdegerd II (see 455), by closing synagogues and study houses. He ordered the Exilarch Mar Huna (Mar Zutra's son) executed after he insisted that Jews had a right to defend themselves and their religion. A number of other Jewish scholars were also put to death. . His daughter and a number of his close entourage escaped to Arabia.

472 ANTI- JEWISH RIOTS (Isfahan, Persia)

Although for the most part Jews had lived in peace under Zoroastrian influences, anti-Jewish riots spread through the city after rumors began that the Jews killed two Zoroastrian priests. An estimated half of the Jewish population was killed and their children abducted to be raised in the Zoroastrian religionrnrn


Factions of the "Orthodox" upper class (Blues) fought the Monophysites lower class (Greens). The Jews in general supported the ruling class blues, which resulted in many attacks by the Greens. In one incident, the synagogue in Daphne near Antioch was razed, a number of Jews killed , and bones were removed from the Jewish cemetery and burned. Emperor Zeno (474-491) commented, that the greens deserved punishment for not throwing live Jews into the flames.


Arrived with a group of Babylonian Jews to the Malabar coast of India. Rabbah was granted a mini-state in Granganor and freedom of religion. Eventually some Jews settled in Mattachary near Cochin, which became known as "Jews Town".

500 THEODORIC (Italy)

King of the Ostrogoths (an Aryan tribe). After conquering Italy (489) he issued an edict confirming protection for the Jews and safeguarding their privileges/charters, which included the right to determine civil disputes and freedom of worship. He also protected their synagogues and persons against incitement by the Church.

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.

508 ARLES (Gaul)

Was attacked by the Franks and Burgundians. Jews played a significant role in its defense.

531 EMPEROR JUSTINIAN (527-565) (Byzantine Empire)

Ruled that Jews cannot testify against Christians. He also censored part of the synagogue liturgy for being anti-trinitarian. Justinian is famous for his Codex Justinianeus (Corpus Juris Civilis), which he began in 527, as well as his new regulations known as Novels (Novellae Constitutiones Post Codicem). In his Codex and Novellae, he revised many of the older ordinances and added some of his own. These included new anti- Jewish imperial directives and restrictions. In general, his code united church and state making anyone who was not connected to the Christian church a non- citizen. These regulations determined the status of Jews throughout the Empire for hundreds of years.


Banned Jewish judges and prohibited Jews from holding administrative positions.


Prohibited Jews from appearing in the streets during Easter because "their appearance is an insult to Christianity". Childbert (a Merovinian king) approved the measure so as not to offend Christians. Until the reign of Charlemagne (800), France (Gaul) consisted of small principalities ruled by petty kings. The decree of a king was not valid beyond the borders of his kingdom, so if Jews were banished from one kingdom it did not affect the Jews in another kingdom.

543 EMPEROR JUSTINIAN (Byzantine Empire)

Tried to force Jews to postpone Passover until after Easter.

547 CAESAREA (Eretz Israel)

Massacre of Jews and Samaritans by local Christians.


A fictional history about the life of Julian "The Apostate" was written. It placed all the blame for his activities on the Jews, and reflected the anti Jewish climate in those times.

576 Easter CLERMONT-FERREND (Gaul)

During a procession, a recent convert to Christianity was doused with rancid oil by a former co-religionist. Though Biship Avitus succeeded in temporarily calming the crowd . Four days later local Christians burned down the synagogue and began attacking Jews. The Bishop offered the Jews a choice baptism or exile, he reported that 500 Jews accepted conversion.The rest fled, mostly to Marseilles. Many of those who ostensibly converted managed to eventually return to practicing Judaism.

581 HORMISDAS IV (Persia)

Tyrannized the Jews, forcing many to flee, including the leaders of the academies.

581 PRISCUS (Gaul)

The royal jeweler to Chilper I (Gaul) was forced into a debate with Gregory of Tours, a respected Christian theologian. Despite the fact that the king also put pressure on Priscus, he held his own and even Gregory conceded that the debate ended without a winner. The king tried forcing Priscus to convert together with other Jews. When that failed, Priscus was imprisoned and then murdered by Phatir, a recent convert. Phatir was granted a royal pardon, but was killed within a few days by Priscus' relatives.


Expanded the edicts of the Council of Clermont and included a demand for Jews to respect the Christian clergy. Furthermore, Jews were forced to sell slaves at a lower price than market value if the slave declared his desire to convert.


Adopted Catholicism. Jews were banned from slave ownership, intermarriage and positions of authority. Recared also decreed that children of mixed marriages must be raised as Christians.

589 NARBONNE (Gaul)

The Council forbade Jews from chanting Psalms while burying their dead. Anyone violating this law was fined 6 ounces of gold. In addition all Jews married to Christian woman had to baptize their children.


Formulated the official Papal policy regarding Jews; they were to be tolerated according to the regulations passed by the previous council. Gregory objected to forced baptism, but valued converts. This policy which was officially set in canon 60 of the council of Toledo(633), became the basis for the rejection of forced baptism by many Popes. Even anti- Jewish popes like Innocent III rejected forced baptism.

594 October, POPE GREGORY I

Recommended the use of financial persuasion to convert Jews in Sicily. He did not approve of forced conversion per se, as it could lead to "back sliding".


Jews had formed many warlike tribes. They were renowned, especially in Yathuolb (Medina), Khaiba and Taima, for their advanced knowledge of irrigation. They introduced the date palm, grape vines and the honey bee.

602 - 628 PERSIAN CAMPAIGN - PERSIAN CAMPAIGN – KHOSROW (Khosroe) II (King of Persia)

Attacked Heraclius, the Eastern Roman Emperor, and succeeded for a time in reconquering all of Western Asia and some of Egypt. Heraclius, supported by Caucasian tribes and the Khazars, defeated him at Ctesiphon. These loses led to his murder in 628 by Persian assassins. The Jews took an active part in many of his campaigns believing that this was the beginning of the Age of Redemption.


Despite a Roman ban, Jews had settled in Jerusalem. The local Byzantine governor ordered all of them to be baptized, partly as a result of the tension between the Persian and the Byzantine kingdom.

608 September, ANTIOCH (Syria)

Upon receiving word of the imminent approach of the Persians, the Jews rioted, killing the Christian Patriarch in revenge for the severe repression they had suffered. This facilitated the entrance of Persian troops under Khosrow II . In Trye, the Jews supposedly began a rebellion and called for their co-religionist help, which resulted in the gates being closed to Jews, and those there were held as hostages.

613 TIBERIAS (Eretz Israel)

Led by the wealthy Benjamin of Tiberias, and Nehemiah ben Hushiel the Jews gave their assistance to the conquering Persian forces. This included financial help and a force of about 20,000 people. According to many sources, Ben Hushiel was later appointed governor of Jerusalem by the Persians.

614 JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

After a 20-day siege, the city fell to the Persians under the General Scharbaraz (aka Romizanes). Some 37,000 Christians were allegedly deported. Nehemiah ben Hushiel was appointed its governor and began to plan to rebuild the temple Jews. At that time there were approximately 150,000 Jews living in 31 rural and 12 urban settlements, throughout Eretz Israel. A few month later local Christians revolted murdering him and his council and succeeded in retaking the city for 19 days.


Largest ever meeting of Merovingian Bishops. They decided that all Jews holding military or civil positions must accept baptism, together with their families.


The earliest referral (in the Justinian codes) to the Jewish Oath also known as Juramentum Judaeorum. It was originally established by Emperor Justinian 75 years earlier. The idea was based on the concept that no heretic could be believed in court against a Christian. Various methods were used to ensure that the Jew would tell the truth. These included swearing on an opened Torah scroll while standing on a pigskin or while wearing a belt of thorns, or even standing on a stool wearing a "Jews hat." In 1555 the oath became standardized throughout Europe and only was totally abolished in 1914 (Romania).


Jews were excluded from civil and military positions. It was ratified by Clotaire II (584–629) the Merovingian king of the Franks.

617 JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

After only three years the Persians reneged on their promises and forbade Jews to settle within a three mile radius of the city.


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.

625 THEODOSIUS (Eretz Israel)

Commander of the returning Byzantinian army. He promised amnesty to Jews who joined the Persians. He too was greeted by Benjamin of Tiberias.


Decreed that Jews accepting public office had to convert.


An aggadic midrash (written between the 4th and 6th century) appeared predicting that the Messiah would soon appear to free the Jews from their misery.It is extant in two versions a Hebrew one and a Christian (Coptic) one. It also known and the "Apocalypse of Elijah".

629 March 21, BYZANTINE EMPEROR HERACLIUS (Eretz Israel)

Marched into Jerusalem at the head of his army with the support of Jewish inhabitants. The Jews who had previously fought with the Persians against Byzantine rule decided to support him in return for a promise of amnesty. Upon his entry into Jerusalem the local priests convinced him that killing Jews was a positive commandment and that his promise was therefore invalid. Hundreds of Jews were massacred and thousands of others fled to Egypt. Thus, much of the rich Jewish life in the Galilee and Judea came to an end.

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.

632 - 634 EMPEROR HERACLIUS (Byzantine Empire)

Forced baptism on North African Jewish communities. This was probably the first case of officially sanctioned forced baptism. Until this time Jews were protected by Theodosian Law which protected them from forced conversions, though it imposed limitations on Jewish freedom. Once breached there was no longer any hesitation on the part of Christian leaders to use forced conversions as a political tool whenever they wished.


Under the presidency of Saint Isidore, Bishop of Seville, King Sisenand renewed Sesbut's (612-620) decrees. Forced conversions were denounce but Converts (even if forcibly baptized) were forced to adhere strictly to Christianity and were forbidden to socialize with unbaptized Jews. Children of unbaptized Jews were baptized to be taken from their homes, and raised as Christians. This cannon was to be used numerous times over the next 1200 years by the church to justify the removal of children from non Christian parents (See 1858).


The pact is often ascribed to Omar I (Umar ibn al-Khattab), the second successor to Mohammed, although most historians believe it was only attributed to him by Omar II (Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz) an Umayyad caliph (r.717-720) known for his extremism. The pact determined the place of Jews in Moslem society. Jews were not allowed to build new synagogues, had to pray quietly and were forbidden from preventing other Jews from converting. They were also forbidden to ride horses or hold judicial or civil posts. In order to be easily distinguished from Moslems, they were eventually forced to wear a yellow patch (850), a practice the Christians later adopted. They were also banished from "Holy Arabia". In many Moslem countries (Saudi Arabia) some of the aspects of the pact are still in effect today.

637 CAESAREA (Eretz Israel)

After a 7-month siege, a Jew named Joseph led the Moslem attackers through a tunnel to capture the city. There were an estimated 100,000 Jews in Caesarea. After the fall of the city, the anti-Jewish tenets of the Pact of Omar was enforced against them.

638 JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Omar accepted the Christian surrender and agreed to the Christian Patriarch Sophronnas' demand not to permit Jews to return to Jerusalem. Despite his agreement he soon allowed 70 Tiberian families to settle in Jerusalem.

638 January 9, SIXTH COUNCIL OF TOLEDO (Spain)

King Chintilla decreed that only Catholics were permitted to live in Visigothic Spain. Despite this ban, many Jews continued to live there. In addition, it was enacted that each King had to swear to continue a policy of not permitting the Jews of infringing this holy faith. Only two of the rulers, Chindaswinth (r. 642-653) and Witiza (c.687-710) were more lenient toward their Jewish subjects. rnrn


Jews who had previously lived there gradually returned.


Despite the constant suppression of Judaism, many Jews had remained in Constantinople and they became the target of anti-Jewish riots.


With the Arab conquest of Egypt the Jews were specificity allowed to continue to live in the city. Amr ibn al-As(i) the Arab commander estimated that there were approximately 40,000 Jews in the city including many who had fled Byzantine persecutions.

654 February 18, TOLEDO (Spain)

Receswinth, King of the Visigoths, forced Judaizing Christians (converted Jews who still kept Jewish traditions) to swear loyalty to the Church or die. They were forced to spend Jewish and Christian holy days with the clergy, but were not forced to eat pork.


Ordered all converted Jews to spend all Jewish and Christian holidays in the presence of a bishop in order to prove their sincerity as a Christian.

661 - 750 UMAYYAD (Omayyad) DYNASTY (Syria)

Reigned from Damascus, Syria. This repressive rule failed to unite the Arabs and embittered non-Moslems by their harsh persecutions. They Were the first Muslim dynasty, and reigned from Damascus, Syria where they transformed Islam into a major empire. Their repressive rule failed to unite the Arabs partly due to the fact that they were not descended from Mohammed, and partly due to their passing their power dynastically. The Umayyads were the first to rule after the first four Caliphs which were directly linked to Mohammed. Muawiya I was its first Umayyad Caliph.How Jews fared, depended on the Caliph. The Umayyads were overthrown by the Abbasid family, who claimed the right of supreme power.


The massacre of local non-Moslem populations by the first Caliphs gave way to a practical accommodation, including Omar's encouragement of the Jews to return to Babylon (Persia).

661 KING LANGOBARD (Northern Italy)

Perctarit - son of Arupert the First. Catholic ruler of the Teutonic Langobard. He forced the Jews to adopt Christianity or be killed. Many Jews survived by outwardly accepting Christianity.


Muawiya I was acclaimed as caliph of the Umayyad dynasty. Muawiya ( 602-680) is credited with building the first mosque on the temple mount. He had a strong attachment to Jerusalem and even considered moving his capital there. Muawiya established good relationships with non Moslems and even encouraged Jews to move to Jerusalem.


The earliest reference to Jews appeared in Liber Poeintentialis by Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury. These were rulings against social interaction between Christians and Jews. There is a question as to whether these rulings were of a general nature and thus not a proof that Jews lived in early England. The first documentation of early Jews were mostly traders from northern France was in 691.

672 HILDERUC (Spain)

Governor of Nimes in Spain, he revolted against King Wamba. Many Jews joined him. Duke Paul was sent to put down the rebellion, but converted to Judaism instead. Nevertheless, the rebellion failed and the Jews of Narbonne were expelled, only to return within twenty years.

682 February 1, KING ERWIG (Visigoth Spain)

Pressed for the "utter extirpation of the pest of the Jews", and made it illegal to practice any Jewish rites. This put further pressure on the Jews to convert or emigrate.


(Although reports indicate there was no permanent settlement prior to the eleventh century.) These early Jews were mostly traders from northern France. Some may have come to England with the Romans.


Also known as the Quinisext council since it combined the fifth and sixth councils. In addition to ratifying over 100 previous decisions, it intensified the Eastern Church's segregation of the Jews. Clergymen were forbidden, on pain of excommunication, to bathe in public baths with Jews, employ a Jewish doctor or socialize with Jews.


King Erwig's successor Egica ,(r.687- 703) forced Jews to return to his treasury all land, slaves and buildings bought from Christians.rnrn


King Egica believed rumors that the Jews in North Africa had conspired to ally themselves with the Moslem invaders. He therefore declared that all Jewish children over the age of seven should be taken from their homes and raised as Christians. In towns where Jews were deemed indispensable to the economy, this law was not applied.

711 July 19, TARIK IBN ZIYAD (Spain)

A Moslem general. He defeated King Roderick, the last of the Visigoth kings, at the Battle of Rio Barbate (Guadalete) near Xeres de la Frontera. The Jews backed him in his battles. After each city was conquered (Cordova, Granada, Malaga), Jews were often given positions of safeguarding Moslem interests. One of his generals, Kaula al Yahudi, had many Jews under his command.

716 RAMLE (Eretz Israel)

Was founded by Caliph Suleiman to be the administrative capital of the country. Many Babylonian and Persian Jews settled there. Ramle was the only town established by Arabs in Eretz Israel.

717 - 720 CALIPH OMAR II (Syria-Eretz Israel)

Did his best to force Jews and Christians to convert to Islam. This was after a period of respite during the Umayyad dynasty. This religious revival was partly due to the Arab failure to capture Constantinople and the feeling that the end of the world was imminent.

717 - 741 LEO III (The Isaurian) (Byzantine Empire)

Reigned in Constantinople. After narrowly defeating the Arab army at his gates and preventing the fall of his empire, he decided that the weakness of his empire lay in its heterogeneous population and therefore, in 722, he forcibly converted Jews as well as those known as the "New Christians". Most of them converted outwardly while secretly remaining faithful.

720 SERENE (aka Serenus) (Babylon)

A recent convert was discovered to having seduced a local Jewish girl. Offended by the reaction, he decided to take revenge by pretending to be the messiah. He requested that people give him their wealth so that he could prepare a march to the holy land. He also urged that the Talmud be abolished. Caliph Yezid, Omar's successor, arrested this "Messiah" and handed him over to the Jews in Pumbedita for punishment. Natronai ben Nehemia (Gaon) urged the Jewish community to readmit their brethren into the fold. They eventually did so, though they were initially reluctant.


Caliph Omar II, banned Jewish worship on the Temple Mount. Jews were forced to pray outside the walls of the mount or in a covered staircase called "ha-Meara" the Cave, which was near an ancient gate, known today as Warrens gate. The prohibition regarding Jewish worship on the Mount remains in effect today.


Who had been passed over to be the next Exilarch decided leave Sura and eventually settled in Spain. There Natronai ( c.699-c733) began to introduce the Talmud to the local Jews , writing it down from memory. This became the basis for the development of Jewish scholarship in Spain which freed them from having to wait up to two years for an answer to come from Babylon regarding a point of Jewish law. . By the mid 9th century a request was made to the Gaon Paltoi bar Abaye for a corrected and exact version of the Talmud to which he complied. The Spanish edition of the Talmud became known as the most reliable version.


Lasted until the Treaty of Verdun. The Carolingians were the second dynasty of Frankish rulers after the Merovingians. During the height of its rule it encompassed Gaul, and much of Germany and Italy. The Jews were generally well treated, especially under Charlemagne and his grandson, Charles the Bald. Part of this was due to the fact that Christian merchants had difficulties trading due to Arab control of the seas. The Jewish traders known as the Radhanites (see 870) provided an alternative to moving goods between the two antagonistic empires . This lasted only until the closure of the China and Caucasus trade routes and the rise of the Italian city state (Venice, Pisa, Genoa and, Amalfi) traders in the 10th century.


The King Bulan converted his people to a vague form of Judaism ("religion of Abraham") after ordering a disputation between the three major monotheistic faiths. Ibn Shaprut, the foreign minister for Abd ar-Rahman of Cordova, corresponded with King Joseph (960). Most of our knowledge of the Khazars is based on these letters. The Khazars were eventually overcome by the Mongols under Genghis Khan. With the spread of Christianity by the Russians, many Khazars were forcibly baptized. The rest fled. Some went into northern Hungary where villages still have names such as Kozar and Kozardie. Tshagataish, the language of the Khazar Jews, is spoken by the few remaining Jewish Krimtchaki of the Crimea. The Khazars' campaign against the Muslims (730-740) succeeded in checking the Muslim advance on the eastern flank of Europe. The Khazars succeeded in defending themselves for 500 years against Muslims, Byzantines and Russians.

750 - 1258 ABBASID DYNASTY (from Abu Abbas) (Persia)

Expanded intellectual horizons and world trade. The Abbasids gained control from the Umayyads after the assassination of Marwan II in Egypt and moved the control to Baghdad. Eighty members of Marwan II's family were also killed at Antipatris near present day Rosh Haayin. Abd Al(ur)-Rahman, one of the surviving members of the Umayyads, reached Cordova and set up his own Caliphate (see 756). The Abbasids gave more power to the Persians and Turkish tribes, with Caliphs taking upon themselves absolute authority .Although, as with the Umayyad Dynasty, the Jewish position depended on the current ruler, in general, Jews began to play an important role in world trade and banking.

768 - 772 POPE STEPHAN III (Carolingian Empire)

Complained to the Bishops of Narbonne and Septimania about the Frankish Kings allowing Jews to own land.

768 - 814 CHARLEMAGNE (Carolingian Empire)

A Carolingian king who created the first broad-based European state. A devout Christian, he protected Jewish commerce in his kingdom. In general, Jews were permitted to freely practice their religion and most trade.. As the Muslims controlled much of the Mediterranean, the Jews began to take on the role of commercial mediators. Charlemagne saw the Jews as an economic asset and prevented excessive demands being made on them by the Church. Yet he also passed a law erasing debts that existed between Jews and Catholics and threatened to cut off the right hand of any Jew who loaned money and collected debt from the Church or Catholics. The Emperor and his successor considered Jewish property as their own to be bartered but not sold outright.

786 - 809 HARUN EL RASHID (Persia)

An Abbasid Caliph. His rule marked the zenith of Abbasid power. Jews and Christians did not fare well under his rule.

807 HARUN AL RASHID (Persia)

Forced Jews to wear a yellow badge and Christians to wear a blue badge (see 796).

808 FEZ (Morocco)

Re- established the city of Fez which had been founded by his father Idris I twenty years earlier. The city was first built on one river bank ( Madinat Fas) in 788. Idris II (791-828) built an additional, and competing city (Al-'Aliya) on the other side which became his capitol. Idris II encouraged Jews to live freely in their own quarter, in return for an annual tax. The city soon became a commercial center, and schools of Jewish learning were established. One of its earliest scholars was Judah ibn Quraysh, a Semitic linguist and grammarian who was fluent in Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic.

814 - 840 LOUIS THE PIOUS (Carolingian Empire)

Charlemagne's son. He succeeded his father as king. He continued and expanded his father's tolerant policies toward the Jews. Market day was changed from the Sabbath to Sunday and a Jew, Ebeard, was appointed Magister Judeacrum whose function was to protect Jewish rights.

820 - 829 MICHAEL II (Byzantine Empire)

Emperor Michael II came from Phrygia (west central part of Anatolia) . He adopted a liberal and sympathetic policy toward the Jews including lowering taxes. Michael wasaccused of being half Jewish but was probably influenced by a Judeo-Christian sect (the Athinganoi) which was very active in his area. They practiced many Christian traditions yet kept the Sabbath and other Jewish laws, though not circumcision.

820 ARCHBISHOP AGOBARD (779-840) (Lyon, Carolingian Empire)

"Proved" in essays that Jews were born slaves and accursed. Agobard forcibly converted Jewish children, offering them or their parents no choice in the matter. This is the first time in France that such an act was recorded. (Until this time Jews were offered the choice of either converting or being expelled or killed - but there was a "choice"). He also urged the sons (especially Lothair) of Charlemagne's successor, Louis the Pious, to revolt. After the revolt (833) he was disposed, but was later reinstated by Louis. Six of his anti-Semitic essays have survived; which are systematically aimed at humiliating and eradicating the Jewish community.

826 ARCHBISHOP AGOBARD (Lyon, Gaul - Carolingian Empire)

Angered by the high positions and security of the Jews, Agobard issued a series of pamphlets to convince King Louis to attack what he called "Jewish insolence" and to invoke the old anti-Jewish decrees of 465, 535 and 538.

838 AMORIUM (Central Byzantine Empire)

Just before its capture by the Arabs, fighting broke out between Jews and Christians. Included in the fights was a Judaizing sect which kept Biblical Law (except circumcision) and had both men and women serving as spiritual leaders. Rumors were spread that the Emperor Michael II (820-829) came from this sect.

841 AMULO (Lyon, Carolingian Empire)

Successor to Agobard, he wrote to Emperor Charles the Bald demanding that he ratify anti-Jewish measures in the Diet of Epernay. Although he did not succeed directly, his letter and reasons for actively persecuting the Jews were widely circulated and accepted by the Church as part of its doctrine.

843 TREATY OF VERDUN (Carolinigian Empire)

Separated Germany from the Frankish (French) empire. Until this time the Frankish Empire also included Germany. As such, when the Carolingians were tolerant to their Jewish subjects it effected all the Jews in the kingdom. With the breakup of Carolingian empire the Kingdom became decentralized, and feudal lords and church leaders gained more power. This adversely affected the position of the Jews.


Sallam, a Spanish Jewish merchant, reached China. Jews often served as a mercantile bridge between the Latin and Arab speaking worlds. Hebrew remained the language used between Jews worldwide. There was also legal conformity between the far-flung Jewish communities, which further stimulated stability in trade. Sallam was said to speak 30 languages.

845 OVIEDO (Christian Northern Spain)

King Ramiro I had witches, sorcerers and "not a few Jews" put to death.


Under the direction of Amolo, the Council tried to reinstate the canonical restriction that Constantine and Theodosius II placed on Jews after Deacon Bodo converted to Judaism. Amolo feared that social intercourse with Jews would lead Christians to convert to Judaism.

848 BORDEAUX (France)

Jews were accused to opening the town to Viking pirates. Although the allegation was totally fabricated they were attacked by the local populace. Jews were often accused of betrayal " and helping "the enemy" whomever it was.


Ibn Laid al-Hassan, a Moslem traveler, wrote of riots in Kanfu, China in which Jews were counted among the dead.

853 LUCENA, ANDALUSIA (Southern Spain)

According to Natronai Gaon, "Alisana (Arabic for Lucena) was a Jewish place with no gentiles at all." Lucena ostensibly was founded by Jews hundreds of years earlier. It served as the cultural center of Andalusian Jewry and was known during the era of Moslem rule as an all-Jewish city.


Declared that no Jews could remain within his kingdom. The general position from the 7th (see Perctarit 661) to the 13th century was only to permit sparse Jewish population. Most cities had less than 30 Jewish families. This was due to a fairly constant position of exclusion by the Church.


Complimented the Jews of Barcelona on their loyalty to him. The Jewish community was considered one of the most influential in Spain. Despite the fact that in general the Spanish kings tolerated the Jews, attacks occurred every now and then that were instigated by the Church and local burghers.

879 - 929 CHARLES THE SIMPLE (France)

Confiscated Jewish owned vineyards, salt mines, and houses in Narbonne and donated them to the Church. This signaled the end of the period when the Carolingian kings dealt favorably with the Jews. It also marked the slow dissolution of the Carolingian dynasty, making way for the Capetian dynasty (987).


Also known as the Epanagoge ("Introduction [to the law"), it was based on Justinian's code (see 531), and was comprised of 40 volumes. Although mostly written by Basil I, it was completed after his death, by his son and successor, Leo VI"the Wise" (866-912). Within he reinforced the laws prohibiting Jews from holding any civil or military office..

888 February 29, FRANCE

Count Eudes, the defender of Paris, crowned himself King of France, officially marking the end of the Carolingian Empire. The feudal society in which local lords were the virtually independent rulers of their estates became the rule. In general, as a result of this decentralization the situation of the Jews differed between each local Lord.

888 METZ (France)

A church council forbade Christians and Jews to eat together. Although Jews may have been there since the fourth century, this was the first documented evidence of a Jewish presence in the city.


Meaning "Royal Laws was composed by the Byzantine Emperor Leo VI the Wise (886-912) son of Basil I. It was a continuation of Basil's Esponagogie(see 884), and Justinian's code (see 531). It was similar to the Theodosian code regarding Jews, although its economic discriminatory laws were expanded. As in other codes, Jews were not allowed to hold any public or military office, and there were sever fines on the erection of new synagogues - 50 gold pounds (well over $900,000 in today's prices!). At the same time, Jews were tolerated as a protected, though inferior, minority.


According to legend a certain Prince Leshek(Leszek) IV gave German Jews written permission to enter Poland. What is known is that German Jews did arrive in the late 9th century prior to the Piast Dynasty (960) and preceding its becoming a Christian country in 966.

912 - 970 HASDAI IBN SHAPRUT (Spain)

Physician to Abd Al(ar)-Rahman III and Al Hakam II, Umayyad rulers in Cordova. Hasdai spoke numerous language including Latin, Arabic and the Spanish of the time and also served Abd al Rahman as a diplomat and interpreter. He co -translated Dioscorides' work on botany, from the Greek. In 957 he cured the King of Len, Sancho el Craso (Sancho the Fat), of obesity which won him the further appreciation of the Caliph. He used his position to help and protect his fellow Jews, including those in Byzantium. Hasdai made contact with Joseph, King of the Khazars. Together with Moses ben Hanoch, he founded the Talmudic school in Cordova. As the role and importance of Sura academy grew weaker, Hasdai purchased part of the library and had it transferred to Crdoba. The Cordova school's influence was felt in Spain for 350 years.

929 ABD AL RAHMAN III ( Spain)

Who was actually descended from a Christian princess, became the 15th Umayyad caliph and would rule until 961. Abd Al Rahman's rule was known for its tolerance to local Jews and Christians. He appointed Hasdai Ibn Shaprut as one of his court physician and adviser but didn't give him an official title as to not upset the Moslem chieftains and religious leaders.

930 - 991 YAQUB IBN YUSUF IBN KILLIS ( Baghdad - Egypt)

Financial advisor first under the Ikhshidid dynasty and then under the Fatimids. Born into a Jewish family his father took him to Egypt where he proved to have great abilities in the economic sphere. Pressured by Abu al-Misk Kafur (905968) he converted to Islam, and had a successful career under various rulers. He was often accused of showing favor to Jews.

931 931 ROMANOS I LEKAPENOS (Byzantine Empire)

After a series of eco-disasters, including a plague, the emperor (c. 870-948) called for the forced conversion of Jews or to exclude them from all of Christendom Many Jew fled to Khazaria or went into hiding until the ruling was overturned by his sons in 944.

931 VERONA (Italy)

Ratherius, the Bishop of Verona, upset about the good relations between the city and its Jewish inhabitants, badgered the town elders until they agree to temporarily expel the Jews. Jews had lived in the town since Roman times.


Emperor Romanus Lecapenus (Lekapenos)(920-944), co-ruler with Constantine VII, commanded that the Jews in the realm be forcibly baptized. Though it resulted in a mass emigration, his decree was never fully realized. This may have been due to the influence of Hasdai ibn Saprut, who used his position to persuade Constantine. Or, as others relate, it may be due to pressure from the king of Khazaria, who threatened to attack if the decree was not called off.

943 ROMANUS I (Greece)

Forced Jews to convert. Many emigrated to Kahzaria.

944 - 959 CONSTANTINE VII (Byzantine Empire)

Married to Helena, daughter of Emperor Ramano. Science rather than religion became the focal point of his reign and Jews were again allowed a measure of freedom. They were also assisted by Hasdai ibn Shaprut and his diplomatic efforts to ensure tolerance for the Jewish population.


Was written by Menahem Ben Saruq. He was attacked by Dunash b. Labrat who maintained that some of his definitions were mistaken and his idea that that there were both uniliteral and biliteral roots in Hebrew would lead to wrong interpretations of the biblical text. Since it was composed in Hebrew, his dictionary remained a major reference for European Jews.


Held a debate similar to that held by the Khazars to determine the religion of his kingdom. His decision to convert to Christianity may have been partly to the fact that the Jews lacked political clout. Although Jews had lived in Kiev from probably its actual founding in the 8th century they were not of a significant number. Hilaria, the first native Metropolitan (bishop) feared Jewish influence and wrote a special treatise "Mosaic Law and Truth of Jesus".

962 OTTO THE GREAT (936-973) (Germany)

Emperor of Germany. As in France under the Carolingian kings, German Jews were generally under the Emperor's protection. The burghers or feudal barons were hostile to them, but in Germany the Emperor, for the most part, controlled the situation. Although favorably treated, Jews were regarded as possessions of the Emperor. Since they were prohibited from owning land, commerce was the only occupation open to them.

965 July 9, OTTO (Germany)

Gave the Bishop of Magdeburg jurisdiction over all merchants and Jews for taxation purposes. In general, under Otto (912-973) the Jews were not expelled or forcibly converted. They were considered the personal property of the King. In the individual towns, the Jews were offered privileges or charters, usually through a contract whereby they would be protected by the crown, in return for financial fealty. The word privilege (privilegium) is found in many documents related to the position of the Jews under various rulers. The term denotes a "private law", or rule and refers to an individual, group or institution.

967 - 1169 FATIMID KINGDOM (Egypt)

Except for the mad caliph, al-Hakim (996-1020), the Jews were generally well treated.

969 RAMLE (Eretz Israel)

The Fatimid Caliph al-Aziz defeated the Turkish princes, signaling the beginning of Fatimid rule over Eretz Israel (until 1099). The Fatimids (part of the minority Shi'ite sect) traced their ancestry to Fatima, Mohammed's daughter. They believed that the Caliphs should be direct decedents of Mohammed. In general they were tolerant of other religions and appointed Jews and Christians to positions of importance.

972 BAGHDAD (Persia)

A fire raged throughout the city killing 17,000 people, many of them Jews. This disaster contributed to the decline in Baghdad's Jewish population and its importance in the Jewish world.

980 CHOCHIN (India)

The Hindu ruler of Malabar, Bhaskara Ravi Varma, granted Rabban Joseph the right for Jews to live in Cochin. Most Jewish life centered around the commercial city of Cranganore until the arrival of the Portuguese in 1523.

985 AL MAGDES (Eretz Israel)

A Jerusalem-born Moslem traveler reported that Christians and Jews outnumber Moslems in Jerusalem.


In Eretz Israel, Syria and Persia, the Jews are reported to be engaged as dyers, tanners, cobblers, butchers and bankers while the Christians were the scribes and physicians.

985 SPARTA (Greece)

Upon being approached to try to stop a plague of pestilence, St. Nicon Metanoites refused until the Jews were expelled so he "would not be contaminated by their customs...or religion."

985 July 1, BARCELONA (Spain)

A number of Jewish residents were killed by the Moslem leader Al-Mansur. Many of them were land owners who left no heirs. According to the law, all their lands were given over to the Count of Barcelona. In Spain at this time it was not uncommon for Jews to own vineyards and other lands.

987 HUGH CAPET (France)

Became King of France. The Capetian dynasty lasted for more then 300 years. Capetian rule was weak, especially during the first hundred years. Thus each duchy decided for itself how to treat its Jews. The Church gained enormous influence over local affairs and promoted the idea that the Jews were in league with the Devil - declaring them the "antichrist".


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 Umayyads 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.

990 - 1055 SAMUEL IBN NAGHRELA (Granada, Spain)

Known as Samuel ( HaLevi) Hanagid, he was a great diplomat, military adviser, scholar and poet as well as vizier to King Habus al-Muzaffar of Granada ( r.1019-1038). Ibn Naghrelas poetic works include "Ben Tehillim" (Son of Psalms), "Ben Kohelet" (Son of Ecclesiastes), and "Ben Mishlei" (Son of Proverbs), He is also the author of a Biblical Hebrew dictionary written in Arabic. Samuel Hanagid did everything in his power to encourage Jewish learning including establishing a Yeshiva ( where Maimonides father would study) , and making copies of the Talmud available to students who couldnt afford them.His son, Joseph, succeeded him for eleven years, until he was deposed during an attack on the Jews (see 1066).

992 TREVES (France)

The Bishop ordered the mass conversion of the Jewish population. Before the edict took effect, the Jews spent the day fasting and an effigy of the Bishop was burned. He died the same day and the decree was averted. The Christians attributed it to magic - the Jews to divine intervention.

992 LIMOGES (France)

A Jewish apostate named Sechog ben Ester planted a wax figure in the ark of the local synagogue and then accused the local Jews of using it to curse the local Lord by devil magic. Although they succeeded in deflecting the accusation, the idea that Jews were devil worshippers was gaining more acceptance in the Christian world. A brief account of the incident was published as Sefer Yeshuat Elohim (The Book of God's Salvation) which is one of the earliest Jewish historiographical (if not totally accurate) works.


His physician, a Jew, was falsely accused of killing him. This report of his murder was used as proof that Jews should not be appointed to important positions.


Al hakim (985-1021) the Fatimid ruler ordered that Jews and Christians follow ghiyār "the law of differentiation" with Jews wearing both a belt and a turban in black as well as a wooden calf necklace. The women were to wear two different colored shoes, one red and one black. These remained in place until 1014. He was considered eccentric and radically inconsistent, and is known in western literature as the Mad Caliph. He is said to have burned down part of the Jewish quarter for what he considered a slight to his personage. In the later part of his reign he became more tolerant and allowed forced converts to return to their religion.

1005 - 1036 ALI AZ-ZAHIR ( Egypt)

The seventh Fatimid caliph. During his short reign, Jews and Christians were formally allowed to return to their religion. Unfortunately, the caliphate itself had been greatly weakened by revolts, famine, and plague. This led the way to the Seljuk conquest (see 1071). Az-Zahair died of a plague at the age of 31.

1008 CALIPH HAKIM (Egypt)

The sixth Fatimid caliph began his rule. He pressured all non-Moslems, especially Christians, to convert. He is said to have forced Jews to wear a small "golden calf" around their necks. Al-Hakim proclaimed himself God's incarnation, disappeared, and was probably killed during a revolt. His confessor Darazi fled to the Syrian mountains where he proclaimed a new religion - the Druse (Druze). According to the Druze religion there have been ten incarnations of God with Al-Hakim being the last - and they await his second coming.

1009 October 18, JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The French monk and "historian" Raoul ( Rodulfus) Glaber (who had previously recorded that the Jews were the "Habitual ally of the Devil") claimed that the Jews were responsible. As a result, Jews were expelled from Limoges and other French towns. Although it was rebuilt by Constantine IX in 1048 it served as one of the “ excuses” for the first crusade.

1010 JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Caliph al-Hakim of Egypt destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The French Christian "Historian" Raoul Glaber (who had previously recorded that the Jews were the "Habitual ally of the Devil") claimed that the Jews were responsible for this. As a result, Jews were expelled from Limoges and other French towns.

1010 LIMOGES (France)

Although the Capetian dynasty had been in power in France for twenty-three years, they provided no security for Jews. In Limoges, Bishop Alduin gave them the option of baptism or exile. The Jews sent Jacob bar Yukutiel to petition the Pope. One of his sons was forced to remain behind as a hostage to the bishop, while the rest went with him to Rome. He persuaded the Pope to send an envoy to the area with a papal order "not to kill, injure or rob Jews, nor to deprive them of their religion."

1011 December 31, FUSTAT (Egypt)

A mob attacked Jews returning from a funeral. Twenty-three Jewish leaders were taken prisoner. They were going to be executed, but their release was ordered by the sixth Fatimid caliph, al-Hakim (996-1020), even though he definitely was not a friend of the Jews.

1011 December 31, NEAR RIOTS IN EGYPT

A local mob attacked a Jewish funeral procession, arresting 23 people and threatening them with death. The incident was brought to the attention to the Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah The Mad Caliph who had previous persecuted the Jews. He ordered them release and their possessions returned. The Jews in gratitude instituted a holiday on the fifth of the month of Shevat to honor the Caliph.


Forbade Jews to marry Christians, own slaves, or work on Sunday. Despite the Council, no overtly anti-Jewish measures were imposed.

1012 MAGDEBURG (Germany)

Jews participated in the funeral of Archbishop Walthad, who was seen as a friend of the Jews.

1012 MAYENCE (Germany)

Emperor Henry II expelled the Jews, probably in reaction to an anti-Christian pamphlet which was produced by a new convert to Judaism, Wecelin (a former Cleric and Deacon). The Jews were allowed to return the following year.


Broke out between Arabs and Berbers. This resulted in the first Jewish massacre in Cordova in April 1014, and the subsequent decline of the population and importance of the community. An aristocratic family ruled Cordova, who did not consider Jews indispensable. Consequently, the Jews in Cordova began to suffer harassment. Samuel Hanagid was forced to flee to Malaga.

1017 LEON (Christian Kingdom in Spain)

Alfonso V set a code of laws known as the Fuero of Leon. This charter encouraged the settlement of Jews and others in his lands, granting them all equality.

1018 KIEV (Russia)

During the occupation by the Polish king, Boleslav the Bold, the Jews were attacked and robbed by soldiers. This marks one of the earliest reports of a permanent Jewish presence in Kiev.

1018 EASTER, TOULOUSE (France)

According to a Christian tradition called "Colaphisation," a Jew had to present himself to the local priest to receive a blow to his face. Hugues, the local Chaplain, hit the unfortunate victim so hard that "his brains and eyes...spilled to the earth". Only in the 12th century did the Jews succeed in paying a fine in remuneration instead of going through the ceremony.


Riots ensued after Jews were accused of causing the earthquake by their alleged denigration of the cross. Pope Benedict VIII ordered the beheading (others say burning) of 20 Jews for causing the disaster, and the resulting plague.

1024 - 1029 BEDOUIN REVOLT (Eretz Israel)

Was led by Hassan ibn Mufarrij of the al-Jarrah clan, against Anushtakin al-Dizbari the Fatamid governor. Many Jews especial in the Ramla and Jerusalem area were killed or forced to pay exorbitant ransoms, leading to the decline of the Jewish population(see 1033).


Hisham III (10271031) was overthrown . Beset by factionalism, the caliphate crumbled into a number of independent taifas or small principalities. The Umayyads had ruled with stability for 250 years. However, they never recovered from the Berber invasion and the sacking of Cordova twenty years earlier.Due to the general instability, many Jews emigrated to the Castile region especially to Toledo, or to Saragossa in Aragon. Others went to Leon or south to Almeria, and still others left for Egypt. As Jews moved away from established communities it led in many cases in a loosing of ties with the Jewish community, resulting in a rise in assimilation.

1033 May, FEZ (Morocco)

The Jewish community was decimated when the rebel Abul Kamal Tumin conquered the city. Six thousand Jews were killed.

1033 December 12, EARTHQUAKES (Eretz Israel)

A series of earthquakes caused major damage to Ramla, Jerico, and Nablus. Jewish farmers, especially in the Sharon Valley, suffered great losses due to an earthquake. When extra taxes were issued to non-Moslem landowners, almost all of the remaining Jews were forced to leave agriculture.

1035 CASTROJERIZ (Castile, Spain)

King Sancho the Great was killed during a revolt. Four officials and sixty Jews were put to death during that revolt, because the locals considered Jews to be "property" of the crown.


Jewish leader, diplomat and scholar. He had studied in Kairouan under Rabbi Nissim Gaon and eventually married his daughter. Joseph ibn Naghrela was also a gifted poet composing both religious and secular verse. He was appointed to succeed his father Samuel Hanagid by the Berber king Badis al-Muzaffar (r.1038-1073) of Granada. He was in contact with Jews in many countries and did what he could to help them. Unfortunately , despite his recognized talents he was also arrogant. This played into the hand of his Moslem enemies who were jealous of his position, and eventually led to his downfall

1056 - 1147 ALMORAVIDE DYNASTY (Spain)

A Berber Moslem tribe, they were called to Spain by Abbad III of Seville to help fight against the Christians. They soon turned against the Spanish Moors and annexed Moslem Spain, with the exception of Toledo and Saragossa. The Almoravides were unstable at best. Their rule was generally puritanical, and they showed disdain for the Moslem courts in Spain. Many Jews fled to Christian Spain.

1064 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Western Jews arriving here were not allowed residence and so moved east to Russia.

1065 FRENCH CHRISTIANS (France-Spain)

Attacked the Saracens in Spain to drive out the infidels (non-believers). On their way to Spain they stopped in a number of towns and killed any Jews they found. This type of "outbreak" became more common during the Crusades, the idea being "why travel to kill the infidel when we have so many near to home? Get them first!"

1066 POPE ALEXANDER II (France-Spain)

Warned French knights fighting to reconquer Spain to stop "excesses" against the Jews. His advice wasn't heeded.

1066 December 30, GRANADA (Spain)

Joseph ibn Nagrela, son of Samuel ibn Nagrela, was murdered. He had served as vizier to Badis, ruler of the Berbers. There had been constant tension between the Berbers and the Arab population which led to a civil war. Joseph attempted to ease the conflict between the two camps and prevent excesses against the local Arabs. His enemies included Abu Ishak, Berber advisor to the prince, who accused him of trying to cede the city to a neighboring prince. Badis ordered Joseph killed and crucified. In the ensuing massacre of the Jewish population 1,500 families were killed, including Joseph's wife and son. A few years later Jews were readmitted to Granada and resumed high offices.


Jews arrived in increasing numbers from Normandy to settle in London, and then spread in ever widening circles to York, Norwich, Oxford, Bristol, and Lincoln. The documented history of Jewish settlement in England dates from the Norman Conquest, although Jews were said to have arrived there soon after the conquest. They tended to settle in large towns and commercial centers, close to the royal castle for protection against the sheriff.


Benjamin of Tudela (1154) (see also1065) described a group of Jews in Jerusalem who called themselves the Aveli Tzion - Mourners of Zion. The group, wore only black, refused to eat meat or drink wine, and lived mostly in caves. Evidently they began sometime in the 7th century. By the time of the crusades few were left. Other groups also existed in Yemen , Germany and Italy. Some scholars contend that those in Jerusalem were a Karaite sect.

1072 SILK MANUFACTURING (Calabria, southern Italy)

Was introduced by Jews in the town of Catanzaro, which became the silk producing capital of Italy. The Jews first arrived in the Calabria region in the first century and were expelled in 1510 after Spain took over the province.

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

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

1075 COLOGNE (Germany)

Archbishop Anno's death was mourned by the Jewish community, which held a memorial service for him even though it was the Shabbat. Just prior to his death he ordered that all his debts be paid, including those to his Jewsh creditors.

1078 POPE GREGORY VII (Hildebrand)

Prohibited Jews from holding offices in Christendom.

1078 SYNOD OF GERONA (Spain)

Jews were forced to pay the same taxes as Christians to support the Church.

1084 September 13, SPEYER (Germany)

In an effort to convince Jews to settle in his town the local Bishop Rudiger offered them a legal status superior to what would be offered them elsewhere in Germany. It read, in part: "Desiring to make a city out of our village of Speyer, I have admitted the Jews.....I have thought to multiply one thousand times the honor of our city by gathering the Jews within its walls." He provided them with their own protected area and their own cemetery. In return they paid 3 1/2 pounds silver to the Church and agreed to defend the city. Local rulers were entitled to offer legal "privileges" although for the most part it was in the hands of the emperor. Twelve years later Speyer became one of the first cities ravaged by the Crusades.

1085 TOLEDO (Spain)

Surrendered to Alfonso VI of Castile( 1040-1109) , becoming part of Christian Spain. This was the first important conquest of Moslem Spain known as the Reconquista. His chief counselor was Joseph ben Ferrusel, also known as Cidellus (Little Cid). As his physician and advisor, Joseph was instrumental in helping protect those refugees fleeing Almoravide persecutions. The Jews were invited to Toledo and offered full equality . Many Jews (estimates are as high as 40,000) joined his army wearing yellow and black turbans.

1086 BATTLE OF ZULA (Zallaka) (Spain)

It is reported that 40,000 Jews fought together with King Alfonso VI against the Almoravides. The Moslem armies also had a large amount of Jews serving in them - so much so that the battle was arranged not to fall on the Sabbath. Although the numbers may be exaggerated, they reflect the fact that Jews actually took part in most of the Spanish wars and fought valiantly.

1088 - 1100 WILLIAM RUFUS (England)

Son of William the Conqueror. He continued his father's friendly policy toward the Jews and allowed converted Jews to return to Judaism, thus incurring the wrath of the Church. He once staged a disputation between Jews and Christians and jokingly remarked: "If the Jews win I will convert." The Christians won, but the Jews were not penalized.

1090 February 19, SPEYER (Germany)

Emperor Henry IV renewed to Rabbi Judah b. Kalonymus, the poet, David b. Meshullam, and Rabbi Moses b. Yekuthiel the pledges granted six years earlier by Bishop Ruediger. In addition, the Emperor guaranteed the Jews freedom of trade in his empire as well as his protection. John, bishop of Speyer, also encouraged Jews to move to the city. In return the community paid 3 1/2 pounds silver to the Church and agreed to defend the city in case of attack. Within six years Speyer became one of the first communities on the Rhine to be attacked. After the attacks, R' Moses took upon himself the care and protection of the orphans.

1090 WORMS (Germany)

The Emperor confirmed the right of Jews to live anywhere in the city, although many preferred to live in their own quarter.


Although the Jewish community was quite small, this did not prevent St. Lasislas (1077-1095) from enacting measures to separate Jews as much as possible from Christians. Jews were prohibited from working on Sunday, owning slaves or marrying Christians. Despite this, no overt anti-Semitic measures were imposed.

1093 PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Comas, the early Bohemian historian, mentions Jews living in what he called the Mezi gradi Vysehrad (between the castles) on the right bank of the river "who had amassed large amounts of gold and silver." This settlement was destroyed in 1096 and not rebuilt.

1095 February 6, HENRY IV (reigned 1056-1106) (Germany)

Issued a charter to the Jews and a decree against forced baptism. He desired to protect the Jews even during the Crusades and granted favorable conditions wherever possible. He also permitted forcibly baptized Jews to return to Judaism - partly because he viewed the Jews as valuable property. The Church criticized his actions.

1096 Spring, CRUSADERS (France-Germany)

Over one quarter of the Jewish population of Germany and northern France were killed during the First Crusade (1095-1099), mostly during the months of April-June. It was estimated that in Germany, prior to the First Crusade, there were approximately 20,000 Jews. The period of time between Pessach and Shavuot (Passover and Pentecost) is also known as Sefirat Haomer which commemorates the death of Rabbi Akiva's pupils (2nd Century) and was considered a period of mourning. Since most of the massacres took place between these dates, new regulations of national mourning were added. This was also the period of time when the Unetaneh Tokef prayer for Yom Kippur was written by Amnon of Mainz.When warned by messengers about the upcoming riots from France, the Jewish leaders in Mainz replied, "As for ourselves there is no cause for fear. we have not heard a word that our lives are threatened.

1096 April 10, TRIER (Germany)

After being attacked by a mob and threatened with death, Bishop Egelbert offered to save all Jews who were willing to be baptized. Most Jews chose to drown themselves instead.

1096 May 3, EMICHO (Emico), COUNT OF LEININGEN (Germany)

On his way to join the Crusade led by Peter the Hermit, he attacked the synagogue at Speyer. The Jews defended themselves but were systematically slain. Until this time atrocities in Europe were sporadic. From here on in they became organized and frequent, and Jewish martyrdom began in earnest. (It should be remembered that the atrocities committed by the rampaging crusaders were not always supported by the local burghers and bishops. Furthermore, in many countries - especially the Slavic states - the local Christian community suffered from pillages as well. John, bishop of Speyer even called out his army after 11 Jews were killed in a riot, but he was an exception rather than the rule. Approximately 5,000 Jews were murdered in Germany in 1096.)

1096 May 27, MAYENCE (Germany)

Count Emicho entered Mayence. Approximately 1200 Jews took refuge in the Episcopal Palace and, seeing no other escape from forced conversion, chose suicide using ritual slaughter knives. Each family head killed his wife and children, with the leaders killing themselves last. The idea of suicide, normally abhorrent, was considered acceptable or even preferable under these circumstances. One Jew by the name of Isaac, his two daughters and a friend called Uriah allowed themselves to be baptized. Within a few weeks Isaac, who was remorseful of his act, killed his daughters and burned his own house. He and Uriah went to the local synagogue, locked themselves in and burned it down. A large part of the city was destroyed.

1096 May 30, COLOGNE (Germany)

In one instance of individual courage, the local bishop and some of the local burghers offered the Jews protection in their own houses. The Bishop later escorted them to towns under his protection.

1096 June 27, XANTEN AND ELLER (Germany)

Massacre of the Jewish population. This was the second massacre at Xanten in a month. Fifty Jews died. At Eller, five Jewish community leaders were assigned the task (by the community) of killing all the members and then themselves rather than suffer at the hands of the Crusaders. Out of a community of three hundred, only four remained.

1096 ROUEN (Normandy, France)

Massacre of Jews under the rule of one of William the Conqueror's sons. As a consequence, more Jews decided to move to England.

1096 VISHEHRAD (near Prague) (Bohemia)

500 Jews, together with 1000 soldiers of the Duke, defeated the attacking Crusaders, thus escaping the fate of other Jewish communities.

1097 EMPEROR HENRY IV (Germany) and WILLIAM II (England-Normandy)

Denying any complicity in forced conversions, they offered the Jews of their realm who had been forcibly baptized the possibility of returning to Judaism. Rashi (the leading Sage and commentator) pleaded for them to be re-admitted by the community.

1098 KING COLEMAN (Hungary)

Tried to protect the Jews against the crusaders passing through part of his country.


After the Crusader attacks on Prague and its environs, Bohemian Jews escape into Poland which had not been ravaged by the crusaders. Duke Bretislav II of Bohemia used the opportunity to steal whatever he could from those fleeing. Bohemian Jews were soon joined by Jews from the Rhine.

1099 July 15, GODFREY DE BOUILLON (Eretz Israel)

Entered Jerusalem, drove all the Jews into the synagogue and set them afire while he marched around the synagogue singing, "Christ, we adore thee". This marked the end of Jerusalem as a Jewish center for centuries, although Jews did return in limited numbers after the Moslem reconquest in 1187. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews were massacred or captured and sold as slaves in Italy.


Following the murder of some local Jews, he tried to bring the culprits to justice.

1100 July 25, HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

Jewish residents joined with the Fatimids of Egypt in defending the city. Tancred, who unsuccessfully attacked Haifa, was reprimanded for his lack of success and told that he made "a mockery of the God of the Christians." Once the city fell, the remaining Jews were massacred by the crusading forces.

1100 - 1135 REIGN OF HENRY I (England)

Henry I granted a charter to Jews which allowed freer settlement, seeing it as a way to increase revenues.

1100 - 1171 (4 Tamuz 4931) JACOB BEN MEIR (France)

Rabbenu Tam (Rameru, France). Youngest and most famous of the three grandsons of Rashi, and the most renowned of the Tosafists. He also studied Hebrew verse, wrote liturgical prayers and exchanged poems with Ibn Ezra. He convened a council of sages in which 150 Rabbis participated. The council was held in the shadow of the Second Crusade. He lived through and described the Second Crusade and the burning of Jews at Blois, France. His nephew and student, Rabbi Isaac (the Ri), took his place when he died.

1103 January, HENRY IV (Germany)

Concluded a treaty in which the local Lords and Bishops promise for the next four years to protect "...laymen, merchants, women (lest they be raped) and Jews." Although on the surface it seemed to be a positive move, in reality it made the Jews more dependent on the will of the Crown and led them to a position of semi-serfdom.

1106 MARRAKESH (Morocco)

Ali, the son of Yusuf ibn Tashifin, Almoravide leader and founder of the city, decreed the death penalty for any Jews living in the city. At the same time, one of his military leaders and two of his physicians were Jewish.


Yoseph ibn Tashifin, the Almoravide ruler, ordered all Jews to convert or leave Morocco. He based this on limiting Mohammed's "tolerance" of the Jews to 500 years after the Hejira.


Followed the battle of Ucles between Alfonso VI, and the forces of the Muslim Almoravids under Tamim ibn-Yusuf, where the Christians were defeated . Many Jews were killed with houses and synagogues burned. One of those murdered was Solomon ibn Farissol (Ferrizuel), a leader of the Castile community. The incident greatly affected Judah Halevi who wrote a lamentation for him, and changed the focus of his poetry from love and friendship to Jewish honor and Zionism. The king promised to bring the perpetrators to justice, but died before he could do so.


During the reign of grand duke(Prince) Svyatopolk II (1093- 1113) the Jews resided in relative peace. This despite the anti- Jewish ranting of Theodosius, abbot at the famous monastery in Pechera. Upon the death of the duke wide spread rioting took place with Jewish homes plundered . Russian historians claim that the new Prince Vladimir Monomakh expelled all the Jews from Russia, but there is no evidence that this actually happened.

1120 POPE CALIXTUS II (1065-1124)

Prompted by the massacres of first crusade, he issued the protective bull, Constitutio pro Judaeis known as Sicut Judaeis (Latin: "As the Jews") or Sicut Judaeis non debet esse licentia , condemning the persecution of Jews. The term "bull" referred to an official document issued by various Popes and is taken from the Latin bullum, "seal". This specific bull was not "pro Jewish" per se, but rather reflected the Church's official position, as stated by Pope Gregory I (598), which objected to forced conversions or the wanton destruction of synagogues and cemeteries . In addition it states "Too, no Christian ought to presume... to injure their persons, or with violence to take their property. Some newly elected Popes would issue a similar pro Judaeis bull, on occasion after receiving a gift from the Jewish community.rnAlthough the bull was reaffirmed by 20 popes over the next 40 years, it was in reality ineffective and ignored.

1121 Ibn Tūmart (Morocco)

Declared himself the Mahdi ( the guided one) and founded the Almohad movement . They conquered Morocco and Spain from the Almoravides who had been relatively tolerant. Ibn Tumrats (1080 - 1130), uncompromising form of fundamentalism extended to his approach to Judaism and Christianity. He is quoted by Abraham ibn daud (1110-1180) in his Sefer Seder ha - Kabbalah as saying , Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation: that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance." The Almohads ruled between 11211269. He offered Christians and Jews the choice of conversion or expulsion. Many Jews converted but continued to practice Judaism in secret.

1130 - 1269 ALMOHAD (ara. al-Muwahhidun) DYNASTIES (Spain)

A Berber Muslim dynasty which destroyed most of what was left of the Almoravide dynasty by 1147. By 1150 the conquering armies were already in Spain, Algeria and Tunis. Their intolerance led to many Jews fleeing the areas under their control - including the family of Maimonides.

1130 MOSES AL DARI ('False Messiah') (Fez, Morocco)

Traveled from Morocco to the Academy of Yosef Ibn Megas at Lucenna, announcing the arrival of the Messiah and other prophecies. He predicted that the first day of Pesach would be the day of the Messiah's arrival, and many Jews sold their possessions in anticipation. When the Messiah failed to arrive, Al Dari fled to Eretz Israel, where he died.

1135 - 1204 (20 Tevet 4965) MOSES BEN MAIMON (Maimonides) (Cordova, Spain)

Fled from Spain at the age of thirteen after the capture of Cordova by the Al Mohadan fanatics. He became court physician to Saladin of Egypt. He is famed for his "radical" philosophical work on the unity of reason and faith, Guide for the Perplexed, which was heavily criticized in the Jewish world (especially by Franco-German rabbis). Most of the debate, led by Meir ben Todros Abulafia, concerned rational philosophy and its place within faith and belief in God. The anti-Maimonides school, led by Solomon Montpellier and Jonah Gerunda, insisted that all miracles and aggadic interpretations must be taken literally and that any explanation was heresy. They were also concerned that it would be easier to persuade people to give up beliefs based on rational arguments. Maimonides' greatest work was his Mishna Torah, a guide to Jewish traditions and practices ( see 1180), and is referred to simply as the Rambam (his acronym). He was a prodigious correspondent, answering questions from all over the world. His letter to Yemen, Igeret Teiman, written in Arabic, comforted the community during difficult times. In the letter he discussed the relations with Christianity and Islam and encouraged the Jews, from a historical perspective, to be strong.

1135 - 1154 REIGN OF STEPHEN (England)

During his reign there was intermittent civil war between Matilda (Maud), daughter of Henry I, and her cousin Stephen, grandson of the William the Conqueror. In the end, Matilda's son succeeded in becoming King Henry II. The Jews suffered more than the Christians during the war. Stephen indulged in one of the common practices of kings: freeing Christians from the debts owed to Jews in return for the payment of part of the debt to the king. However, he also protected them from the Second Crusade.

1141 ALFONSO VII (Castile, Spain)

In order to encourage a Christian merchant class, he allowed Christians to retain hereditary ownership of their shops. Jews and Moslems were only allowed to be tenants.


Jews of Oxford were forced to pay ransom to both sides or else their houses were burned.

1143 HAM (France)

150 Jews were murdered. In Carenton the Jews defended themselves, but in the end were wiped out too.

1144 March 22, FIRST RITUAL MURDER LIBEL (Norwich, England)

The first medieval ritual murder libel - which set the pattern for subsequent accusations in England and France - arose against the background of the Civil War. A 12 year old boy, William, was found dead on Easter Eve and the Jews were accused of killing him in a mock crucifixion. They were not, however, accused of using his blood for the making of matzos (matzot), although this would become a standard feature of later libels.(The idea behind the blood libel was to accuse Jews of killing Christians in order to obtain their blood. In almost all cases it was linked to the baking of matzos for Passover - Christians alleged that blood was an essential ingredient in matzos. It was later presumed by scholars that the boy either died during a cataleptic fit or was killed by a sexual pervert. After Easter a synod convened and summoned the Jews to the Church court. The Jews refused on the grounds that only the king had jurisdiction over them and they feared that they would be subjected to "trial by ordeal". William was regarded as a martyred saint and a shrine was erected in his memory. In spite of this episode there was no immediate violence against the Jews. The origins of the ritual murder accusation go as far back as to Democritus of Thrace (c.460-370 BCE) and Apion (first century C.E.) an anti-Jewish Greek propagandist who accused the Jews of preparing a human sacrifice in the Temple, who was saved by King Antiochus Epiphanes. Over the years ritual murder libels continued, (even it in popular literature such as Geoffrey Chaucer's "Prioress' Tale") despite denunciations by various popes. Possession of a saint's shrine bestowed great economic benefits on a town because sacred relics drew pilgrims, who spent money on offerings, board and lodging. For bones to be considered sacred relics they had to be killed by a heretic (i.e. a Jew). Such charges were used as an excuse to murder Jews as late as 1900 (Konitz).

1144 LOUIS VII (France)

Condemned converted Jews who "relapsed" to death. All professing Jews were not affected. The general "liberal" position towards Judaism in France still continued.

1145 December 1, POPE EUGENIUS ( EUGENE) III

Published a call for a second crusade after the fall of the crusader state Edessa (in present day Turkey). He offered absolution for any debts owed to Jews to anyone who would join.

1145 FORCED CONVERSION TO ISLAM (Sijilmasa Morroco)

An oasis town on a major trading route had been captured by the Almohad leader Abd al Mumin (1094-1163). He tried to convert them for 7 months, and when that failed the Jews were given a choice to convert of be killed. The first to convert was the leader of the community Josef ben 'Amram who later returned to Judaism. One hundred and fifty people refused to convert and were killed. Sijilmasa was also noted as a town where many of the Jews had been forced since the 9th century, to work as masons (which were looked down upon), gutter cleaning and sewer maintenance. . After its fall most of the Jews relocated to the Touat(Tuat) oasis and Tlemcen kingdom (present day northwest Algeria), whose Ibadi rulers were more tolerant.

1146 SECOND CRUSADE (Germany)

Started led by Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany. Rudolph the Monk incited massacres along the Rhine, including demolishing the town of Wurzberg. (Rationale - it didn't make sense to go all the way to the Holy Land to kill the infidel while leaving them safe and snug at home. This also insured that they had the virtue of fighting an "infidel" without having to face the expense and danger of a long journey, or an armed enemy who could fight back.) An additional factor was the new group of Christian merchants eager to rid themselves of Jewish competition. Since they were forbidden to own land, Jews were forced into money lending - formerly a Church business. The effects of this were felt for centuries and became part of anti-Semitic tradition.


Although he was one of the clergymen whose preaching inspired the Second Crusade, he consistently tried to protect the Jews from harm. His efforts were unfortunately, often disregarded by local clergy.


The Abbot of Cluny who urged Louis VII that the Jews should be "execrated and hated but not killed...rather punished in a way more fitting to their perversity."


Abd al-Mumim (10941163) the leader of the Almohads after the death of Ibn Tumrat killed any Jews who refused to accept Islam. Thousands were said to have died in the Maghreb (Northwest Africa) and Spain.

1147 February 24, WURZBURG (Germany)

Unlike other communities which fled to local castles for protection, the Jews decided to remain where they were. Twenty-two men, women and children including the rabbi, Isaac ben Elyakim, were murdered after a rumor began that a Christian corpse was found in the river which could perform miracles. Of course the Jews were accused of killing the person. After the riot, the survivors fled to the local castle.

1147 May 8, RAMERUPT (Rameru, France)

Encouraged by Peter the Hermit, a mob attacked the Jews on the second day of Shavuot (Pentecost). Rabbenu Tam was one of the mob's victims. After being stabbed five times (to match the five wounds of Jesus) he was saved by a passing knight. His house was ransacked, however, and a Torah scroll destroyed.

1148 AL MOHADIN (Almohadin) (Spain-Morocco)

Almohadin fanatics succeeded the Almoravides as rulers of Moslem Spain and Morocco. They offered Christians and Jews the choice of conversion or expulsion. Many Jews converted but continued to practice Judaism in secret.

1148 LUCENA (Spain)

The Almohads under Abd al-Mumim (see 1146), reached the mostly Jewish town of Lucena. They forced the local Jews to choose between Islam or death. This spelled the end of the Jewish community. The Talmudic school was closed and most of the Jews fled north to Christian controlled areas. The synagogue was converted into a mosque and later into the church of San Mateo.


Count of Barcelona Gave the " lordship over a Jew Santo, to the count of Urgell". This was not unusual since Jews were considered the property of the local ruler. The following year Berebguer(1113-1162)granted a charter Carta de Poblacion for Jews to live in the city of Tortosa and to build 60 houses.

1150 April 12, THOMAS OF MONMOUTH (England)

A local monk, published "The life and miracles of St William of Norwich", in which he accused the Jews of ritual murder. His account based on his visions and " testimonies" was partially inspired by a report on the incident in Inmester (see 416) as well earlier accusations by Apion (first century) Chrysostom ( 198) and Tertullian (198) . This is the earliest "modern" and practical accusation against the Jews. Written almost as if he was a witness to the events, he embellished it even more in subsequent editions until his final version in 1172. Although his book was initially derided, it eventual gained traction and led to the ritual murder trials, and expulsion of the Jews from England.


Holy Roman Emperor. The papacy and the emperor vied for power during his reign. Barbarossa viewed the Jews of his realm as both a duty to protect and a financial resource. The protection he afforded them brought new knowledge and skills from the Middle East into Europe.

1153 INDIA

A letter to the Fustat Nagid Halfon from the captain of his ship described the Jews living in India (approximately 1000) and the strong trade between Jewish merchants in the west and their brethren in India.

1154 - 1184 HENRY II (England)

Henry was first of the Angevin (one of two medieval dynasties originating in France) kings. He both exploited and protected the Jews. During his reign Jews lent large sums of money to various church institutions and financed the building of cathedrals. This did not, however, increase their popularity in church circles.

1157 FREDERICK I (Worms, Germany)

In confirmation of the 1080 "privileges" or charter, introduced the idea that Jews were ad cameram attineant belonging to our chamber. It was enacted partly to exclude any competing legal claims by the church or nobles to Jewish property and revenues, and partly to strengthen the relationship of the Jews to the king. This was soon to develop into servi camerae nostre or servi camerae regis which made the Jews the actual property of the king (see 1236).

1160 May 2, BEZIERS (France)

Bishop William, appalled by the custom of beating Jews during Palm Sunday, issued an order excommunicating priests who did so. Beziers, home to many Albigensinians, was one of the more liberal and open cities in France.


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.

1162 GRANADA (Spain)

Jews and Christians joined to overthrow the Almohad regime. The Almohads only permitted converts to Islam to live in the city. Unfortunately the rebellion was not successful.

1163 BAGHDAD (Persia)

Benjamin of Tudela found 40,000 Jews living in Baghdad, with 28 synagogues and 10 Torah academies.

1163 KAIFENG (China)

A synagogue was built. There are records of Jews there in 960 when it was capital of the Song dynasty and known as known as Bianliang.


London Jews loaned Thomas Beckett 10 marks for his flight to France. The King, furious at the loan, confiscated the revenue.

1165 FEZ (Morocco)

The new Almohad ruler declared that all Jews must convert to Islam. Judah ha-Kohen ibn Shushan was burned alive for refusing to convert. Maimonides fled the country, moving to Egypt.


Frederick Barbarossa complained to King Henry II about a number of Jews who had left his domain and were now residing in England. Henry forced the richer Jews to return to Germany and the rest to pay him a fine of 5000 marks in order to be able to remain in England.

1170 YEMEN

After the fall of the Fatimids, the Shiites tried to force the Jews toconvert. During these persecutions a false messiah arose. The Jewish leadership wrote to Maimonides, asking for his advise. His reply was his famous Igeret Teiman (Epistle to Yemen) which warned about false messiahs.

C. 1170 KALISZ (Poland)

Probably the oldest Jewish community in Poland. Jews were invited there by Mieszko III the Oldster, prince of Great Poland (1127-1202) and worked as minters (see 1264).


Local Jews were moved to the citadel. The Jews promised to defend it against the kings enemies and in return were permitted to us it also against anti- Jewish mobs. Furthermore anyone who attacked the Jews; if killed or injured had acted at their own peril. The settlement of Jews in forts was not unusual in 10th - 12th century Spain.

1171 May 26, BLOIS, (France)

First ritual murder accusation in Continental Europe. Charges were made even though there was no body nor anyone missing. Thirty-one Jews were burned, 17 of them women. One of those killed was Pulcinella (Puncelina), a close favorite of Count Theobald, and whose position attracted a lot of jealously. Bribes were offered but to no avail As they were burning, they chanted the hymn Aleinu (composed in Talmudic times). Rabbenu Tam declared a day of fasting and prayer in England, France and the Rhineland. The Count decided to expel all the Jews left in his county but "allowed" himself to be persuaded to change his mind by a payment of 2000 pounds.


Jews were expelled. This was one of the few times during this period that Italian Jews were persecuted.


After a number of church inspired riots, he ordered that those attacking the Jews be fined, including Christian scholars, and students of the ecclesiastic and monastic colleges. During that time Jews in Poland were farmers even landowners. They also administered the mint. Some of the coins have the names of the ruling princes in Hebrew characters.

1177 October, THE FUERO (Charter) OF TERUEL (Aragon, Spain)

King Alfonso II developed a charter which defined the civic status of Jews. It included a fine for murdering a Jew which was half of what would be charged for a Christian, and which was to paid to the king (since Jews were considered his property). Legal and commercial procedures and even which day you could use the public baths were also defined . This charter was the basis for many other charters in Spain.


Viciously attacked the practice of usury (banking or money lending at any interest) and also suspected the Jews of complicity with heretics.

1180 January 9, PHILIP AUGUSTUS (France)

(The new king of France) arrested large numbers of Jews while his father, Louis VII, who tried to protect the Jews (though not always successfully) was still alive. All the Jews found in synagogues on the Sabbath were arrested. Philip agreed to free them for 15,000 silver marks.

1180 - 1223 REIGN OF PHILIP AUGUSTUS (France)

Nurtured on anti-Semitism and blood libels, he became the king at age 25. Encouraged by the Hermit of Vincennes, he decided to use the Jews for his own purposes. Badly in need of money both for his own use and to acquire new estates so he could gain greater control over his barons, he first impoverished the few wealthy Jews and then cancelled all Christian debts to Jews for a percentage. This way of generating quick revenue was known as "totbrief". It was widely used.


From "France", after which Philip confiscated their land and cancelled the debts owed them. Since Philip did not control the whole of France, many Jews moved to other areas. In 1192, after expanding his kingdom to areas which still had Jews, he decided to allow them to return to his whole kingdom - for a fee and under strict conditions.


King Henry II enacted the "Assize of Arms", ordering that all weapons in possession of Jews be confiscated on the grounds that Jews, who were supposedly protected by the King, would not have any reason for owning arms. The weapons were turned over to the King's forces. A direct result of this was that there was little they could do to protect themselves when riots broke out less then ten years later.

1181 ABBEY OF ST. EDMUNDS (England)

A dispute broke out between William the Sacristan (Sexton) of the Abbey and his associate Samson. The Jews and the local townspeople sided with William. Unfortunately, it was Samson who came to power the next year as Abbot. In 1190, after the Coronation riots, Samson demanded that the Jews should be placed under his authority rather than the Kings. When they refused, they were expelled under guard.


Reissued the "privileges"/charter for the Jews of Ratushon. For the first time he stated his intention of providing for the "well being" of the Jews. In return for "Imperial protection," the Jews of Germany would make contributions to the court.

1182 June 24, PHILIP II (France)

The 17 year old King decreed the total expulsion of Jews from all royal possessions within two months. This was due in part to debts owed to Jewish moneylenders. The debtors were exempted from all payment to the Jews but had to pay a tax of 20% of their debt to the Treasury. This only served to force those Jews who were considered an asset into other French provinces not directly under the King's control. The Synagogue in Paris was converted into the Church of St. Madeleine, while the one in Orleans was changed into the Chapel of St. Sauveur. This expulsion - with the confiscation of land and property - was a strong factor in Jews leaving agriculture as a profession in favor of moveable property and trade.

1183 MAGDEBURG (Germany)

The guild of clothing merchants was granted the privilege of cutting and selling cloth. This was the start of the stranglehold the guilds held over most of the crafts. Jews were, of course, excluded from the guilds. The guilds were exclusive organizations which were created mostly to preserve the rights and privileges of their members.

1186 AARON OF LINCOLN (born c.1123) (England)

The richest man in England died. King Henry II immediately seized his estate when he died worth over 15,000 pounds. Aaron had such vast sums owed to him that the royal officials set up a special branch of the exchequer called the "exchequer of Aaron" (Scaccarium Aaronis) to deal with it. After 16 years they only succeeded in recovering about half of the debts owed him. Some of his debtors included the King of Scotland, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Count of Brittany and many other nobles. It was the forerunner of the system of debt registries for Jewish loans (the archae), in selected cities established by Richard's administration in 1194; these registries enabled the king's men to keep their finger on the pulse of Jewish lending (and allowed easier raising of money from the Jews).

1186 SALADIN TAX (England)

A tithe for the Third Crusade. Jews were taxed 10,000 marks or 25% of their income and personal property worth, while Christian (non-Crusaders) were taxed 10% of their property alone.

1187 October 2, SALADIN (Eretz Israel)

Recaptured Jerusalem after 88 years and granted Jews permission to re-enter it.

1189 September 3, RICHARD THE LIONHEARTED (England)

Was crowned at Westminster. During Richard's coronation (from which Jews and women, seen as possible sorcerers, were banned), Baldwin, the archbishop of Canterbury, convinced Richard not to accept presents from Jewish dignitaries but to turn them out of the palace. The crowds took this to mean that the king favored persecution of the Jews; a pogrom against the Jews in London took place the same day and the following day. Richard was reluctant to begin his reign by overtly protecting the Jews and therefore did not punish the rioters too severely - which encouraged more riots. The rioting soon spread to such commercial centers as Norwich, (Kings) Lynn, Stamford, Lincoln, Bury St Edmunds, and York, as well as to smaller communities throughout the land. In London, 30 Jews were killed including Rabbi Jacob of Orleans, a pupil of Rabbenu Tam.

1189 September 3, THIRD CRUSADE (England)

Began in England under the patronage of King Richard. England, which had taken no real part in the first two Crusades, decided to sponsor a crusade that was joined by France and Germany. Its goal was to recapture Jerusalem (taken in 1187). However, Frederick Barbarossa was accidentally drowned, Philip II of France gave up, and Richard succeeded only in capturing Acre and Jaffa. The Jews of England were the Crusade's chief victims.

1190 March 16, YORK (England)

On the Sabbath eve before Passover (Shabbat Hagadol), a group made up of clergymen, barons indebted to the Jews, and Crusaders waiting to follow Richard set Jewish houses on fire and stole all their valuables. The Jews under Josce, a prominent Jew of York, and their rabbi, Yom Tov of Joigny (a contemporary of Rabbenu Tam and author of the Yom Kippur Hymn Omnam Ken), fled to the castle. Richard Malebys (a noble who owed large sums to Jewish moneylenders) and other indebted nobles commanded the attackers. For 6 days the Jews held out. A stone thrown from the tower killed a monk, who came each morning to celebrate mass, and inflamed the crowd. Facing the choice of baptism or death, most chose death, committing suicide after destroying their belongings. According to tradition, Josce killed his wife and two children, and was in turn killed by the rabbi who was the last to die. The few who remained alive opened the gate and requested baptism, only to be massacred anyway. Over 150 Jews died, the sheriff of York dismissed, and the bonds of debts to Jews which were kept for safekeeping in York Minster were burned on the floor of the church.

1190 March 22, ENGLAND

King Richard (the Lionhearted), angered by the riots and the loss of crown property (since the Jews were seen as serfs to the crown), renewed a general charter in favor of the Jews that was first issued by Henry II. His chancellor, Longchamp, instituted heavy fines against the Pudsey and Percy families, who had been involved in the 1190 pogrom at York. This enriched the treasury and hurt his political opponents at the same time. Three people who were also accused of destroying Christian property were executed.

1190 Palm Sunday, BURY ST. EDMUNDS (England)

Fifty-seven Jews were killed in a massacre. Shortly after, the local abbot, Samson, whose abbey was coincidentally in debt to Jewish money lenders, obtained permission to expel all the Jewish residents of the town (see 1181).


Were prohibited from holding any "high" office in France.

1190 ENGLAND (Jewish Population)

The Jewish population in England numbered approximately 2,500 Jews. Until this time they enjoyed relative freedom of movement, education, and the right to own real estate as compared to the Jews on the continent.

1191 March 18, MASSACRE AT BRAY (France)

Eighty Jews were burned for trying to execute a vassal who had killed a Jew. (They had marched him in a procession and tried to hang him - three weeks before Easter).


King Phillip decided to retake Jerusalem from Saladin in the Third Crusade. Debts to the Jews were cancelled for all those taking up the cross. Many Jews - who were now of dubious financial worth - were driven out of France and their property was confiscated.


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.

1197 BISHOP ODO OF SULLY (Paris, France)

In an effort to further isolate the Jews economically and socially, it was forbidden to buy meat from a Jew or hold a discussion with a Jew under pain of excommunication.

1197 February 3, SAMUEL BEN NATRONAI (Nuess, Germany)

Rabbi, scholar and the son-in-law of R. Eliezer b. Natan (RABaN) was tortured and killed along with six other Jews after a Christian girl was killed. Five days later the mother of the man, who was known to be unstable, and her brother were also seized. The mother was buried alive, and her brother tortured to death. A large amount of silver was paid to Archbishop Adolf of Altenau and others to allow the dead to be buried.


(Aka Phillip II),agreed to take in Jewish refugees from northern France, for three different reasons: his anger at Pope Innocent III's refusal to sanction his second marriage or the divorce of his first wife, his arguments with Richard of England, and realizing that the expulsion of the Jews caused more of an economic loss than a gain.

1199 September 15, CONSTITUTIO PRO JUDEIS.: An Edict in Favor of the Jews

Pope Innocent III (1160-1216) one of the more anti - Jewish popes, nevertheless declared n a papal letter, " We decree that no Christian shall use violence to compel the Jews to accept baptism." This was based on the proclamation and policies of Gregory the Great (see 590). In this letter he continued "'Do not wipe out the Jews completely, lest perhaps Christians might be able to forget Thy Law..." Despite this, in his Papal Bull Maiores Ecclesiae (1201) he declared that once one received the sacrament, "Even as he who comes falsely to baptism, receives indeed the stamp of Christianity and can be obliged to observe the Christian faith."

1201 February 11, WORMS (Germany)

Jews took up arms to fight alongside the city's non-Jewish residents against an attack. At that time Jews were still permitted to bear arms in various cities in Germany, although this privilege would soon be abolished.

1204 VIENNA (Austria)

First record of a synagogue being built there. Vienna's Jews enjoyed more freedom than those in other areas of Austria. Often local princes used their own judgment to give extra privileges to Jews without changing the general character of their status within the nation.

1205 1205 PAPAL BULL ETSI NON DISPLACEAT (Though I Should Not)

Pope Innocent III, (1161-1215) in a letter to the king of France accused Jews of arrogance, money lending for profit, blasphemy and the signing up of Christian slave among other things. He also claimed Jews were punished with perpetual servitude for killing Jesus. The king was advised to put an end to such evil.

1209 July 22, BEZIERS (France)

(Capital of the Albigensians) 20,000 Christians and 200 Jews were massacred by de Montfort's troops. Jews were removed from office and their children were forcibly baptized.

1209 - 1229 ALBIGENSIAN CRUSADE (France)

Called by Pope Innocent III. The Albigensians, who were named for the city Albi in southern France, were one of a number of heretical Christian sects. Although they rejected Judaism on theological grounds, many also rejected the notion of Jesus as a god and accused the Church of social and economical corruption. Jews fared well in areas under their control, even attaining positions of prominence. The Church - furious that Jews still held public office and angry at the Albigensian's heresy - called for a crusade against the Albigensians. King Philip refused to lead it, but did not prevent Cardinal Bertrand and Simon de Montfort from attacking the South. Prince Raymond VI surrendered at Toulouse on September 22, 1229.

1209 July 22, BEZIERS (France)

The Capital of the Albigensians, was attacked by Simon de Montfort, as part of Pope Innocent III's Albigensian Crusade. It was defended by Raymond Roger Trencavel (1185-1209) the viscount of Beziers, who was both sympathetic to them and the Jews. By the end of the siege, 20,000 Christians and 200 Jews had been massacred by troops. Those Jews remaining were removed from office and their children were forcibly baptized. Trencaval died suddenly while imprisoned, either from an acute stomach ailment or poison.

1210 November 1, KING JOHN (England)

The brother of Richard the Lionhearted. He imprisoned much of the Jewish population until they paid the enormous sum of 66,000 marks as a tax called a "tallage". This tax could be imposed by any lord on his serfs without special permission, or the king on his Jews as well as the serfs on crown lands. Abraham of Bristol, who refused to pay his "share" (10,000 silver marks) had a tooth pulled every day until he agreed to pay. He lost seven teeth before he was able to raise the funds.


Crusaders crushed the Moslems. Although pockets of Moslems still existed in Spain, for all practical purposes Spain had become completely Christian and the situation of the Jews in Spain began to deteriorate.

1215 KING JOHN SIGNED THE MAGNA CARTA (Runnymede, England)

It included provisions (chapters 10-11) preventing debts owed to Jews by minor heirs from earning interest while the heir was a minor, also declaring that a widow dowry should not be used to pay for her husband's debt. In later reissues, these chapters were dropped.

1215 November 11, FOURTH LATERAN COUNCIL (Pope Innocent III, 1161-1216)

His papacy marked the zenith of papal power. Old anti-Jewish decrees were expanded and Jews were compelled to wear the Yellow Patch - the "Badge of Shame" - to distinguish them from Christians. These decrees were enforced in France, England, Germany and later in Hungary. Jews were also prohibited from holding public office and were prohibited from appearing in public on Easter Sunday and the last three days of Holy Week. The Pope also originated the Doctrine of Transubstantion, in which the wafer (Host) and wine in the Eucharist were believed to become the blood and flesh of Jesus. This led to the infamous Host Desecration libels of the next few centuries.

1215 - 1293 (19 Iyar 5053) RABBI MEIR BEN BARUCH OF ROTHENBURG (Maharam) (Germany)

The last of the Tosafists, he was the leading rabbi in Germany. Convinced that there was no future in Germany, he agreed to lead a large contingent of families to Eretz Israel. While waiting for the other families, he was seized by the Bishop of Basel. The emperor ordered him held in prison as a lesson to any of "his Jews" who might want to leave Germany (thereby causing him a financial loss). He refused to be ransomed, saying that to do so would serve as an impetus for further extortions. He died in a prison near Colmar, and his body was held there until it was ransomed some years later (see 1307).


Was raised by the papal legate and influenced by the Church. While still a minor (until 1232) his affairs were handled by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, whose policy was favorable to the Jews. Henry III squeezed English Jews financially, leaving them practically penniless. Henry considered Jews his private property to do with as he pleased. Earlier English kings borrowed from Jews and sometimes even repaid those loans. Henry III, however, began the policy of imposing tallage (arbitrary taxation in the Jews) and gradually impoverished them. When the Jews requested permission to leave England, Henry refused so as not to endanger his financial reserves.

1217 July 7, ALICE ( ALIX) DE MONTMORENCY (France)

The wife of Simon de Montfort, the 5th Earl of Leicester, had imprisoned the Jews of Toulouse Jewry who refused to convert. Under pressure she finally released them but had all children (under the age of six) taken from them and adopted by Christians. The Church under cardinal Bertrand, later decreed that the children were to stay in their "Christian" homes.

1217 November 7, HONORIUS III

Reissued the bull Sicut judaeis… ( As the Jews..) regarding the churches official position against forced baptism, violence or confiscation of property (see 1120).

1218 March 30, HENRY III (England)

The men administering England for the minor king, enforced the anti-Jewish canons of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) including that Jews wear a distinctive dress to prevent Jews from socializing with Christians - in this case a white linen cloth in the shape of the Tablets of the Law which had to be worn above the heart by all Jews. Many paid for the privilege of not wearing it.

1218 JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Thirty-one years after Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem there were still few Jews there. Jerusalem did have three synagogues though. One was for Jews from Ashkelon which included the refugees from Jerusalem, one for Jews from North Africa and one for Jews from France. Most of the Jews remained on the coast, especially in Acco (Acre).


The Mongols attacked Persia (beginning under Genghis Khan, who died in 1227), and captured Baghdad in 1258. The Jews and other religious minorities were tolerated.

1221 June 26, ERFURT (Germany)

Although the Archbishop of Canterbury forbade anti-Jewish riots by English crusaders, they continued unabated. A group of religious "pilgrims" on their way to the Holy Land attacked the Jewish quarter, burning two synagogues. Some 26 Jews were killed. Among the martyrs was the paytan and cantor Samuel b. Kalonymus. Others threw themselves into the fire rather then be forcibly converted.


rnIn his bull Ad nostram Noveritis audientiam (To the hearing, know that), Honorius reconfirmed his previous bull (1218) and demanded the enforcement of the 4th Lateran Council ban on Jews holding public office. Jews were required to wear a distinctive badge in public and were made to pay a tithe to local churches.rn

1222 OXFORD SYNOD (England)

Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury, held a provincial church council at Oxford. It forbade Jews to build new synagogues, own slaves, or mix with Christians. He had been one of the prime movers of the Fourth Lateran Council and was motivated by its anti-Jewish spirit. In reality, the Oxford's synods canons were not widely enforced or even enforceable in practice.

1222 GOLDEN BULL (Hungary)

As a reaction to the growing influence (especially economically) of Jews, nobles helped enact a Bull which prevented Jews from becoming "nobles" as well as holding certain offices.

1225 - 1274 THOMAS AQUINAS (Italy)

Catholic priest and theologian. He was recognized as Doctor of the Church for his contributions to Catholic theology ( Summa Theologica). While some of Aquinas philosophies are similar to that of Maimonides, his attitude reflected that of the Fourth Lateran council accusing Jews of deicide (see 1271).


Sanctioned laws against Jews and encouraged disputations between Jewish and Christian theologians (Nicholas Donin,1240) in order to convert more Jews. At the same time that he oppressed the Jews (i.e. canceling all debts owed to them by Christians), he gave gifts and favors to any who converted. He recommended that the best way of winning an argument with a Jew was to drive a sword as far as it would go into his stomach.


Under strong pressure from the clergy he issued a number of restrictions against the Jews including holding public office. James (1208-1276)himself ignored his own laws and appointed many Jews as bailiffs, translators, diplomats, and to other administrative positions.This being said there was a strong increase in anti Jewish legislation both by the clergy and by the Cortes Generale the local (courts) legislative bodies. James himself used the anti Jewish pressure to enrich his own coffers as an act" of salvation" (see 1254).rnrnrn

1229 HENRY III (England)

Jews were forced to pay various additional tallages during the 1220's and 30's. In 1229 an additional 8,000 mark tallage was imposed and in 1232 an additional 10,000 marks.

1229 TREATY OF JAFFA (Eretz Israel)

Between Emperor Frederick II and the Sultan of Egypt. Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem were returned to the crusaders. Jews were once again forbidden to live in Jerusalem.

1230 JOHN ASEN II (Czar of the Bulgars) (Eastern Europe)

Defeated Theodore Ducas Angelus of Epirus (N.W. Greece). Theodore, who had initiated many anti-Jewish laws and stolen Jewish property, was given over to two Jews to "put out his eyes". When they, having pity on him, refused to do so, they were thrown off a cliff.


Decided to combine the manufacturing of silk and the dying trades and to give them over to a number of Jewish families. Both these trades were for many years almost the exclusive activities of Jews in Sicily, Naples, and other parts of Italy.

1233 HOUSE OF CONVERTS (England)

Was established in England as a refuge for baptized Jews. A special tax was imposed on the Jewish community to pay for its establishment and maintenance.


In his Decretals, ( official letters of response) The pope condemned the Jews to perpetual servitude based on the doctrine of perpetua servitus iudaeorum. This would result in official second class status for Jews.

1235 December 28, RITUAL MURDER CHARGE (Fulda, Germany)

Resulted in a massacre of 32 Jews. The following year, Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen established an investigation at Hagenau to confirm or disprove the charges. After hearing various experts, including Jewish converts to Christianity, he declared that since Jews are prohibited from eating animal blood, they would surely be banned from using human blood. He forbade anyone to accuse Jews of ritual murder", Privilegium e sententia in favorem iudaeorum . Pope Innocent IV also condemned the accusations as unfounded.


After appointing a commission to investigate the truth of "blood accusations", he adopted the Jews' unanimous denial of any such crime.

1236 July 10, ANJOU AND POITOU (France)

Over a period of 6 days Crusading monks and knights trampled three thousand Jews to death, burned torah scrolls and destroyed the community.

1236 EMPEROR FREDERICK II OF HOHENSTAUFEN (1194-1250) (Holy Roman Empire)

Declared Jews of Germany servi camerae nostre (servants of our treasury) or Kammerknechtschaft. The simple legal meaning of this was that Jews and all their possessions belonged to the King and was partly instituted by Frederick I in 1157. This also supposedly assured them protection. Jewish rights and their assets were now the actual property of the king, to be bought, sold, or traded. This concept, mostly economic but also theological, spread to France England and Spain.

1237 - 1241 Winter MONGOL (Tartar) INVASION (Germany)

Across Russia, Eastern Europe and parts of Germany Batu (son of Genghis) Khan led what was known as the Golden Horde. In their wake, many communities (Jewish and Christian) were destroyed. This coincided with the beginning of the 6th millennium according to the Jewish calendar which lead to speculation of the arriving of the messiah. In some German communities (Frankfort) the Mongols were thought to be remnants of the Ten Lost Tribes and accused the Jews of helping the invaders.

1239 March 6, EDICT OF VALENCIA (Spain)

King James I validated the "privileges"/charter of the Jews of Aragon. The Jewish courts (Bet Din) were authorized to try all cases except capital offenses. He furthermore forbade all harassment except for financial debts, and only if these could be proven.


Believed to be the age of the Messiah. For this reason, many Jews did not prepare a proper defense against the Crusaders and were helpless against their onslaught.

1241 May 24, FRANKFURT(-ON-MAIN) (Germany)

A Jewish boy preparing for baptism was persuaded by his parents to repent. As a result, local Christians attacked the Jews who fought back and a number of townspeople were killed. As the attack intensified and seeing no other option, the Jews set fire to their houses. The fire spread to the rest of the community, destroying nearly half the city. One hundred and eighty Jews died, and twenty-four agreed to be baptized. Conrad IV, the emperor's son, granted amnesty to the Christian residents.

1241 LONDON (England)

Approximately 2000 Jews lived in London. Many of the wealthier Jews had synagogues in their homes to get around the difficulty of obtaining a permit to build a synagogue.

1242 June 6, BURNING OF THE TALMUD (Paris, France)

All copies of the Talmud had been confiscated by decree of Pope Gregory IX and King Louis. Declaring that the reason for the stubbornness of the Jews was their study of the Talmud, the Pope called for an investigation of the Talmud that resulted in its condemnation and burning. Twenty-four cartloads of Hebrew manuscripts (ten-twelve thousand volumes) were publicly burned in the Palace de Greve).

1243 August 6, KITZINGEN, BAVERIA (Germany)

Ritual murder accusation. Fifteen Jews were tortured to death. Their corpses lay in the street for a fortnight before they were allowed to be buried.

1243 BERLITZ (Berlin, Germany)

First accusation of desecration of the Host. The sanctity of the Host (the wafer and wine distributed as part of the ceremony of the Eucharist during Mass) is based on the doctrine of transubstantiation. In this doctrine (officially recognized in 1215), the wafer and wine is viewed by the Church as a substitute for Christ's body and blood. Therefore, an attack on the Host was considered a direct attack on the body of Jesus. This was the first of many times that the Jews were accused of "killing" Christ or torturing him by sticking pins into or burning the Host. In this case, the response to this accusation wiped out the entire Jewish population of Berlitz. Incidents of Host desecration accusations were as recent as 1836 (Romania).

1244 June 1, AUSTRIAN DUKE FREDERICK II (The Quarrelsome)

The last Babenburg duke. He issued a charter to the Jews granting them freedom from interference in their synagogues and cemeteries, and protection from the kidnapping of their children. Many later charters were based on it, including those in Poland, Hungary, Bohemia and Moravia. It assured freedom of movement within the ducal territories, and the obligation to pay the same tolls as their Christian neighbors.


Pope Innocent IV in a letter to the King Louis IX of France ordered the Talmud to be burned. "Our dear Son, the Chancellor of Paris, and the Doctors, before the clergy and people, publicly burned by fire the aforesaid books (The Talmud) with all their appendices. Two months later( May 9) he also issued papal bull Impia judeorum perfidia (The Disrespectful, Deceitful Jews). In it he called the Jews a "perfidious" race reaffirming the restrictions on Jews implemented by Pope Gregory IX. The Talmud was banned and Jews were prohibited from hiring Catholics to for manual labor including employing Christian nurses or servants because their faith might become confused.


King James I (1208-1276) offered the Jews protection and privileges in many areas of his country, mostly in those re-conquered. This led to a flowering of culture and participation within his realm. One of those who held high office was Judah ben Lavi de la Caballeria, who from 1257 to 1276, was in charge of the administration of the property of the king and judicial matters. A little over 210 years later one of his decedents Alfonso de la Caballeria , a new Christian, served as vice-chancellor of Aragon and a strong supporter of Columbus.


Showed his appreciation for Jewish soldiers' part in the conquering of Seville. Although he was just the crown prince, he granted them land for a "village of the Jews". The Jewish quarter was enlarged and three mosques were given to them for use as synagogues. A large number of Jews served him in the treasury (Meir de Maleq), in astronomy (Judah ben Moses Cohen), and medicine (Abraham and Samuel Levi). A famous Astronomical Table (Alphonsine Tables) was named for him by Isaac ibn Sid, the cantor in Toledo. In spite of this, Alfonso also compiled the "seven sets", a legal work reviewing all the anti-Jewish canons against the Jews. A hundred years later this was used as the basis for anti-Jewish legislation.

1248 - 1325 PORTUGAL

In spite of the problems that hampered the awakening in Spain, the Jews in Portugal under Alfonso III and Diniz enjoyed a fair amount of freedom. They were not required to wear a badge or pay forced taxes to the Church. They also held high offices (i.e. Chief Rabbi Judah who also served as the Treasurer). At the end of this period the Church began to resent the position of the Jews and started to complain and pressure subsequent rulers.


The brother of Louis IX, he ordered the expulsion of the Jews from Poitou, France. Though his decree remained mostly on paper, it does mark the first local expulsion of Jews. Both brothers did their best to force money from their Jewish subjects.


Ruled Egypt, Syria and parts of North Africa. The Mamluks were former slaves who had been bought by the sultans to serve in their armies. After their revolt, they set up a military feudal aristocracy, bringing a fanatical Moslem rule to areas under their control - and antipathy to Christians and Jews.

1250 April 15, POPE INNOCENT IV

Issued a papal bull denying Jews in Cordova permission to build a synagogue. It also forbade them from living in the same house as Christians, from eating or drinking with Christians, or generally associating with Christians in any way.


Like most countries at the time, it protected the Jews as belonging to the king but allowed them to be singled out for harassment. This led to the initiative of the Church Council of Buda (1279) which required Jews to wear a badge and prohibited them from leasing land. King Bela IV was against the order and for the most part ignored it.

1253 January 31, HENRY III (England)

Ordered Jewish worship in Synagogues be held quietly so that Christians should not have to hear it when passing by. In addition, he forbade Jews from employing Christian nurses or maids, and prevented other Jews from converting to Christianity.


Louis IX expelled the Jews from France. This signaled the end of the Tosafists period. Most left for Germany and then further east.

1255 August 29, LITTLE SAINT HUGH OF LINCOLN (England)

An infamous ritual murder libel. It was alleged that Jews enticed the boy and while starving him, invited Jews to Lincoln to murder him ritually. (Jews did come to Lincoln at that time to attend a wedding.) His body was cast into a well and a month later "miracles" followed the discovery of his corpse. On the basis of the alleged "confession" by Jopin (Jacob), the secular authorities (for the first time) and the Church sent 91 Jews to the Tower of London. 18 were executed before Richard and the friars stopped the killings. This incident later provided Chaucer with the idea for his Prioress Tale (1387) and the hero of the popular ballad, "Little Sir Hugh". His birthday (August 27) was celebrated until the Reformation.

1255 HENRY III (England)

Seeing himself as the "master of the Jews", Henry transferred his rights to the Jews for one year to his brother, Richard, in exchange for five thousand marks.

1258 February 10, - 1335 Il-khan (Mongol) Dynasty PERSIA

With the fall of Baghdad to the grandson of Genghis Khan, the Mongol dynasty replaced the Abbasids in Persia. The Mongols were for the most part tolerant of Judaism. An Arab writer reported that there were 36,000 Jews and 16 Synagogues in the city on the eve of the Mongolian invasion. Most of the city was destroyed during the siege. It is during this period that Judeo-Persian literature flourished, specifically the poetry of Shahin whose most famous work was Sefer Sharh Shain al Hatorah.

1260 MAMLUKS (Syria)

Defeated the Mongols at the battle of Ain Jalut and brought Syria under Mamluk rule. Old anti-Jewish regulations were again enforced, including those forcing women to wear one red shoe and one black one. The positions of both Jews and Christians began to suffer, eventually leading to the severe weakening of the Jewish community.

1260 SULTAN AL-MALIK AL-THAHIR (AKA Baibars), (Egypt)

One of the Mameluke commanders became sultan of Egypt. He banned Jews and Christians from ascending above the 7th step on the cave of the patriarchs in Hebron - a ban which lasted 700 years. Baibars (1223- 1277), doubled the tribute paid by all non Muslims. He evidently decided to burn all the Jews of Egypt in a ditch but accepted a heavy payment in its stead.

C. 1260 - 1347 ABNER OF BURGOS (Spain)

Aka Alfonso de Valladolid, he converted to Christianity in about 1320 a process which began after the false messiah claims of 1295. He is considered the "Ideologue of Apostasy". Abner's anti-Jewish polemics, written mostly in Hebrew, were to exert great influence over many generations. Among his books and pamphlets, the most famous was Moreh Tsedek; "Mostrador de justicia" (Teacher of righteousness') which was used extensively by Alonso de Spina and Pablo de Santa Maria ( 1391). He consistently attacked the Jewish religion and its people (1336) and urged the king to cancel all previous charters and agreements with the Jews.

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.

1261 MAGDEBURG (Germany)

Archbishop Robert seized all Jewish property in Magdeburg, and held influential Jews for ransom by foreign relatives. (This was an inspiration for Eichmann, who offered Jews for trucks.)

1261 VALENCIA ( Spain)

James I permitted Jews to purchase real estate from anyone, including the nobility and clergy. In general Jews were encouraged to settle in newly conquered areas and were often given tax benefits for a year or two.


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.

1263 CIVIL WAR (England)

Between Henry III and Simon de Montfort, leader of the Baronial Party. London Jewry was pillaged. So were the Jews of other towns.

1263 August 29, ANTI JEWISH DECREES (Spain)

Jews were ordered to erase any anti Christian texts from all books within three months. Jews were also required to meet in their synagogues and hear conversion sermons from Dominican friars. Yet just five days earlier, King James had granted permission for the founding of a new synagogue in the home of a local noble.


Granted a model charter protecting the Jews. Coming soon after the expulsion of the Jews from France and their persecution in Germany, it encouraged immigration to Poland.

1264 September 8, "STATUE OF KALISZ" (Statut kaliski) (Poland)

Was issued by Prince Boleslav V The Pious (1221-1279). Boleslav had extended his rule over all of Poland in 1257. The statue served as the basis for the legal position of Jews in Poland and subsequent charters established their position as belonging to the prince's treasury and under his protection. The statue being issued soon after the expulsion of Jews from France and persecution in Germany, encouraged immigration to Poland.

1265 CHARLES OF ANJOU (southern Italy)

Brother of Louis IX was given the rule over southern Italy by Pope Clement IV as a reward for expelling Manfred son of Frederick II from Sicily. Thus in debt to the pope, Charles began wholesale persecution of the Jews through forced conversions, economic restraints, and physical attacks. At the same time, he hired Jews to serve as translators for scientific texts from Arabic to Latin including Moses of Palermo and Faraj (Moses) Da Agrigento (Girgenti) who was also his personal physician.


The Polish Church adopted the previous anti-Semitic regulations of the Church, including a prohibition against Christians and Jews living in the same house, or even sharing a meal together.

1267 May 12, VIENNA (Austria)

At a special session of the city council it was decided to force all Jews to wear a cone shaped headdress in addition to a badge. This was called the Pileum Cornutum and it became a distinctive attire which is prevalent in many medieval woodcuts illustrating Jews.

1267 August 15, (9 Elul 5027) NACHMANIDES ARRIVED IN JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Upon his arrival, seven years after the Tatar invasion, Nachmanides found "only two brothers, dyers who bought their dye from the governor and were joined by up to ten Jews in their home on Sabbaths for prayers." He reorganized the Jewish community and founded a yeshiva and synagogue.


Jews were forbidden from becoming tax or toll farmers. According to customary practice, anyone could have bought these rights in a specific area for an agreed upon sum to be paid to the king. Despite this ruling, Jews often found this to be one of the few economic possibilities opened to them. This in turn caused resentment from both the local population and Christian tax farmers who saw them as competition. In general, its goal was to cut off contact as much as possible between Christians and Jews both socially and physically (ghetto).

1267 June 26, Pope Clement IV

Issued the papal bull Turbato corde., which equated conversion or relapsing (of Jewish converts) to Judaism with heresy. According to Clement, Dominican and Franciscan Inquisitors should include in their investigations, baptized Jews, and those who help them return to Judaism, as well as Christians who express interest in Judaism, and Jews who encourage such conversions.

1267 July 15, (20 Tamuz 5027) RITUAL MURDER ACCUSATION (Pforzheim, Baden, Germany)

A seven-year-old girl was found dead in the river. A local woman admitted to selling the child for ritual purposes to the Jews. During the riots R. Samuel ben Yakar ha-Levi, R. Isaac ben Eliezer, and R. Abraham ben Gershom committed suicide to escape the throng. The Jews did not return for over 200 years.

1267 - 1327 JAMES II OF ARAGON

Did more to convince Jews to convert than any other previous Spanish king. This being said, he had excellent personal relationships with many Jews. He also forbade forced conversions, protected them from anti Jewish disturbances, and the jurisdiction of the inquisition. His policies regarding the Jews more or less remained in place until 1348 and the onset of the black plague and the riots.

1269 June 19, LOUIS IX (Saint Louis) (France)

Needing no urging from the Church, he ordered all Jews found in public without a badge (yellow or red) to be fined ten livres of silver. The badge in France was usually a circle of red or yellow material and was known as a rouelle. The original badge was actually Moslem in origin; it was Caliph Omar II (717-20) who decreed that both Jews and Christians must wear a distinguishing mark. The "badge" took on different shapes, colors and even dress (i.e. a hat or color of a dress) depending on the country.

1269 - 1465 MERINDES DYNASTY (Morocco)

Began when Abu Yusuf the Merinid conquered southern Morocco. The Merindes were a Berber dynasty which replaced the Almohads. In general, the Jews were well treated and enjoyed freedom and affluence during their rule.

C. 1270 RAYMOND MARTIN ( Spain)

Aka Raymundus Maritini (1220 1285) published his anti Jewish polemic Pugio Fidei (Dagger of the Faith). trying to prove that Judaism was based on deceit especially in regards to the Talmud. It was used extensively in the Tortosa dispute. In it he writes "It is well, that the Christians take in hand the sword of their enemies, the Jews, to strike them with it? He also wrote another anti Jewish work Capistrum Judaeorum (Muzzle of the Jews). He is considered one of the churches greatest Hebraists of the middle ages.


Countess Margaret of Flanders had written to Aquinas requesting to understand the Catholic view of the Jewish people . In his response he wrote: Jews by reason of their fault are sentenced to perpetual servitude for killing Jesus. Jews of each sex in all Christian provinces, and all the time, should be distinguished from other people by some clothing. He also advised that the Jew should be punished with a greater fine than anyone else in a similar case. Aquinas is known as the Doctor Angelicus (the Angelic Doctor) of the Catholic Church.

1272 October 7, POPE GREGORY X (590-604)

Condemned the ritual murder libels. In addition, since Jews could not bear witness against Christians, he refused to accept testimony by a Christian against a Jew unless it was confirmed by another Jew.


Considered Jews to be a monetary asset, taxing them and confiscating their property without any concern for the depletion and impoverishment of the community. A "good crusading prince", he was also an imperialist and a builder. He was determined to rid his kingdom of anti-Christian practices such as usury.


Torn between his need for funds and pressure from the Church, he adopted a policy of accepting gifts for favors. Rudolph reconfirmed the Old Jewish Charters in Austria and Rutushion and forbade forcible baptism. However, he banned the public appearance of Jews during Holy Week and did little to stop attacks on Jews in Bavaria, Franconia and the Rhineland (1283-87).

1273 JATIVA ARAGON (Spain)

The first known paper mill in Europe was built and run by Jews.


King Edward banned usury and tried to encourage Jews in agriculture, crafts and local trades. He failed, partly because of local prejudice and opposition. Jews were forbidden to lend money at interest and the order was renewed that all Jews over the age of seven had to wear a badge shaped like the twelve tablets of law. This was similar to the edict of Louis IX (1254). The Jews, mostly financially drained and impoverished, were replaced by the Lombards of Italy as the bankers of the King - and were thus no longer considered an asset.


Was murdered along with her servant. Licoricia was a twice widowed money lender, and one of the richest Jews in England. Approximately 10 percent of the Jewish money lenders were women. After her second husband David of Oxford died, his house and its contents were seized by the crown and turned into the Royal Domus Conversum: a house for converts. The murderer was never caught. Henry III confiscated 3000 (over 2 million in today's value) from her estate and used it to rebuild Westminster abbey.

1278 November 17, EDWARD I (England)

Arrested all the Jews for alleged coin clipping and counterfeiting. 680 were arrested, jailed and put on trial. The judges were given prior instructions clearly biased against the Jews. Although many Christians were accused, many more (ten times as many) Jews were hung than Christians (269 Jews and 29 Christians). Edward received 16,500 pounds from the property of the executed Jews and the fines of those charged. At that time Jews comprised 1% of the English population. 16,500 pounds was almost 10% of the exchequer's national income.

1278 August 4, POPE NICHOLAS III

Issued the papal bull Vineam Soreth , forcing Jews to attend conversion sermons. The earliest record of forced sermons stems from Agobard of Lyon's (see 820) Epistola de baptizandis Hebraeis, where he ordered the local priests to preach in the Synagogues. This will remain in effect for the next 600 years (see 1870).

1279 April 19, PEDRO III (Aragon)

Following the pronouncement of Nicholas III's bull of 1278, he ordered all Jews to attend conversion sermons in the synagogues. This soon led to excess on the part of local mobs led by church officials. In order to keep order he banned anti - Jewish demonstrations. Pedro (1239-1285 ) on one hand appointed Jews to his administration, yet on the other slowly gave in to the rising tide of religious fanaticism within the church. By 1283 there were new incidents of anti-Jewish legislation throughout the kingdom. With his death, the position of Jews in service to the king was more or less, a thing of the past.

1280 January 2, LONDON (England)

Jews were forced to hear Dominican conversion sermons. Jewish blasphemy of the Church was deemed a capital offense. Abraham the son of Deulecresse of Norwich was drawn and burned for "Blasphemy and other trespasses" including alleged coinage violation. The punishment for coinage clipping alone was hanging.


Alfonso X arrested the leaders of the Jewish community and demanded a exorbitant ransom paid per day. One of his Jewish tax collectors Zag De la Maleha (Isaac ibn Zadok) had raised money for the army but didnt prevent Sancho, Alfonso's son, from appropriating the money to pay queen Violante's depts. When Alfonso lost the battle, he had De la Maleha killed and others including Todros Abulafia arrested, until the ransom was paid. During the last years of Alfonzo's reign and under the influence of the church, his treatment of the Jews underwent change for the worse.

1283 April 19, MAINZ (Seventh day of Passover)(Germany)

Ritual murder accusation (blood libel). Thirty six Jews were slain, known as the Harugei Magenza , the murdered of Mainz.

1285 April 4, - 1314 REIGN OF PHILIP IV PHILIP THE FAIR (France)

(The Fair - referring to color, not to temperament). The grandson of Saint Louis. His policy regarding the Jews was to use them solely for his financial benefit.

1287 April 19, WERNER OF OBERWESEL (Germany)

A 16 year old boy was found dead on the shore of the Rhine.Immediately a ritual murder accusation placed the blame on the Jews. Over the next few months forty men, women and children - were killed by riots as they spread down the Rhineland. Werner himself (despite the order of King Rudolf I to burn the corpse) was buried in a chapel in Oberwesel where he was venerated as a saint. Nearby Bacharach, where his body was found, also erected a chapel. Although Pope John XXIII ordered the holy day deleted from diocese of Trier in 1963 it still appears in some German Saint Directories. The Saint Werners Chapel was renovated in 2001.rn

1287 May 4, ENGLAND

Jews were arrested and again accused of "clipping" the coinage. Although there was no evidence, the community as a whole was convicted and ordered to be expelled. A ransom of 4,000 (others say 12,000) pounds of silver was paid.

1288 June 8, BONN (Germany)

Riots, after a ritual murder accusation, left 104 Jews dead.

1289 GASCONY (France)

Jews were expelled from France and their property was confiscated. (Edward I of France had incurred large debts and he needed money quickly.)

1290 July 18, EDWARD I (England)

Pressured by his barons, the Church and possibly his mother, he announced the expulsion of all the Jews. By November 1 approximately 4,000 had fled, mostly to France. The Jews had to pay their own passage. They were allowed to take movables (i.e. clothing). A number of Jews were robbed and cast overboard during the voyage by the ship captains. The Jews did not return to England until 1659. This was the first national expulsion of the Jews. (England was one of the only centralized and national monarchies of that time.)

C. 1290 BARTOLOMEO DE CAPUA (Apulia, Italy)

Was a Dominican friar who accused the Jews of killing a Christian child in a derision of the death of Jesus. The king ordered them to either accept baptism or flee. Most of the local synagogues in Trani, Bari, Naples, Apulia, and other cities were converted to churches. Thousands of Jews throughout southern Italy either fled or converted as a consequence, ending 1,000 years of active Jewish life.

1291 May 18, ACRE (Eretz Israel)

After a two month siege, the fortress fell to the Mamluk (see 1250) Egyptians under Al-Ashraf Khalil(1262-1293). Any inhabitants Christian or Jews who did not succeed in fleeing were killed. To all intents and purposes the Crusades were at an end. The various crusading armies never succeeded in uniting as a cohesive force. They were defeated as much by infighting and separate treaties as by the Fatimid armies.

1295 July 21, NISSIM BEN AVRAHAM (Castile, Spain)

Known as the prophet of Alvila,ׂ had predicted that the messiah would come on this date. Rabbi Solomon ben Aderet (see 1235) warned people against him but to little avail. Jews fasted and gathered in synagogues, and when nothing happened many converted. Unfortunately the troubles mounting in the Iberian peninsula would encourage other false messiahs looking for a both an explanation and a solution.

1295 April 25, FERDINAND IV

Ascended the throne of Castile and Leon. Unlike his mother Dona Maria before him, he refused to ban Jewish courtiers. Ferdinand (1285-1312) opposed the church in anything which he perceived to be not in his best interest. "The Jews and all their possessions are mine ( not the Churches) ".

1296 June 19, BOPPARD AND OBERWESEL (Germany)

A blood libel instigated by Rindfleish, a German knight, resulted in the murder of 40 Jews. Heine's Der Rabbi von Bacherach was based on this massacre. Over the next few years the slaughter of thousands of victims, if not tens of thousands, in 146 communities in southern and central Germany and Austria were attributed to Rindfleish and his mobs. Emperor Albert I was too busy with internal threats to defend the Jews. A few years later he did make a half-hearted attempt at restoring peace, which was mostly ignored.

1298 April 20, ROTTINGEN (Germany)

Rindfleish accused the local Jews of profaning the host. He then incited the Burgher and local populace to join in the killing. Twenty-one Jews were murdered.

1301 EGYPT

Riots broke out, encouraged by the Mamluk rulers. Many Jews and Christians - including all the Jews of Bilbeis - were forcibly converted to Islam.


For anyone under the age of 30 was read out in synagogues on Shabbat ( 4 of Av) throughout southern France and Spain. The decree, which did not include medicine, originated with Abba Mari Ben Moses. It was written by Solomon ben Aderet and signed by thirty three rabbis. He was vociferously opposed by Jacob Machir and Don Profiat Tibbon, (see 1235) who pronounced a counter ban. The expulsion of all French Jews by Philip IV " the Fair" in 1306, for the most part ended the controversy.

1306 January 21, FRANCE

Phillip the Fair, needing funds after his war with the Flemish, issued secret orders to ready for the expulsion of the Jews and the confiscation of their property. Any Jews found after a given date were to be executed.

1306 July 22, PHILIP THE FAIR (France)

Expelled the ( approximately 100,000) Jews from his lands after arresting all of them (on the day after the 9th of Av) and confiscating their property. Phillip began planning the expulsion six months in advance. All their property and belongings were auctioned with the king receiving the takings. Their debts were also transferred to the King and he received the payments from their Christian debtors. Gradually, they were allowed to drift back. In 1315 his son Louis cancelled the decree but they were expelled again in 1322.

1313 January, - 1380 COUNCIL OF ZAMORA (Spain)

The Council, under the patronage of the Queen Mother Maria, had as its goal to end all social interaction between Jews and Christians. The edicts included; the wearing of the "Badge of Shame", exclusion from all state occasions, and a ban on the employment of Jewish physicians. Jews were also forbidden to use Christian names. However, the council rejected the request of Pope Clement V to cancel all debts to Jews.

1315 LOUIS X (France)

Philip's Iv’s son and successor. He allowed the Jews back into France largely for financial considerations. (Jews were often expelled because of pressure from the Church, economic or political considerations, only to be readmitted at a later date.) The Jews were promised one year's notice should permission to return be rescinded. He also returned their synagogues and cemeteries.

1317 August 12, BULL EX PARTE VESTRA

Was issued by Pope John XXII. The bull concerned those who were suspected of heresy, and Jews who had "relapsed". It ordered the inquisitors to " Pluck out by the roots …such a noxious and pestiferous weed." The bull was confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV as late as February 20 1751 in his Elapso Proxime Anno".


Despite his reluctance to appoint any Jews to the court he had many strong personal relationships . During his reign (1336-1387) although their financial position (and help to the crown) was greatly reduced the Jews were allowed a great amount of autonomy. He tried to protect the Jews against the worst of the inquisition and anti- Jewish ferment.

1320 July 7, PASTOUREAUX (Southern France)

A crusade against the Jews was started by a shepherd. It spread throughout most of southern France and northern Spain. One hundred and twenty communities were destroyed. At Verdun, 500 Jews defended themselves from within a stone tower where they killed themselves when they were about to be overrun.


Founded Vilna and made it his capital. He then brought a number Jews to live there. Although a real Jewish presence would not find its way to Lithuania until the end of the century (1389) and the rule of Grand Duke Witold.

C. 1320 LUCERNE (Switzerland)

A town proclamation demanded a fine for anyone perpetrating a blood libel against the Jews without notifying the council in advance.

1320 September 6, POPE JOHN XII

Ordered the burning of the Talmud and the expulsion of Jews from the Papal States. A large bribe managed to avert the expulsion order although two years later the Talmud was burned in Rome during the festival of Shavuot (Pentecost). During the riots which ensued, the father-in-law of Immanuel of Rome was killed and local expulsions did take place ( Milan).

1321 August 21, FRANCE

Jews were accused of encouraging lepers to poison Christian wells. This directly led to wide-spread and similar accusations during the Black Plague. This time, five thousand Jews were killed. At Chinon, 160 Jews were burned in a pit on an island outside of town. The king, Philip the Tall, in due course admitted that the Jews were innocent. The island is still known as Ile de Juifs.

1321 CASTILE (Spain)

Henry II forced the Jews to wear the yellow badge.


Expelled all the Jews from France without the promised one year's warning.

1322 June 24, CHARLES IV " The Fair" OF FRANCE

The son of Phillip IV, expelled all the Jews from France without the promised one year's warning.


The Jews were accused the Egyptian sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad (1285- 1341) of starting a fire. They were given the choice of death or a payment of a fine of 50,000 gold pieces. They paid the fine.


Andrew of Perugia, a Franciscan friar and local Bishop, commented in frustration that the Jews of Quanzhou refused to be converted. The Jewish presence there dated back to the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). In the Middle Ages, Quanzhou port was of major importance in what was known as the Marine Silk Road", which linked up nearly 100 Asian and African countries and regions.

1326 July, Barcelona (Aragon, Spain)

Sixty families of Jewish refugees were permitted to settle in Aragon by James II after being expelled from France. For the most part the king managed to protected these Jews even those who had been previously baptized


At the city councils request, the Jews were expelled.

1328 March 5, NAVARRE (France)

After the death of Charles the Fair (Charles IV), Philip's brother and successor, Pedro Olligoyen, a Franciscan friar, used the Jews as a scapegoat against French rule. Charles was the last of the French Capet dynasty which had inherited Navarre. Local militias tried to defend the Jews but were outnumbered. All Jewish houses were pillaged then destroyed. Approximately 6000 Jews were murdered. There were 20 survivors. Those that took part were fined but the fines were later cancelled.


A street with the name of Via Scannaguidei rn(Kill the Jews Street) was noted.

1334 October 9, CASIMIR III THE GREAT (1310-1370) (Poland)

Re-affirmed the policies of Boleslav regarding protection of the Jews. This document was instrumental in encouraging Jews to begin to flee Germany and move East. In general Casimir protected Jewish interests. Later a myth developed, claiming that it was due to influence of a beautiful Jewish mistress, Esterka of Opoczno. (See 1356)

1334 - 1369 PEDRO (Peter) OF CASTILE (Spain)

Known as "the Cruel", he (r.1350-1369) was in general friendly to the Jews. When he was overthrown by his step-brother, Henry, the Jews were forced to wear the Yellow Badge in penance for their loyalty to Pedro. They also had to renounce their Spanish names, the use of which was considered a privilege.

1336 July 29, ROTTINGEN (Germany)

Led by John Zimberlin, a self proclaimed prophet, a group of peasants known as the Armleder (for their leather straps worn on their arms)or Judenschlaeger ("Jew-killers") attacked Jewish communities in Franconia and the Alsace region. They also destroyed Jewish communities in Bohemia, Moravia and elsewhere along the Rhine. Roughly 1500 Jews were murdered. Eventually, when the Armleder began to attack non-Jews, they were opposed by local Lords.

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.

1338 August 19, WOLFSBERG (Austria)

Host desecration riots. The Jews were accused of stealing the Eucharist, making it bleed, and trying to burn it. Over 70 Jews were burned at the stake and the community was destroyed, never to be revived.

1338 COLMAR ( Germany)

Emperor Louis IV the Bavarian intervened to protect the Jews of Colmar from Armleder, asking of course for extra taxes which was called the golden penny. He did not interfere with the attacks in nearby Rufach and Sulz whose Jews "belonged to the Bishop of Strasburg.

1339 SOLOMON B. SAMUEL (Urgench, Transoxania present day Uzbekistan)

Published the first Judeo-Persian dictionary Sefer ha-Melizah, with over a thousand words from the Bible, Talmud, and the Midrash. It was written in the literary language common to the Jews of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia in this period.

1340 - 1410 HASDAI BEN JUDAH CRESCAS (Spain)

Rabbi, rationalist philosopher, poet, and statesman. Crescas was a student of Nissim Ben Reuben (RaN) Gerondi (c. 13101376) . His, Or Adonai (Light of the Lord) was part of a major work he wanted to write ( Ner Elohim) as a reaction to Maimonides, but he only succeeded in writing the first part. ‎He also wrote Bittul Ikkarei ha-Notzerim (Refutation of the Christian Principles) as part of his efforts to fight against Christian pressure to convert. In 1390 he was appointed as the judge of all the Jews of the Kingdom of Aragon. During the anti-Jewish riots of 1391 he tried his best to protect the Jewish community, unfortunately his only son was murdered in Barcelona during the riots.


Bern, Chillon, Zurich. In the Castle of Chillon on Lake Geneva, Jews under torture admitted to being given poison to place in wells around Venice.

1348 September 26, POPE CLEMENT VI

Issued a Bull contradicting the libel against the Jews. In it he stated that the Jews were suffering just like the rest of Europe. Other rulers issued similar denunciations, but to little effect.

1348 November 22, RIOTS REACHED BAVARIA AND SWABIA (Germany)

Jews in eighty towns including Augsberg, Munich and Wurzburg were attacked.

1348 - 1349 THE BLACK PLAGUE (Europe)

One third of Europe's population died from the Black Death (Bubonic plague). Though many Jews were among the dead, they were accused by local church leaders and tortured to confess that they had poisoned the wells (Chillon) in order to kill Christians. During the next few years - despite the protests of Pope Clement VI - over 60 large and 150 small Jewish communities were destroyed as a direct result of these accusations. These included untold atrocities in cities such as Basel, Cologne, Strasbourg, Worms, Zurich and others. The plague, which originated in China, was spread for the most part by rats which came aboard ships from Asia to European ports. It is estimated that 25 million people perished within three years.

1349 January 16, BASEL (Switzerland)

The guilds brought up charges against the Jews accusing them of poisoning the wells. Despite an attempted defense by the town council, 600 Jews together with the rabbi were burned to death. One hundred and forty children were taken from their parents and forcible baptized. The victims were left unburied, the cemetery destroyed and the synagogue turned into a church. The remaining Jews were expelled and not readmitted until 1869.

1349 February 14, ST. VALENTINES DAY (Strasbourg)

Earlier that month, a riot ensued in the town after corn prices fell. The Jews were accused of a conspiracy. The mayor and some members of the city council had voted against the action and were removed from office by the tradesmen. The entire Jewish population (2000) was dragged to the cemetery and burned to death. Only those who accepted Christianity were allowed to live. The new council voted that Jews could not return for 100 years and their property and possessions were divided amongst the burghers. Within six months Emperor Charles IV pardoned the town council for the murders. Twenty years later, Jews were re-admitted.

1349 February 22, ZURICH (Switzerland)

Although the town council initally tried to protect the Jews of the town, they were forced to give in to the mob, resulting in the murder of many of the Jewish inhabitants.

1349 March 21, ERFURT (Germany)

After a mob marched into the Jewish quarter carrying a flag with a cross, the Jews tried to defend themselves. Over a hundred Jews were killed and much of the ghetto burned.

1349 August 23, COLOGNE (Germany)

As the riots began, many of the residents took shelter in the synagogue. When it was attacked as well, the Jews inside set fire to it rather then be taken by the mob outside. Most of those who had not taken refuge in the synagogue were also murdered. Their property was confiscated by the Church, with the municipality and the Count of Juelich each fighting over their share.

1349 August 24, MAYENCE AND BRESLAU (Germany)

After a mob marched into the Jewish quarter of Mayence carrying a flag with a cross, three hundred young Jews tried to defend themselves. Although as many as 200 of the attackers were killed, they soon overcame the defenders. Rather then be converted, the Jews set their houses on fire. 6,000 Jews died and another 4,000 died in Breslau.

1349 September 29, ALBERT II (Austria)

After an attack on the Jews at Krems, he forcibly ended the riots. Austria was thus one of the few places of relative security in Europe.

1349 March 1, (10 Adar I 5109) WORMS (GERMANY)

Riots broke out in the town. Many Jews fled to Heidelberg, others in desperation set fire to their homes or were murdered. An estimated 420 people died that day. Their property was seized by the town.

1349 May 28, BRESLAU/ WROCŁAW (Silesia)

Sixty Jews were murdered by a mob, after a fire in the town. The city claimed their property and the synagogues, while the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV (1316-1378), was given the cemetery and all debts owed to the Jews. Less than a year later on Feb.21,1350, the king ordered the murderers to be punished, but left it up to the city council to determine the punishment.

1355 May 7, TOLEDO (Spain)

Henry de Trastamasa, step-brother of Peter the Cruel, invaded Toledo on the pretense of rescuing the Queen Blance from Peter. Twelve hundred Jews were killed. His hatred for his brother, Jews, and his brothers good relationship with Jews, were ostensibly part of his reasons for his attacks against him. Bitter fighting within the Jewish quarter repelled the attack. As a reward for the courage of the Jews and loyalty of his advisor, Samuel ben Meir Halevi (Abulafia), Pedro allowed him to construct a beautiful synagogue (1357) which was later converted into a church under the name of El Trnsito. A few years later despite his service, Abulafia lost favor with the king and he was painfully murdered.(see 1360).


Alienated all rights of Jews. This led to the common practice of expelling the Jews from one district and, due to financial considerations, accepting them in another.

1356 ESTHERKA ( Poland)

Daughter of a Jewish tailor won over Casimir III "The Great" (1310-1370) so completely that many of his pro Jewish enactments are said to be due to her. He installed her in a royal palace near Cracow. She was said to have born him 2 sons and two daughters. The daughters raised as Jews and the sons as Christian. She was killed around 1370 by Casimir's successor, Louis of Hungary during his persecution of the Jews.


The defeat by the English at Poitiers, and the ransom that was needed to be raised, led to a financial crisis. This prompted King John II ( The Good), to readmit the Jews (mostly financiers) back to France, this time for 70 years.

1360 MIRANDA DEL EBRO (Castile, Spain)

Furious after a massacre of the Jews, Pedro I roasted one of the perpetrators alive, boiled another and executed eight others with an axe.

1365 - 1427 JACOB BEN MOSES MOLLEN (The Maharil) (Mainz and Worms, Germany)

One of the first great authorities to be distinguished with the title "Moreinu"rn (our leader/master). He was also noted for his cantorial prowess and his adherence to nusah ha'tfillah (wording of the prayers). His Sefer ha-Maharil aka Minhagim, is a major source on the rituals of German Jews.rn

1365 June 7, Pope URBAN V

Reaffirmed the Bull of Sicuti judaeis Thus to the Jews, forbidding to molest Jews or to force them to baptism. Many other popes published similar affirmations, but unfortunately they often were ignored or rejected (see 590, & 1120).

1366 March 31, HENRY II ( Spain)

Entered Burgos after the city decided to surrender. The king levied a tax of 30,000 doubloons (0.21 troy ounces) on the local Jews. In order to raise this vast sum (over 6,400,000 dollars into days terms), they were forced to sell their property, and even the Torah scroll ornaments. This marked the beginning of a three year struggle between the brothers Henry backed by the English, and Peter backed by the French. The Jews were squeezed financially by both sides bankrupting the Castilian community. Thousands of Jews were killed during the war.

1367 April 25, CASIMIR III

Expanded the "priviliges" of 1334 to include the Jews in Lesser Poland and Ukraine.

1367 HOST TRIAL (Barcelona)

Jews were accused of purchasing a host in order to desecrate it. One of the main forces behind the accusation was Infante Don Juan ( later to be king John I). Although disproved, it did not prevent him from bringing up the same accusation 10 years later (see 1377).

1369 March 23, MURDER OF PETER ( Pedro) OF CASTILE

Near Toledo by his half brother Henry, soon to be known as Henry II. Pope Urban V upon hearing the news exclaimed The church must rejoice at the death of .... a favorer of the Jews.... During Henry's (aka Henry of Trastámara) 10 year reign he did his best to persecute and impoverish the Jewish community which included forcing Jews to wear distinctive clothing , and not being allowed to hold public office . This marked the worst anti Jewish policies in Spain since the Visogoths and a harbinger of things to come. In the battle for Toledo some 8000 Jews had been killed, and all of their property sold for the benefit of the new king. Henry ostensibly took the Jews under his "protection" using them to his benefit .

1370 May 22, ALLEGED HOST DESECRATIONS (Brussels, Belgium)

After killing a local wealthy Jew, the perpetrators tried to cover their tracks by accusing the Jews of Host desecration and escaping in the resulting confusion. Twenty Jews were burned to death, many injured, and the rest were banished from the country. A holiday was declared by the local churches.


The famous Majorcan cartographer to Pedro IV of Aragon. He sent a map of the world as a gift to Charles VI of France. He is also credited from creating the famous Catalan atlas. Many of the maps of this era - which were known as Portolanos - charted coastlines and oceans (mostly of the Mediterranean area). Many Jews from the island of Majorca - as well as from Alexandria - have their names signed to these early maps.


Following persecutions in the wake of the Black Plague, many Jews fled south to Greece, becoming absorbed into the local Sephardic population. The term "Sephardic Jews" originally refered to those Jews who lived in the Iberian peninsula and followed certain customs. After the expulsion of 1492 the Sephardic community spread throughout the Levant, to Turkey , Greece, and North Africa. Ladino (which is the equivalent of Yiddish) was spoken by some but, was not as widespread as the former among its population.

1377 HOST PURCHASING TRIAL (Teruel and Huesca, Spain)

As in the trial of 1367 Jews were again accused of trying to purchase a consecrated host. The person behind it was again the crown prince (Infante) Don Juan (see 1350). A number of Jews were tortured and burned alive in Huesca. Others were taken to Barcelona for trial. His father Peter IV who attended the trial, wrote to him complaining that his actions would drive the Jews out of the realm. He replied that it was his duty to revenge the death of Jesus.

1378 - 1400 KING WENCESLAUS (Germany)

During the fights between the cities and the nobility, he tried a compromise proposal using the Jews as a pawn (1385). He later retracted and broke up the Swabian League, (the league of free cities in S. Germany) remitting all debts owed to Jews, with the Emperor getting his percentage. This provided further impetus for the Jews to move eastward.

1379 JOHN I OF CASTILE (Spain)

A Jewish advisor to his father, Joseph Pickon, was condemned to death by a rabbinical court for informing (on other Jews) and treason on the day of his coronation. John was so incensed that he ordered the court executed and forbade Jewish courts to condemn anyone to capital punishment or expulsion.

1380 November 15, CHARLES VI ASCENDS THE THRONE (France)

He told a mob that he would relieve some of the taxes but not expel the Jews. Instigated by the nobles, they plundered and murdered in the Jewish quarter for four days. The nobles hoped that this way they would relieve themselves of some of the debts owed to Jewish money lenders. Some Jews took refuge in the royal prison. Hughes Abriot, the Provost, obtained an order for restitution of all property and the return of all infants forcibly baptized. Because of this, he was accused of converting to Judaism and sent to jail for a year in penance.

1382 March 2, MAILOTIN RIOTS (Paris, France)

These riots were similar to the tax riots held two years previously. Both times the Jews were considered accomplices in over-oppressive taxes. Sixteen Jews fell victim to this outbreak.

1383 March 13, PETER IV ( Spain)

As a pretext to exhort funds from the Jews, he demanded an immediate full translation of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah into Catalan on pain of losing his favor". Loans had to be secured in order to come up with the enormous sum demanded by the king.


Guilds revolt against the patricians. The Jews, an old enemy of the guilds, who saw them as competition, shared the fate of the patricians. The Federation of Swabia tried to put down the revolt. In many cities (i.e. Nuremburg), the Jews were forced to buy the protection of the local councils.

1385 June 16, King WENCESLAUS (Germany)

Arrested Jews living in what was known as the Swabian League, and confiscated their books. A hefty fine had to be paid for the release of the prisoners and the return of the books.

1385 ULM (Germany)

At a meeting of the Swabian League cities it was decided that one fourth of the debts owed to Jews should be cancelled and the other three-quarters should be paid to the cities. Jews were prevented from emigrating.

1386 - 1456 JOHN OF CAPISTRANO (Giovanni da Capistrano) (Italy)

Nicknamed "Scourge of the Jews". A Franciscan monk, considered it an obligation and a privilege to persecute the Jews. As such, for the next 40 years, he traveled throughout Italy even reaching Bohemia. John of Capistrano acted as an agent of the Church, attacking Jews and heretics and did his best to undermine their positions. He did not hesitate to chastise the pope on occasion for being too lenient. He even convinced the Queen of Naples to cancel any rights given to the Jews and to reinstate all anti-Jewish measure, although this was short-lived.


A collection of stores completed by Geoffrey Chaucer (1342-1400). His "The Prioress's Tale" is a story about a child killed by Jews as encouraged by Satan 'That hath in Jewes' heart his waspe's nest'. The story ends with the mention of another ritual murder libel, Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, in 1255.

1389 April 18, MASSACRE AT PRAGUE (Bohemia)

A priest, hit with a few grains of sand or pebbles by small Jewish boys playing in the street, became insulted and insisted that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. The priests followers beat up the boys whose parents arrived to defend them. A mob was then incited to attack the ghetto. Thousands were slaughtered, the synagogue and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged. King Wenceslaus insisted that the responsibility rested with the Jews for venturing outside during Holy Week.

1389 July 1, GRAND DUKE WITOLD (Vitold) (Vytautas the Great) (1350-1430) (Lithuania)

Established the basis for the legal status of Jews, including freedom of trade and worship originally in the Grodno Province and then on his other regions. This bill of rights "Cartia" was in sharp contrast to the medieval position of the Jews throughout Poland. Individual Jews were not taxed but the community itself was responsible for the collection and their lives and property were protected. The Duke also brought Jews from the Crimea and settled them in Vilna and even proposed that synagogues and Jewish cemeteries be tax exempted.


Based on a Bull of Pope Callixtus II (1120) Sicut Judaeis(Latin: "As the Jews")written during the first crusade, he forbade Christians to harm the Jews, destroy their cemeteries, or forcibly baptize them. The Bull was confirmed many times by different popes but unfortunately did not have a lasting effect.


Led by Archdeacon Ferrand Martinez ( see march 15, 1391) the campaign soon spread through 70 towns especially in Castile, Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia. Only Granada was spared. The Jewish quarter in Barcelona, located for over 400 years near the castle, was totally destroyed. Over 10,000 Jews were killed, and thousands more converted.

1391 - 1415 BIRTH OF THE CONVERSOS (Marranos) (Spain)

Between those years as many as 200,000 ( half the Jewish population) chose conversion and became New Christians or Conversos. Of these, many continued to practice Judaism in secret while paying lip service to the Church. They became known by the Christians as Marranos. The Jews never used the term Marrano themselves although some knew of it. Many scholars have speculated that the origins of the word stemmed from Latin, Arabic and even Hebrew, but in fact it was the Spanish term for pig or pork and expression of extreme disgust on the part of the Christians. The Jews referred to themselves as anusim "those who were forced to convert". Eventually, these mass forced conversions led to the establishment of the Inquisition.

1391 July 9, VALENCIA (Spain)

The violence, which had begun a month earlier by Ferrand Martinez (see June 6), continued in the province of Valencia. A mob marched to the main gate of the Juderia on the Place de la Figuera, shouting," The Archdeacon of Seville comes to baptize all Jews". Although they mounted a defense the Jewish community was destroyed The synagogue became a monastery (S. Cristobal) and 250 Jews massacred. Many others, including the King's physician, Joshua (Ha)Lorki later to be infamously known as Geronimo de Santa Fe, converted to Christianity. A few found refuge in the houses of their Christian neighbors. Few of the perpetrators were ever punished ( see November 1391).

1391 July 10, PALMA DE MAJORCA

As news of the Spanish riots reached Majorca, riots broke out all over the island. Despite the efforts of Francisco Sa Garriga, the local viceroy, the entire Jewish community was destroyed and its inhabitants were either converted or murdered. Over 110 families converted, and the remnants fled to North Africa. Although a number of Jews were again invited to reside there the following year, a blood libel 40 years later ended the 800 year old Jewish community.

1391 July 16, VALENCIA (Spain)

King John I ordered that all Jews who had hidden in Christian houses be allowed to return to their homes unmolested. Furthermore, he decreed that synagogues were not to be turned into churches. This did not prevent him from confiscating all the property of those Jews who had either fled or been murdered.

1391 August 5, BARCELONA (Spain)

Although the city fathers and artisans tried to protect them, more than 400 Jews were killed in attacks instigated, for the most part, by Castilians who had taken part in the massacres in Seville and Valencia.

1391 November, PARDONS FOR RIOTERS (Valencia Spain)

Was granted by King John I of Aragon upon the recommendation of his wife Queen Yolande to those who had rioted against the Jews. The king declared the city leaders, the clergy, and most of the rioters innocent, commenting that no royal personnel were killed and that the Jews themselves were not blameless. Only five rioters were executed. After the riots no Jew was permitted to enter Valencia without permission. In general, most of the cities were fined, and a few of the perpetrators hung or banished. The Jewish communities never recovered.

1392 July 17, PORTUGAL

King John (Joao I) (1385-1432) ordered compliance with the Bull of Pope Boniface IX protecting Jews from forced baptism and extended it to Spanish Jewish refugees.

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.

1392 April 23, LETTER OF PRAISE ( Barcelona)

Was written by King Henry III (1379-1406) and Queen Catherine of Castile to the city of Saragossa for taking efforts to protect the Jews of the city from the riots . The king had his summer residence in the city.rn

1393 August 18, KING JOHN I (Spain)

In an effort to prevent "backsliding" by converted Jews, he prohibited them from living in the same quarter as unconverted Jews or even eating with them.

1394 September 17, CHARLES VI (France)

Using the pretense that a convert in Paris, Denis Machuit, returned to Judaism, he once again expelled the Jews. The order, signed on Yom Kippur, was enforced on November 3. Jews continued to live in Lyons and papal possessions such as Pugnon.

1398 PAUL OF BURGOS (Spain)

Was appointed by Pope Benedict of Trevio. Paul (c. 1351 1435) (aka Pablo de Santa Maria) not to be confused with Abner of Burgos, was the former scholar Solomon Halevi. There is controversy as to whether he converted before or after the riots of 1391. After his conversion, he set as his goal to convert by force as many Jews as possible To that end he instigated anti Jewish legislation known as the Laws of Valladolid ( see 1412). His Dialogus Pauli et Sauli contra Judos became a source book for anti Jewish polemics and which was later used by Geronimo de Santa F, and Martin Luther. His wife refused to convert and was killed in 1420.

1399 JUAN I (Castile, Spain)

Renewed the anti-Jewish decrees of Alfonso XI forbidding Jews to lend money or collect their depts.

1399 August 16, YOM TOV LIPPMAN-MUELHAUSEN ( Prague)

Rabbi and philosopher, was arrested along with other Jews accused of defaming Christianity. Despite his efforts, 77 Jews were killed. This outstanding Jewish scholar, in addition to his extensive knowledge of philosophy, knew Latin, studied the New Testament and was a skilled polemicist. He had previously held dialogues with the Bishop of Linda, which was unusual for its time in that they were held in an atmosphere of tolerance.


A Christian woman was accused of stealing 3 hosts and giving them to Jews for the purpose of desecrating them. Under the instigation of the local Archbishop, the Rabbi, thirteen members of the community and the woman were all tortured and burned alive slowly. The community was forced to pay a special tax each year for more until the 18th century.

1400 July 27, KING LADISLAS (Naples, Italy)

Offered the Jews a charter which would give them economic equality.

1402 BANI ISRAEEL (western Africa)

In a manuscript known as the Tarikh al-fattash a Jewish tribe is mentioned which ruled in Tirdirma near the Niger River. They were said to have had over 300 wells and 1500 soldiers. They were known as the Jews of the Bilad al-Sudan.

1407 October 26, CRACOW ACCUSATIONS (Poland)

One of the first blood libels in Poland. The Jews tried to defend themselves and were forced to take refuge in the Church of St. Anne, which was surrounded and then set afire. Any children left alive were forcibly baptized.

1408 GRODNO (Lithuania)

Jews received a renewed "Bill of Rights" granting them the opportunity to work as tradesmen and framers.

1412 January 2, LAWS OF VALLADOLID (Castile, Spain)

Under the direction of Fra Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) and Paul of Burgos (de Santa Maria) the government of Castile issued 24 edicts against the Jews, with its goal being to drive them to Christianity. These included a ban on working in handicrafts, trading in wine, flour, meat or bread, carrying arms, shaving, leaving the country, etc. Punishment was 100 lashes and a fine. Ferrer, a Dominican friar, traveled around Castile preaching anti-Jewish sermons, and compelling Jews under duress to convert. In many cases Jews were forced to listen to him preach in synagogues with a Torah in one hand and a cross in the other. He then would often consecrate the synagogue as a church. There was no strong central rule at the time since King, John II, was a child ruled by his mother Catherine and his uncle, Ferdinand I of Aragon. John only took control of the throne in 1418. Ferrer was canonized in 1455.


A combination of the anti infidel laws, Vincent Ferrer's crusade, and the Tortosa debate led to a loss of heart among many Jews. Approximately 50,000 Jews voluntarily " converted. Typical among them was Don Vidal de La Caballeria a noted poet and diplomat. He converted under pressure by the king of Aragon who then rewarded him with a new position.rnrn

1413 February 7, TORTOSA DISPUTATION (Aragon, Spain)

Vincent Ferrer , assisted by the apostate Joshua (Ha)Lorki (Geronimo de Santa Fe/ Hieronymus de Sancta Fide), known to the Jews as Hamegadef (the Blasphemer), convinced Pope Benedict XIII to stage a disputation at Tortosa over messianic doctrine . It was presided over by the pope himself and lasted for a period of twenty-one months in sixty-nine sessions. The Jews, led by Vidal Benvenisti, Astruc Halevi and Joseph Albo, were faced with an opening salvo by Benedict in which he made the expected outcome clear. Sante Fe also attacked the Talmud as anti-Christian and urged its banning. Few of the Jews' counter-arguments were officially recorded.


Under Under King Vladislav Yagilu (Jagiello) the "privileges" of the Jews were temporarily reduced.


Was enraged by the lack of a greater number of “voluntary” conversions after the Christian "victory" at the Tortosa disputation. Benedict XIII (not to be confused with Pope Benedict XIII (1649-1730), published his Bull Etsi Doctoribus Gentium. In it, he banned owning or studying of the Talmud, the right to bake and sell unleavened bread, and engaging in any vocational or medical professions. He instituted forced Christian sermons (where Jews were forced to listen to conversion sermons each Sunday), and prohibited Jews from leaving the country.

1415 SOLOMON ALAMI (ibn-Lachmish) (Spain)

Wrote his Iggert Musar (" Letter of Ethical Rebuke"). Alami brought up the question of " why bad things happen". Though not the first to address the issue, he believed it was the result of the flaws within the Spanish Jewish community . He placed the blame on social inequities, lack of care for the poor, and both moral and religious failings. He also criticized the leadership as cut off from the common people , and the court Jews with what he perceived as their misuse of wealth.

1419 - 1436 HUSSITE WARS (Germany)

Occurred after the Church executed John Huss for his outspoken criticisms. The Jews were attacked by the anti-Hussite Catholics, who were urged onward by the Dominican preachers.


With the ascension of Alfonzo V of Aragon (r.1416-1468), John II of Castile (r.1406-1454), as well as the rule of Pope Martin V, many of the anti-Jewish edicts were repealed. Copies of the Talmud were returned and a number of synagogues we placed again in Jewish hands. In many communities local governments refused to follow the kings declarations. Despite some efforts by the government, Jews no longer lived in Barcelona or Valencia. Most were concentrated in Castile. The Jewish community was impoverished monetarily and spiritually and had no influence on the King and his court.


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.

1420 May 23, ARCHDUKE ALBERT (Albrecht)(1397-1439)(Austria)

Later to become king of Bohemia and Hungary as Albert the Magnanimous, accused a rich Jew, Israel of Enns, of purchasing a wafer in order to desecrate it. He ordered the imprisonment and forcible conversion of all Jews in the surrounding Viennese area. Those who refused were expelled. Those who were well off were kept in prison, many of whom were tortured and their property confiscated.rnrn

1420 November 25, POPE MARTIN V

Favorably reinstated the old "privileges"/charter of the Jews and ordered that no child under the age of twelve could be forcibly baptized without parental consent.

1420 LYONS (France)

All Jews were expelled from Lyons, including the refugees from Paris who were expelled 20 years earlier. The only Jews left in France remained in Provence (until 1500) and in the possessions of the Holy See.

1421 March 12, WIENER GESERA (Gezerye) (Vienna, Austria)

A combination of murder libel and host desecration charges brought about the destruction of the entire Jewish community.This was done under the auspices of Archduke Albert V of Austria and was partly due to the revival of the crusader spirit of the Hussite Wars. Many Jews were forcibly baptized others took their own lives. Albert ordered the execution of 92 men and 120 women who were burned at the stake south of the Vienna city. The Jews were placed under an "eternal ban" and the synagogue was demolished.rnrnrn

1422 February 20, POPE MARTIN V (1417-31)

Issued a Bull reminding Christians that Christianity was derived from Judaism and warning Church leaders not to incite against the Jews.He also criticized Dominican friars for their policy of compulsory sermons. The Bull was withdrawn the following year, following allegations that the Jews of Rome attained the Bull by fraud.

1423 CONVENTION OF THE SHLAKHTA (Landed Gentry) (Varta Poland)

Led by King Vladislav Yagilu, the Shlakhta which served as a parliament, passed a law forbidding Jews to lend money against any security. In practicality it meant a far greater risk to all Jewish money lenders.

1424 COLOGNE (Germany)

Jews were banned from the city. This ban remained in effect until Cologne was annexed by revolutionary France in 1794.


Pope Martin V renewed the law requiring Jews to wear a distinctive badge.

1427 March 9, POPE MARTIN V (Italy)

Ordered the Italian fleets to cease transporting Jews to Eretz Israel. The basis for the order was the claim that the Jews were responsible for building a Mosque on Mount Zion in the hope of eventually turning it into a synagogue. This made immigration to Eretz Israel far more difficult.

1430 October 3, EXPLUSION OF THE JEWS FROM EGER ( Bohemia)

After complaints by local Christians to King Sigismund of Luxembourg (1368 – 1437) "Holy Roman Emperor", that Jews weren't serving in the army, he gave the town permission to expel them all. The synagogue was turned into a church. Four years later (1434), the town's leaders asked the king to readmit as many Jews as the city's businesses interests could accommodate.


Pope Eugene IV (1383 -1447) issued a bull against forced baptism and disturbance of synagogues and graveyards. The same Pope demanded the complete separation of Jews and Christians (see 1442).

1434 September 7, COUNCIL OF BASEL (Switzerland)

Instituted new measures against the Jews throughout Europe. The council, aside from adopting many of the old measures like preventing interaction between Jews and Christians, prohibited Jews from entering universities, and forced them to listen to conversion sermons. The council encouraged Christian study of Hebrew in order to "combat Jewish heresy". The council, which had begun three years earlier, was to last more than 15 years and was one of the most turbulent councils in the middle ages, being for the most part a contest between council and pope for supremacy. Many Papal scholars claimed that the council was never officially recognized by the Pope, although this had no effect on the anti-Jewish legislation.

1435 May 5, SPEYER (Germany)

Jews were expelled. One of the refugees was Moses Mentzlav who moved to Italy. His son, Israel Nathan, founded the printing house of Soncino.

1435 September 25, AIX-EN-PROVENCE (France)

As a result of riots a few years earlier when nine Jews were killed, Jews were forced to wear the "Jewish badge". Nine years later, King Rene of Naples / Duke of Anjou ( 1409-1480), agreed to reduce the size of the badge, and decreed that it need not be worn while traveling.

1437 EMPEROR SIGISMUND (Holy Roman Emperor r.1433-1437)

Though he drained the Jews of their wealth whenever he could, he protected them from some of the worst excesses. His successor, Austrian Archduke Albert V (1397-1439) (Emperor Albert II), hated the Jews passionately and welcomed any excuse for persecuting them.

1437 FLORENCE (Italy)

The Jewish community was founded when a number of Jewish bankers were asked to set up services in the town. For the most part, the Medici family tried to protect the Jews against the local population, which was opposed to their presence in the city.

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).

1439 ALBERT II (Austria, Holy Roman Empire)

Agreed to accept 900 gulden from the city of Augsburg in return for allowing them to expel their Jews. Jews were to be allowed into the town on business and if a war broke out.

1439 - 1494 BERNADINO DA FELTRE (Europe)

A Franciscan monk known for his preaching. He traveled through Europe inciting the public against the Jews. Da Feltre was responsible for a number of blood libels including the one at Trent in 1475. He was beatified after his death.


Pope Eugene IV (1383-1447) issued his bull Dundum ad nostram audientiam forbidding Jews from living with Christians. Just two days later he issued Super Gregem Dominicum which annulled all "privileges" previously extended by Pope Martin V. He also imposed additional restrictions, including banning Jews from Universities.


A French physician Published the first Hebrew Concordance called Meir Netiv. One of its purposes was to make it easier for Hebrew-speaking Jews to reply to Christians.

1449 June 5, PURITY OF BLOOD Limpieza de Sangre TOLEDO (Spain)

In the aftermath of the converso trial in January of that year, the council decided not to allow New Christians to hold any public office. The Sentencia-Estatuto de Toledo, composed by its mayor Pedro Sarmiento, states" " all the said conversos descended from the perverse line of the Jews, in whatever situation they may be...." This is considered by many to be the earliest reference to Jewish blood rather than Jewish faith and the first example of racial rather than religious discrimination. Pope Nicholas V condemned the decision, claiming that all Catholics constitute one body.

1450 October 5, EXPULSION OF JEWS (Lower Bavaria)

Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria, successor to Henry of Landshut, who had invited the Jews to live in his area, decided to banish them. He first tried conversion, then had many Jews arrested, then fined them 32,000 florins, and finally expelled them

1451 September 21, JEWISH BADGE (Arhhem, Holland)

Cardinal Nicolaus de Cusa ordered all Jews to be registered, and to wear a badge on their outer clothes.

1452 JOHN CAPISTRANO (Germany)

Convinced the Bavarian Dukes to expel the Jews from their Duchies.

1452 - 1515 ABRAHAM ZACUTO (Spain-Portugal-Tunisia)

Astronomer and historian. Around 1474 he wrote his "Great Treatise" HaHibur HaGadol under the patronage of the bishop of Salamanca which was translated into Spanish. His astronomical tables were used by Columbus. After the expulsion of 1492, he went to Portugal where he developed the copper Astrolabe used by Vasco Da Gama. In 1497 he was forced to flee or convert. He left and reached Tunis, where he wrote a history of the Jews from the creation until 1500.

1452 March 21, CUPIENTES JUDAEOS. Wishing that the Jews

Pope Paul III issued this Bull laying down some of the fundamental privileges for those Jews who converted to Christianity (Neophytes). In order to qualify they had to break all ties with other Jews including family members, and could only marry a born Christian. The Bull protected their property, offer then tax incentives, and gave them full citizenship. Until then Jews who converted had to give over their wealth to the church.

1453 May 29, CONSTANTINOPLE (Ottoman Empire)

Fell to the Turks under Mohammed II. Jews were welcomed to settle in the city. Turkey provided a refuge for thousands of Jews who were soon forced to leave the Iberian Peninsula. Prophesies regarding the coming of the messiah began to circulate leading some Jews from Spain to leave to Eretz Israel.

1453 June 2, BRESLAU (Germany)

John of Capistrano led a mock trial of alleged desecrations of the host. The Rabbi hung himself and urged other Jews to commit suicide. Forty-one Jews were burned, their property confiscated, and all children under seven were forcibly baptized.

1453 FRANCONIA (Germany)

Bishop Godfrey of Wurzburg (Duke of Franconia), previously a benefactor of the Jews, was persuaded by John of Capistrano to expel them. When Capistrano arrived at Neustadt, Israel Isserlen offered to follow him to the stake to see by what miracles he could save himself - needless to say, Capistrano turned down the opportunity.

1453 - 1821 GREECE

Under Turkish (Ottoman) rule. Jews arrived from Spain, Portugal, and even Poland. For the most part they were free to engage in trade and crafts. Their economic situation varied greatly, depending on the area. In Salonika the Jews controlled much of the trade, to such a degree that the port was closed on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays.


De Luna, a close confident of king John II, was beheaded under the influence of his queen Isabella of Portugal. De Luna had angered the nobility by appointing first Jews and later substituting them with Conversos to key positions in the court. His act roused jealousy of the nobility against the Conversos , and at the same time showed that Jews themselves were dispensable, possibly leading to their eventual expulsion.rn

1454 (18 Tamuz 5214) CRETE

After a trial that lasted for two years, the nine leading members of the Jewish community who were accused of host desecration were acquitted by a Venetian court. Although further charges were brought claiming that the Jews had bribed the judges, this view was not accepted and the day was celebrated as a semi-holiday for many years by the Jewish community in Crete.

1454 November, NIESZAWA STATUTE (Poland)

Casimir IV revoked the Jewish charter, at the insistence of Bishop Zbignyev Oleshnitzki. The Cardinal had correctly "predicted" Casimir's defeat by the Teutonic Knights backed by the Pope, and succeeded in convincing the King that it was due to the Jews.

1455 SYRACUSE (Sicily)

Twenty four Jews from all over Sicily chartered a Spanish boat to take them to Eretz Israel without prior permission from the King, Alfonso V. They were arrested by the kings representative, the archbishop of Palermo. After making a large payment, they were released and permitted to leave. Among them was the poet and astronomer Isaac ben Solomon Alhadib (1396- c.1429). Syracuse was considered a city second in importance only to Palermo.


In the bull Si ad Reprimendos (If He Is Preventing) Pope Calixtus III(1378- 1458) prohibited Jews from testifying against Christians, but permitted Christians to testify against a Jew.rnrn

1461 August 10, ALFONSO DE ESPINA (Spain)

A Franciscan Bishop, called on king Henry IV of Castile for the immediate establishment of a Spanish inquisition against the Jews. In 1459 De Espina had written Fortalitium fidei in which he condemned both "Judios publicos," public non converted Jews, and "Judios ocultos," secret Jews. He praised as truth all the claims of blood libels, host desecration's and the poisoning of wells. De Espina detailed his plan for the actual implementation of an inquisition. He also called for the total expulsion of all Jews, as the only way for Spain to become a truly Christian country. He is considered by some to be the practical father of the Spanish Inquisition. Henry promised to consider it.

1462 July 12, ANDREW (Anderl) OF RINN (Austria)

Alleged victim of a ritual murder. He was supposedly bought from his Uncle by four Jewish travelers. The cult of Andrew of Rinn was introduced in 1475, but it became popular only in the 17th century. The local church designed panels describing in detail the "martyrdom" of Anderl at the hands of Jews. Each year there was a procession to his grave. In the 1990's, the bishop of Innsbruck (Bishop Stecher) succeeded in replacing the panels after trying to forbid the cult. There are still people who make the pilgrimage.

1462 FRANKFURT (Germany)

After intensive pressure by the Church and especially the Pope, the Jews were confined to a special area (ghetto) known as the Judengasse, which was behind gates and walls. Since the ghetto was not permitted to be enlarged, all building within it had to be done vertically.

1464 April 12, CRACOW (Poland)

Prior to his death in 1456, John of Capistrano had called for a crusade against the Turks. Such a crusade composed of clergy, students impoverish nobles and peasants passed through Cracow, and Lemberg on the third day of Easter where they killed over thirty Jews and plundered their homes. The attacks later expanded to include Posen and the surrounding area. Despite his previous repealing of Jewish privileges King Casimir IV imposed a fine on the city council for allowing the pogrom to take place.

1465 FEZ (Morocco)

Riots broke out after Sultan Abd al-Haqq asked the Jews of Fez for financial help and appointed Harun (Aaron ben Batash),a local Jew to be his prime minister. During the riots the Sultan was murdered and Aaron was executed by having his throat cut. Most of the city's Jews were killed. Some reports claim that thousands were killed with only 11 left alive.

1466 January, SICILY

King John of Sicily gave formal permission to establish a Jewish University in medicine and law. The idea was not acted upon, and in 1492 the Jews were expelled by order of the Spanish crown.


A few months after his ascension to the Sultanate (1468-95), he forced the Jews to pay a fee of 75,000 gold pieces or be expelled. This severely impoverished the community.

1468 March 13, KING FERDINAND I (FERRANTE) ( Naples)

Although tyrannical and greedy, he decided to give the Jews full rights of citizenship making it one of (if not the only) place in medieval Europe to do so. Naturally it was for a price, but even this did not last after his death in 1494 when his son Alfonso II assumed the crown.

1469 TOMAS DE TORQUEMADA C. 1420-1498 (Spain)

A Dominican, he became Queen Isabella's confessor. He exerted tremendous influence - especially over the queen - and was instrumental in persuading the king and queen to expel the Jews in 1492. Torquemada - together with Cardinal Mendoza - convinced the pope to establish the Spanish Inquisition. He was appointed Inquisitor General in 1483.

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.

1475 March 23, SIMON OF TRENT (Italy)

One of the more notorious blood libels. A Franciscan monk, Bernardinus of Feltre, came to Trent and began preaching Lent sermons against the Jews. A week before Easter a boy by the name of Simon drowned in the river Adige. The monk charged the Jews with using the body for its blood. The body washed up a few days later near the house of a Jew who brought it to the Bishop Honderbach. 17 Jews were tortured for over two weeks. Some confessed while being tortured and 6 Jews were burned. Two more were strangled. A temporary hiatus was called by Pope Sixtus IV, but after five years the trial was reopened and 5 more Jews were executed. The papal inquest agreed with the trial, Simon was beatified, and all Jews were expelled for 300 years. The trial served as the basis for anti-Semitic writings for hundreds of years. Only in 1965 was Simon debeatified.

C. 1475 - 1554 BENVENIDA ABRAVANEL (Naples -Ferrara)

International business women, banker , and philanthropist. Daughter of Jacob (d.1528), and niece of Isaac Abravanel (see 1437). She married his son Samuel (1473-1551), a scholar in his own right and financier to Don Pedro de Toledo. Bevenida helped raise the daughter of Don Pedro, Leonora (15221562), which later proved a useful connection. When Donna Gracia ( see 1510) proposed the boycott of Ancona for their anti Jewish policies, Abravanel, who had extensive ties at the port, refused. She was also supportive of the controversial David Reuveni (see 1523. Benvenida together with her husband were active in financing Jewish scholarship, redeeming Jewish captives and using their connections to defend other Jews.


Ferdinand and Isabella abolished the Jewish aljamas (the self governing Jewish communities) and reaffirmed the anti Jewish edicts of 1380 and 1412 including segregation of Jews and Moslems from the Christian community.

1478 November 1, POPE SIXTUS IV (Spain)

At the request of King Ferdinand V ( aka Ferdinand II of Aragon) and Queen Isabella, he issued a Bull Exigit sincer devotioni s empowering them to establish to investigate charges of heresy known as the Spanish Inquisition. Unlike the papal inquisition of 1230, this one was totally under royal authority. This tribunal was established ostensibly to root out "backsliding Jews who had converted, sometimes under duress, to Christianity. Often these Jews - known as New Christians or conversos - succeeded in obtaining high social and political positions which aroused the jealousy on the part of old Christians. Thus, although officially religious in nature, the inquisition was a political tool. Specific signs such as no fires on the Sabbath, no eating of pork, washing hands before eating, turning the face towards the wall when dying, etc., were given to root out those who may have continued to secretly practice Judaism. The Spanish inquisition- which spread to all Spanish and later Portuguese (1536) colonies and possessions - was finally disbanded on July 15, 1834. It is estimated that over 300,000 people were tried (not all for Judaizing) and 30,000 executed.

1479 - 1516 FERDINAND AND ISABELLA (Spain)

Ruled a unified Spain. Isabella was the heiress to the crown of Castile, and Ferdinand heir to the crown of Aragon. Five years after their marriage - which ironically is credited to Jewish and Converso courtiers - they began to reign in Castile, and five years later (1479), over both realms. Both of them, desiring the support of the Church, determined that Spain should be unified under one religion. Isabella and Ferdinand's desire to "protect" the Converso's from Jewish influence, and their belief that the Jews were no longer of major economic importance, led to the final expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

1480 - 1554 JOSEL (JOSEPH) OF ROSHEIM (Germany)

Shtadlan (Court Jew) of Germany. The Shtadlan's job was to intercede with the authorities on behalf of the Jews. In 1514 he and other Jews were charged with torturing the host but were released. Josel dedicated himself to intervening with various rulers. In 1520 he succeeded in obtaining a letter from Charles V protecting the Jews. He published a defense against the attacks of Martin Luther. Josel succeeded in blocking anti-Jewish legislation and defending Jews against charges of ritual murder countless times.

1481 February 12, FIRST AUTO DA FE (Seville, Spain)

Six Converso (Marrano) men and six women were burned alive for allegedly practicing Judaism.Diego de Suzan a prominent merchant and the others were turned in by his daughter. The Auto da Fe (Act of Faith) combined the Judicial ceremony of the Inquisition with vociferous sermons. An individual could be denounced for having lapsed back into his old religion or committing heresy. Although the Inquisition and the Auto da Fe was used on anyone accused of heresy, its main victims were Jews. The inquisition accused people of backsliding or heresy for actions such as not eating pig (for whatever reason), washing hands before prayer, changing clothes on the Sabbath, etc. Over two thousand Auto da Fes are said to have taken place in the Iberian Peninsula and its colonies. The number of victims in Spain alone is estimated at 39,912, many of whom were burned alive. Some were burned in effigy. Others, convicted posthumously, were dug up and burned - and the property they left was confiscated from their heirs. Approximately 340,000 people, many of them Jews, suffered at the hands of the Inquisition, although the vast majority were given lesser punishments. The last Auto da Fe was held in 1790.


Including Seville and Cordova . Ferdinand knew that this half measure would give him support in the south in his war against Granada, and yet not totally alienate the Jews whom he still needed. This was a foretaste of the edict of 1492 which mentions this expulsion.

1490 December 17, LA GUARDIA BLOOD LIBEL (Spain)

Six conversos and two Jews were accused of killing a child for ritual purposes. Although no child was ever declared missing, they were tortured for over a year by a special inquisition. They were declared guilty on November 14, 1491 of Host Desecration and the taking of the child's heart to use in sorcery. All eight were burned at the stake in the town of Avila and their property confiscated, and used to build the Church and monastery of Santo Tomas of Avila. According to a papal brief (1496) monks descended from Jews were not to be admitted into the church. The child became a saint known as the "Child of La Guardia". Books and plays were written and embellished about him as recently as 1943. The trial was developed and used by the inquisition to demonstrate that the very presence of Jews in the country was a danger to Christianity and was used by the king as a pretext for the soon to be proclaimed edict of expulsion.

1490 GENEVA (Switzerland)

Jew were expelled and not allowed to return for 300 years. Jews had lived there since their expulsion from France by Philip Augustus in 1182.

C. 1490 MUHAMMAD AL-MAGHILI (Tlemcen, North Africa)

A local preacher and Islamic scholar .In his book Tuhfat al-Nazir , he called for the death or expulsion of the Jews in the northern Sahara. The synagogues in Tamantit, Touat and Tlemcen were destroyed. Al-Maghili (1425-1505) set new regulations which restricted Jewish movement in the Saharan borderlands to the northern southern edge from Libya to Morocco and which were in place until 1860. He also succeeded (1492) in convincing the emperor of the Songhai Empire (Western Africa), Askia Mohammad (ca. 1443 1538), to prohibit Jews from living or trading in his kingdom. This included the main trading stop Timbuktu.

1492 January 2, GRENADA (Spain)

The last Moorish stronghold was overrun, adding even more Jews to Catholic Spain. Under the terms of surrender, the Jewish inhabitants were promised protection by the King and Queen. Within a few months the razing of the Jewish quarter was ordered by Ferdinand V.

1492 March 31, EDICT OF EXPULSION (Spain)

King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Castile, signed the Alhambra Decree. Since professing Jews were not under the jurisdiction of the Inquisition, the Church leveled a ritual murder accusation against them ( see 1490).Thus both Jews and Conversos were ordered to be expelled of from Spain within three months beginning May the first. Jewish leaders, including Don Isaac Abravanel, offered compensation for its annulment but their appeal was rejected. In his plea to the king he wrote, On behalf of my people, the people of Israel,, I declare them blameless and innocent of all crimes declared in this edict of abomination. The crime, the transgression, is for you, not us, to bear". It is estimated that approximately 200,000 Jews (some quote higher numbers) were living in Spain. They were forced to sell all their property and prohibited from taking out any precious metals. Most synagogues were taken over by the church without any compensation. As the borders on the north were only opened for practicing Christians, approximately half of them found temporary sanctuary in Portugal. Another 50,000 fled to friendlier shores (e.g. Turkey) and the rest (approximately 60,000) remained as "Christians". By July 31 no professing Jews were left in Spain.

1492 August 3, COLUMBUS (Spain-America)

Set sail for the New World. His journal recorded the sighting of some vessels carrying Jews away from Spain. The loan for his voyage was advanced by Luis de Santangel, chancellor of the Royal household, and Gabriel Sanchez, high treasurer of Aragon. Both were born into Converso families. Support also came from Alfonso de la Caballeria vice-chancellor of Aragon and also of converso descent.

1492 October 24, MECKLENBURG (Germany)

Jews were again accused of stabbing a consecrated wafer. Twenty-seven Jews were burned, including two women, and all the Jews were expelled from the duchy. The spot where they were killed is still called the Judenberg.

1492 (9 Av 5252) SPAIN

The expulsion of the Jews from Spain.


Sicily became a province of Aragon in 1412. Approximately 37,000 Jews had to leave Sicily. Despite an invitation during the 18th century, Jews, except in extremely small numbers, never returned.

1493 January 31, GENOA (Italy)

During the previous year, Jews fleeing Spain were allowed to land for three days. As of this date this special consideration was cancelled due to the "fear" that the Jews might introduce the Plague (Black Death) into Genoa.


Twenty thousand former Spanish Jews arrived during that year. The city was to become one of the main centers for Jews fleeing the Iberian peninsula. By the end of the next century, so many Portuguese Jews found residence there, that it influenced the local Ladino dialect .

1494 June 29, FIRE IN CRACOW (Poland)

A fire broke out in the Jewish quarter, destroying part of the city of Cracow. The Jews were accused of purposely setting the fire and attacked with many of the Jewish residents trying to defend themselves King John Albert I (14591501) ordered them to leave the city and move to the "suburb" of Kazimierz, which became the first Polish ghetto. Jews were confined to the ghetto until 1868.

1494 TYRANU / TRNAVA (Hungary)

Riots began after a blood libel with 16 Jews being burned at the stake. Tyranu was one of the oldest Jewish settlements in Hungary/Slovakia being founded before 1350.

1495 December 26, SAVONAROLA (Italy)

Expelled the Medici and the Jews from Florence. The Jews, who had previously served as the Medici's bankers, were replaced by the Monte di Pieta, a public loan bank.


Alexander the Grand duke of Lithuania ( brother to king John Albert of Poland) expelled the Jews from his districts including Grodno, Brest, Lutzk, and Troki, and confiscated their properties. He allowed them to return 7 years later and some of their properties were returned.

1496 December 5, (23 Tevet 5257) MANUEL OF PORTUGAL

During the first year of his reign he befriended the Jews, but his desire to unite the Iberian Peninsula through marriage to the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella changed all that. Four years after the expulsion of Jews from Spain, he ordered them expelled from Portugal within 11 months (October 31, 1497). As his real desire was not to see the Jews leave, he only opened one port, which first forced most of them to remain behind after the designated date, and then forced them to be baptized.


By Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519), but only after the government of Styria agreed to pay him 38,000 florins to compensate him for his loss of revenue from the Jews. In his justification he wrote that Jews have "repeatedly insulted and desecrated the holy sacrament, tortured and killed Christian children and used their blood . cheated people, and impoverished and ruined many noble and other families..."

1497 January 6, GRAZ (Austria, Holy Roman Empire)

Emperor Maximilian I expelled the Jews. Jews had been settled there since 1160, thirty years after the town was established.


King Manuel, in an effort to prevent the Jews from fleeing the persecutions, secretly ordered the baptism of all children between the ages of four and fourteen.


By Prince (later king) Alexander, he forced most of the Jews to forfeit their property or convert. The main motivation for the expulsion was to cancel the debts owed by the nobles to the Jews. Within a short time trade ground to a halt and the Prince was forced to invite the Jews back in with some of the properties returned to them.

1499 March 11, VERONA (Italy)

Jews were banished from the province and their position as the territory bankers was taken over by Christians. The Jews were asked to return after only a short period of time, owing to the usurious interest rates charged by the Christians.


An estimated 20-30,000 Jews were living in Poland. Within 75 years the number of Jews would reach 150,000.

1500 - 1558 CHARLES V OF HAPSBURG (Holy Roman Empire)

Was generally protective of the Jews. In 1520 he refrained from demanding the customary coronation tax. In 1530 Charles V reconfirmed the "privileges"/charter he had granted to the Jews and defended them through the encouragement of Josel of Rosheim against Martin Luther.

1500 - 1532 SOLOMON MOLCHO (Diego Peres)

Converso and pseudo messiah. He became so impressed with Reuveni (1524) that he reconverted to Judaism. He predicted correctly an earthquake in Portugal and a flood in Rome. At first Pope Clement VII befriended him, after his predictions came true. He traveled with David Reuveni to Charles V to convince him to let the Jews fight against the Turks (see 1532). Charles V had him killed.

1500 ASHER LEMLEIN ( Venice)

Announced that the messiah would be coming within two years. His call for repentance, fasting and preparation for the messiah spread to western and central Europe. Little is know about the effect of his pronouncements on the Jewish community at large . Johann Pfefferkorn, (see 1509) in his pamphlet The Jew glass Der Juden Speigel (1505) ridiculed Lemlein, and called for his brother Jews to convert as he did.

1502 - 1736 SAFAVID DYNASTIES (Persia)

Under its first Shah Ismail I brought Shia (Shiite) Muslim rule to Persia. All non Muslims are now considered unclean. Jews are forbidden to coming into any physical contact with Muslims.


King of Poland (1501-1506) allowed the Jews to return to Lithuania eight years after he expelled them while serving as grand duke of Lithuania. He also appointed Jacob Pollack as Chief Rabbi (see also 1470).

1504 December 27, MOSCOW (Russia)

"Proselytizing" Jews in Moscow and Kiev were expelled after a few high officials converted to Judaism.

1505 December 12, CESKE BUDEJOVICE (Bohemia)

Ten Jews were tortured and killed after being accused by a local shepherd of killing a local girl. Years later, on his deathbed, the shepherd confessed he made up the whole story.

1506 April 19 - 21, LISBON (Portugal)

During a service at St. Dominics Church, some of the people thought they saw a vision on one of the statues. Outside, a newly converted Jew raised doubts about the "miracle". He was literally torn to pieces and then burned. The crowd, led by two Dominican monks, proceded to ransack Jewish houses and kill any Jews they could find. During the next few days countrymen, hearing about the massacre, came to Lisbon to join in. Over two thousands Jews were killed during these three days.

1506 August 9, PRINCE FEODOR YAROSLAVITCH (Lithuania)

Established the community of Pinsk. At the same time, he reconfirmed the rights given to the Jews by King Alexander Jagello, king of Lithuania/Poland. By the beginning of the 18th century Jews became the majority of the town and remained such until July 4, 1941 when the Germans entered the city. The final "aktion", which took place on Oct. 28, 1942, left alive only 150 artisans, who were killed a few months later.

1506 - 1548 REIGN OF SIGISMUND I. JAGIELLON (Yaghello) ( Lithiuania / Poland)

Sigismund I, aka Sigismund the Old (1467-1548), succeeded his brother Alexander and was considered a liberal ruler granting rights and "privileges" (a charter) to the Jews of Lithuania. His attitude to the Jews in Poland especially in the larger cities, was tainted by the pressure from Christian merchants and the magistracy which resented any competition from Jewish merchants. rnrn

1509 - 1564 JOHN CALVIN (France-Switzerland)

Founded his own form of Protestantism which led to Puritanism in England. Calvinism spread to the Netherlands, where its humanism helped establish a refuge for Spanish and Portuguese Jews. Although he often accused his opponents of Judaizing - and one Servetus was actually burned at the stake due to a dispute with him - Calvin placed unusual emphasis on the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments.

1510 July 19, BRANDENBURG (Germany)

Jews were accused of desecrating the host and stealing church vessels. Joachim the Elector had thirty-eight Jews burned at the stake in the market place along with the real offender (a Christian). Another two accepted Christianity and were mercifully beheaded. Soon after, all the Jews were expelled from the entire electorate of Brandenburg. All the accused were proved completely innocent at the Diet of Frankfurt in 1539, and those that left were permitted to return.

1510 November 23, NAPLES (Italy)

The Jews were expelled. Fifteen years earlier the Spanish had conquered the island and within a year had issued an order for the banishment of all Jews, which was never carried out. Now the community, which had existed since Roman times, was forced out. The only Jews remaining were the "New Christians" (who were to be expelled 5 years later) and 200 wealthy families, who paid a new annual tax for such tolerance.

1514 June 14, AZEMMOUR (Morocco)

A Portuguese-run free city which offered "privileges" (/a charter) to Jews fleeing from Portugal.

1515 January 1, LAIBACH AUSTRIA

Acting on the petition of its citizens, Emperor Maximilian I (1459- 1519) expelled the Jews from Laibach. Only in 1867 were the Jews once again give the right to settle in the city.

1516 JEWISH GHETTO (Venice, Italy)

Was established. It was called the Ghetto Nuovo or the New Foundry. The basis for the ghetto is found in the Cannon of the third Lateran Council (1179), forbidding Jews and Christians to live together. In France it was called the Carrire des Juifs, and in Germany the Judengasse or Judenstadt. The ghetto era was to last almost 300 years, though later also revived by the Nazis.


Under Selim I (1512-20), ("the Grim"), it conquered Syria and Eretz Israel from the Mamluks. The Ottoman reign was to last 400 years. Under it, Jerusalem and Safed became the two major centers of Jewish populations in Eretz Israel. The manufacturing of firearms, which had been brought to the empire by exiled Jews, played a major role in Selim's victory.

1517 January 24, SAFED ATTACKED

During the conflict between the Mamluks and the Ottoman Turks over control of the area, the Jewish community was attacked by retreating Mameluke forces and local Arabs. Many Jews were killed and their homes plundered. The Jews of Egypt under Rabbi Nissan Bibas helped the victims and the rehabilitation of the town. The Jews in Hebron were attacked as well. Most fled to Beirut, not returning for the next 16 years.


Jews make up 54% of the population.

1520 HILDESHEIM (Germany)

After over 60 years of no Jews being allowed to live there, a residence permit was granted to Grosse Michel, known as "Jud Michel". According to legend, he was the illegitimate son of one of the dukes of Regenstein. Michel was a wealthy financier who lived in a high life style and was protected by Joachim II, elector of Brandenburg. When one of the dukes of Regenstein reneged on a loan, he threatened, then burned down his fields. Numerous accusations were brought against him and his wife over the years, including poisoning wells. He died in 1549 from falling down a flight of stairs in peculiar circumstances.

C. 1520 COUNCIL OF THE (FOUR) LANDS (Vaad/ Kahal) (Poland)

Was set up in Poland, with a separate council established in Lithuania. Its official objective was to help collect Jewish taxes for the government. In reality it had the status of a court and oversaw much of Jewish life. It also tried to serve as the representative of the Jewish communities and ensure that all rights and "privileges" were kept. Very few Jews had any say as to who was elected to serve in the councils, a point which led to much friction. The "Council of the Four Lands" generally consisted of: the provinces of Great Poland (capital: Poznan) and Little (Lesser) Poland (capital: Cracow); "the Lvov Land"; and the province of Volhynia. At times the council may have only included 3 "lands", and at its zenith it included 18 units. The council was abolished by the Polish Sejm in 1764.


Published Derech Emunah "Way to Faith". He urged all Jews including converso's not to abandon Judaism.

1523 - 1533 POPE CLEMENT VII

Another Medici Pope who continued and expanded the policies of Leo X regarding the Jews.

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.

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.

1526 March 30, ANTWERP (Belgium)

Emperor Charles V, ruler of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, issued a general safe-conduct to the Portuguese "New Christians" and Conversos (though not to professing Jews), allowing them to live and work in Antwerp. Although they still had to live under cover, they were safe from the Inquisition which was not recognized and allowed to work in the Southern "Low Countries," though they were under Spanish rule. Only after the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), when Antwerp passed to Austrian rule, were the Jews able to live there openly. Charles was the grandson of Ferdinand V as well as Emperor Maximilian I.

1526 November 9, HUNGARY AND CROATIA

Following the short occupation by the Ottoman Empire of Buda, the Jews were expelled after being falsely accused by the Hapsburgs of aiding the Turks against Hungary. Many Jews had left Hungary with the departing Turks in hopes of a better life. Jews were not allowed to return for almost 200 years.

1527 May 16, ROME WAS SACKED (Italy)

By troops of Charles V in his fight against the League of Cognac which consisted of France, England, Pope Clement VII, Venice, and Florence. Although Jews suffered with the rest of the population, their lot would soon worsen under the Counter-Reformation.

1527 June 16, FLORENCE (Italy)

With the expulsion of the Medici family (as in 1495) the Jews were again ordered to leave. Their actual expulsion was delayed until 1531, when Alessandro de Medici became duke and the order was rescinded.

1528 - 1601 MORDECHAI MEISEL (Prague, Bohemia)

One of the first great Court Jews. He was extremely wealthy and a generous philanthropist.

1530 August 12, GERMANY

A charter was granted to the Jews despite the protests of Martin Luther. Josel of Rosheim, the famous shtadlan or interceder, was instrumental in its passing.


Opened the first Hebrew printing house in Cracow. In 1537 they converted to Christianity and petitioned King Sigismund I to force the Jews to buy their books (which the Jews had boycotted since their conversion). (See 1539)

1530 ROME (Italy)

After a long siege, the Republican government was finally disposed and Jews were allowed to return.


After three years of pressure by local merchants and officials, King Sigismund I agreed to ban Jews from having stores in the market place. The official rationale given by the merchants was that the presence of Jews might lead to "great temptations and even to seduction from the path of the true faith."


Poet, scholar and traveler. Dahiri traveled for ten years throughout the east including India, Persia, Syria, and Eretz Israel. He provided essential details of Jewish life in Safed and Tiberius. In 1568 upon his return to Yemen he was imprisoned for a short while with other Jews. It was then, that he began his travelogue Sefer Hamusar. Aside from describing the places he visited and the great luminaries he met (Joseph Caro, Moses Cordovero, Moses di Trani), he also provided us with a window into the difficult life of Jews in Yemen. He wrote other works including Tzeida Laderekh ( Provisions For The Way) a commentary on the Pentateuch.

1533 - 1594 ISAAC BEN ABRAHAM OF TROKI (near Vilna Lithuania)

Karaite scholar, physician, and writer. He was fluent in a number of languages including Latin and Polish and was well versed in Christian texts and arguments. These he used to write his famous Chizuk Emunah, Fortification of Faith a two volume work which defended Judaism against Christian polemics. His book (which was praised even by Voltaire) was unique and had a strong influence on both Jews and anti clerical non Jews. It was translated into Latin, Yiddish, German, Spanish, and even English.


Pope Paul III issued a charter to the (mostly foreign) Jews of Ancona. One of the most expansive of its kind, it included allowing them to bear arms and not to be forced to hear conversationalist sermons. A similar but more limited charter was also written for the Jews of Rome the same year.


Were granted the right to live in the Netherlands by Charles V.


New constitution prohibited Jews from being tax collectors. They could also no longer deal in trade without a special license, from the king or the city council.

1539 December 31, KING SIGISMUND I (Poland)

Ordered the Jews of Cracow, Posan and Lemberg (Lvov) to buy 3,350 Jewish books from the Printing house of the apostate Helitz brothers. The Jews bought the books as ordered - and then destroyed them all.

1540 May 12, POPE PAUL III

Published a bull against blood libels, concluding that "those accusing the Jews of drinking the blood of children are blinded by avarice, and only want to rob their money"

1541 FERDINAND I ( Bohemia)

Accused the Jews of helping the Turks during the Siege of Buda. As a punishment, Ferdinand (1503-1564) enacted a special property tax. Later that year, with the exception of fifteen families, he expelled them. He readmitted them ( for a large fee) in 1554, and expelled them again five years later, only to welcome them back for another substantial fee in 1561.

1542 CHURCH SYNOD (Piotrkow, Poland)

As the Reformation began to make headway in Poland, the Catholic Church under Archbishop Peter Gamrat and the Papal Nuncio Luigi Lippomano decided to combat it by increasing the level of Judeophobia and demanding that Jews be expelled or at least be put into ghettos. rnHost desecration and ritual murder accusations, led by church leaders, became far more common throughout the next 200 years.


Pope Paul III issued this Bull laying down some of the fundamental privileges for those Jews who converted to Christianity (Neophytes). In order to qualify they had to break all ties with other Jews including family members, and could only marry a born Christian. The Bull protected their property, offered tax incentives, and gave them full citizenship. Until then Jews who converted had to give over their wealth to the church.

1543 February 19, HOUSE OF CATECHUMENS (Casa dei Catecumeni) (Italy)

Was established by Pope Paul III. The sole purpose of the house, supported by forced Jewish taxation, was to convert Jews. A person sent there was subjected to 40 days of intense "instruction". If he still refused baptism after that time, he was allowed to return to his home - but few did. Around 2440 Jews were converted in Rome alone before it was abolished in 1810. Other houses were set up in various Italian cities.

1543 MARTIN LUTHER (1481-1545) (Germany)

Wrote Concerning the Jews and their Lies. As an ally of anti-Catholic Reuchlin, he wrote a pro-Jewish work in 1520 called Jesus was a Jew. Luther expected the Jews to join his revolution, and when they rejected his views he became bitter. He called for the Jews to be slaves to the serfs, so as not to touch the hand of a German Christian. His attacks were generally not based upon the vicious and virulent anti-Jewish writings of past Christians, i.e. Chrysostom.

1547 November 22, ASOLO (Italy)

One of the few pogroms recorded in Italy. Ten Jews in a town of thirty were killed, and their houses robbed with no apparent motives.


Became ruler of Russia. He refused to allow Jews to live in his kingdom.


Two Jews were accused of kidnapping the son of a local tailor and crucifying him in the town of Rawa. They were burned at the stake and the rest expelled. Over the next 240 years there would be 81 ritual murder accusations and trials in Poland. Thirty-two in the 18th century alone.

1548 - 1617 FRANCISCO SUAREZ (Spain)

Was considered a major Jesuit theologian and philosopher. Suarez advocated the banning of the Talmud and the building of synagogues, as well as forbidding "any familiarity with Jews".

1550 April 2, EXPULSION FROM GENOA (Italy)

A physician named Joseph Hacohen (see 1496)and his nephew tried to open a practice in Genoa. They were chased out of the city. The rest of the Jews were expelled soon afterwards.

1551 August 13, SIGISMUND II AGUSTUS (Poland)

The last Jagello monarch of Poland issued a proclamation which permitted Jews to elect their own chief rabbi and judges, answerable only to the King. It is appropriately called the "Magna Carta of Jewish Self-Government". He also permitted Jews to settle in Vilna without restrictions other then being limited to certain streets.


A French geographer and traveler reached Turkey. He bemoaned that Jews recently banished from Spain, have taught the Turks inventions and means of war... artillery, gun powder and other weapons." Other visitors also commented on the number of Jews who brought their knowledge of weaponry to Turkey.

1553 September 9, (1 Tishrei 5314 Rosh Hashanah) THE TALMUD (Rome, Italy)

Was confiscated and publicly burned in Rome. This burning was held under the auspices of Cardinal Caraffa, later to be Pope Paul IV, with the backing of Pope Julius III. Caraffa, a rabid counter-Reformationist, chose this day specifically so the Jews would feel the grief more strongly. Talmud burning spread through much of Italy.

1553 SAMUEL USQUE (Portugal)

Wrote ConsolaLam as TribulaLoens de Israel (Consolation for the Tribulations of Israel) in Portuguese, which he dedicated to Dona Gracia Nasi. The work is a history of the Jews based on the Bible and biblical traditions. Set as a dialogue between three shepherds, he covers the first and second Temple periods as well as the persecution of the Middle Ages.

1554 May 29, POPE JULIUS III

After an appeal by Jews in Catholic countries, the Pope agreed only to allow the burning of the Talmud, but not "harmless rabbinical writings".

1555 July 14, BULL CUM NIMIS ABSURDUM (Rome, Italy)

In his Bull, POPE PAUL IV (1555-1559), the former Cardinal Caraffa, renewed all previous anti-Jewish legislation and installed a ghetto in Rome. Jews were forced to wear a special cap and forbidden to own real estate or practice medicine on Christians. Communities weren't allowed to have more than one synagogue. He ordered Jews to pay an annual amount for every synagogue, "even those that have been demolished," and said: "Jews can only engage themselves in the work of street sweepers and rag pickers". Jews in all the papal states were forced to lock themselves into the confines of the ghettos each night.

1556 March, ANCONA (Italy)

Under orders of Paul IV, "privileges" or charters granted to Jews were revoked. Former Conversos were forced back into Christianity. 23 men and woman were burned for refusing. The Sultan Suleiman complained (March 9th) that his Turkish Jewish subjects had been imprisoned, and that because of this he had lost a substantial amount of money. He demanded that all Turkish Conversos be set free.

1556 SOKHACHEV (Poland)

The Bishop of Chelm accused local Jews of host desecration. Three Jews were condemned and executed. This happened despite a lack of evidence and the order of a retrial by King Sigismund II Augustus.

1556 - 1647 HAYYIM SHABBETAI (Maharhash) (Salonika)

Halachik authority, and chief rabbi of Salonika. His Sefer Torat Hayyim (The Book of Law and Life or The Book of the living Law) is a responsa in three volumes. One of his responsa relates to the question of when Jews in the rain forests of the New World (Brazil) should pray for rain, due of the reversal of seasons south of the equator. This made it the first recorded American related responsa. Sefer Torat Hayyim was reprinted in Jerusalem in 1970.


Jews were among the first settlers of Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Although little is known of them, to this day many of the older families still light candles on Friday night and sit on the floor as a sign of mourning.


Granted Jews freedom to emigrate in return for a fee of 250,000 ducats. Many decided to leave.

1559 March 29, PRZEMYSL (Poland)

King Sigismund II granted the Jews a charter despite opposition from the local authorities.

1559 April 17, CREMONA (Italy)

Sixtus Senesis, an apostate Jew who became a Dominican, tried to convince the local Spanish governor to burn the Talmud. The governor demanded witnesses before he would give the order. Vitttorio Eliano, the converted grandson of Elias Levita and one Joshua dei Cantori, bore witness that the Talmud was full of lies about Christianity. A few days later approximately 10,000 books were burned. The Zohar was not touched since the Pope and the Catholic church was interested in its publication, believing that it would supplant the Talmud and make it easier to convert the Jews. Ironically, it was Eliano himself who wrote the preface to the Cremona Zohar.

1561 EMPEROR FERDINAND I (Holy Roman Empire}

Took an oath to expel the Jews from Prague. They were saved by Mordechai Zemach, who hurried to Rome and convinced Pope Pius IV to release the Emperor from his oath. While he was gone, many Jews were forced to leave or were attacked by robber barons.

1563 December 11, (25 Kislev 5327) IVAN THE TERRIBLE (Belarus)

Captured Polotsk, one of the oldest Jewish communities in Lithuania, and ordered all Jews to be baptized. The 300 Jews who refused were drowned in the Dvina River.

1564 March 22, MANTUA, (Italy)

David Provensalo and his son Abraham asked the Jewish notables to help create a Jewish College. The idea was to allow Jews to learn languages and science and receive a "Jewish education." Although they did establish a talmudic academy, they were opposed by the local Church and did not succeed in opening the College.

1566 April 19, POPE PIUS V (The Papal States, Italy)

Three months into his reign, he rejected the leniencies of his predecessor and re-invoked all the restrictions of Paul IV. These included Jews being forced to wear a special cap as well as the prohibitions against owning real estate ( see 1567) and practicing medicine on Christians. Communities were not allowed to have more than one synagogue and Jews were confined to a cramped ghetto.

1566 VILNA (Lithuania)

The Bishop of Vilna "alarmed" at the rate of intermarriage convinced the King (Sigismund II) to ban the wearing of luxurious clothes, gold jewelry or carry a decorative sword. Instead Jews had to wear special clothes which would differentiate them from the Christians, including yellow hats and head coverings.

1566 - 1574 REIGN OF SELIM II "The Magnificent" (Ottoman Empire)

Selim had been supported by the Jews in his claim to the throne. As a result, many Jews received important positions in his government, including Don Joseph Nasi who was appointed Duke of Naxos. Selim II also allowed Conversos fleeing Portugal to settle in Turkey.

1567 June 15, GENOA (Italy)

Expulsion of the Jews. The two prior expulsions of 1515 and 1550 were local. This decree was extended to the entire republic. Within a few years a limited number of Jews, specifically those engaged in money lending and business, were again allowed to live there.

1567 January 19, BULL CUM NOS NUPER "When We Recently")

Was enacted by Pope Pius V, forbidding Jews to own real estate within the papal states.

1569 February 26, PAPAL STATES (Italy)

Pope Pius V in his Bull Hebraeorum Gens ( Nation of the Hebrews) ordered the eviction of all Jews who refused to convert from all the papal states except Rome and Ancona where he needed them due to their position in trade with the Levant (Mediterranean lands east of Italy). Most of the approximately 1000 Jewish families living there decided to emigrate.rnrn

1569 July 1, THE UNION OF LUBLIN (Poland and Lithuania)

Against the backdrop of a fear of Russian intentions under Ivan IV, the Duchy of Lithuania and the kingdom of Poland decided on a practical merging. Although they were now ostensibly "one common country", Lithuania still kept its own title, army, treasury, and code of law. Jews helped found new towns and villages on the border between the two countries. Unfortunately the general status of Jews in Lithuania now fell more in line with those of Poland. The less then total union resulted in Lithuania retaining its own independent Jewish council that was not connected to the Council of the (four) Lands in Poland.

1569 BREST (Lithuania)

The union of the kingdoms of Poland and Lithuania opened the door for Jewish settlement in the Ukraine, which became one of the main centers of Lithuanian Jewry. Up to this date there were no more than 4000 Jews in the area. During the next 80 years the Jewish population increased to more than 50,000.


Ordered the Jews of Bologna expelled. He gave the cemetery to the nuns at the convent of St. Peter the Martyr. He commanded them to " Destroy all (Jewish) graves…exhume the cadavers…and move them to where ever they please".

1570 July 31, (Av ) FLORENCE (Italy)

Duke Cosimo I the Duke of Florence in an effort ( successful) to have Pope Pius V to crown him Grand Duke of Tuscany forced all the Jews of his principality into a ghetto in Florence. This despite that until a few years earlier his rule was considered one of the most liberal in Italy. The following year (December 1571) he did the same to the Jews of the Siena district. At that time roughly 60% of the Jewish community (approx 24,000) had lived in small towns and cities.rnrn


Was created, becoming the first set up in the new world. It was disbanded only in 1820. Thirty four trials were held during that period resulting in the conviction of 131 Jews, twenty four of which were burned alive(see 1639). In spite of this conversos continued to arrive.


After the Inquisition was convened that year, it was no longer possible for Jews to live in the Low Countries.

1574 SELIM II DIED (Ottoman Empire)

The Ottoman Empire began to decay and the situation of its Jews deteriorated.

1576 - 1586 REIGN OF STEPHAN BATORY (Poland)

The Transylvanian Duke became King after marrying Anna Jagiellon the new queen of Poland. During his reign he forbade any charges of ritual murder against the Jews denouncing them as calumniae. In addition he protected what he believed to be the legitimate rights of the Jews. With his death and the strengthening of Jesuit influence the position of Polish Jews became precarious.

1577 September 1, POPE GREGORY XIII (Italy)

Pope Gregory XIII, issued the Bull Vices ejus nos He Turns Us, reconfirming the Bull of Pope Nicholas III (1278),which decreed that one hundred and fifty Jews must hear conversion sermons in Rome every week. He reissued a similar Bull a few years later in 1584. A college for neophytes was set up with instruction in Hebrew and even Arabic.

1578 August 4, MOROCCAN PURIM (Purim de Los Christianos)

Jews faced near disaster when the opposition led by King Sebastian of Portugal nearly succeeded in conquering the country. The date of the Portuguese defeat at al-Qasr al-Kabir became a day of celebration and thanksgiving for the Jewish community of Morocco.

1578 September 4, POPE GREGORY XIII

Ordered the Jews of Rome to contribute 1,100 gold scudi (Approximately $13,750) toward the maintenance of the Casa dei Catecumeni (Home for Converts to Christianity). One scudo was roughly $125 in today�s terms.rn

1579 UNION OF UTRECHT (Protestant) (Holland)

Formed as a loose confederation in the Northern Netherlands (Holland). Its purpose was to counteract the League of Arras formed by the Spanish Catholics in the Low Countries (i.e. Belgium). This marked the beginning of an enlightened atmosphere regarding the Jews in the Netherlands.

1581 March 30, POPE GREGORY XIII

Issued a Bull banning the use of Jewish doctors. This did not prevent many popes from using Jews as their personal physicians.

(The ancient dishonesty of the Jews)

Was enacted by Pope Gregory XIII. It granted jurisdiction to the inquisition of Jews within Rome in cases of blasphemy or possession of forbidden books.rn

1583 February 19, ROME (Italy)

Three Portuguese Conversos from Ferrara were burned in Rome's Campo dei Fiori at the command of Pope Gregory XIII. One of them, Joseph Saralbo, proudly proclaimed that he had helped 800 Conversos return to Judaism. According to reports, he asked the Jews of Rome not to mourn for him stating "I am on my way to meet immortality."


Pope Gregory XIII issued his bull Sancta mater ecclesia "Instruction on the Historical Truth of the Gospels", ordering the Jews of Rome to send 100 men and 50 women every Saturday afternoon to listen to a conversion sermon given in Hebrew in a local church . This was over a third of the local Jewish population.

1586 October 22, POPE SIXTUS V (Italy)

Gregory's successor. He revoked Gregory's policies allowing Jews to reside in the Papal states and to print the Talmud. These policies were reinstated upon his death and lasted until 1870.

1586 YEMEN

Since the Ottoman conquest some 40 years earlier tensions had risen between the Turks and the local Zaydi population - with the Jews in the middle. The Zaydi Iman al-Mutahhar accused the Jews of aiding the Turks and reinforced regulations regarding special Jewish dress and head coverings, especially in Sana.

1589 January 14, FRANCIS KETT (England)

An Anglican clergyman was burned alive. Kett (c.15471589), was accused of heresy by the Church for suggesting that Jesus was not divine, but a good man and that Jews would one day return to the Holy Land.


Sumptuary laws (see 1432) were at times self enacted and at other times imposed by the local Christain rulers. The laws at Casale belonged to the latter and were designed to humiliate and punish the Jews in the name of Christ.


International trader and the first Jewish permanent resident ( Denizen) of England ( see 1655). He aided Manasseh ben Israel with his petition to readmit the Jews. Carvajal helped Cromwell regarding information on Royalist activities in Holland, and the relations between Charles II ( Stuart) and Spain.

1592 September 1, LVOV (Poland)

Harsh persecution began with Archbishop Salikowski ordering the Jews to build a church.

1592 February 28, BULL CUM SAEPE ACCIDERE ( "As often happens")

Was published by Pope Clement VIII. It prohibited Jews in Avignon (which was a papal state) from trading in new goods. This, in order to put them in an economically disadvantaged position.

1593 November 23, BUCHAREST (Romania)

As part of his revolt against the Turks, Prince Michael the Brave ordered the massacre of Jews and Turks. Since most of the local Jews were also Turkish citizens, his murder of the Jews also won support from the local merchants who resented Jewish competition.


Issued papal bull Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia (The blind and obdurate perfidy of the Hebrews) , expelling the Jews from all Papal states except Rome and Ancona, and thus revoking the bull Christiana pietas (1586) of his predecessor Pope Sixtus . The Jews had three months to leave.He also confirming an earlier bull of Pope Paul III Cum Nimis Absurdum ( 1555) which established the Jewish ghetto in Rome.


Despite efforts by Italian Jews to self- expunge the Talmud of any anti- Christian sentiment, Pope Clement VIII issued his bull Cum Haebraeorum malitia reaffirming the ban against owning or even reading the Talmud.

1596 October 2, AMSTERDAM (Holland)

Yom Kippur services were held for the first time. Neighbors, thinking they were secret Catholics, reported them to the authorities and the leaders were arrested. Once it was explained that they were secret Jews rather than Papists, they were left alone and the leaders released.

1596 December 8, MEXICO

Luis de Carvajal el Mozo, his mother, and three sisters were burned at the stake together with five other Crypto-Jews (Conversos) who were also accused of Judaizing. Manuel Diaz who predicated the coming of the Messiah in 1600 was taken to the market place in San Ipolito, where he was garroted and burned.

1597 CREMONA (Italy)

Jews were exiled. The Duchy of Ferrara was included in the Papal states and ceased harboring Conversos.


The book by Father Przedas Moiecki entitled "Jewish Bestiality" (Okrucienstwo ZydowsTcie) listed all the European ritual murder trials both real and those fabricated by the author. The same year 3 Jews in Lublin were brutally tortured and executed by quartering, when a Christian boy was found in a nearby swamp

1600 January 16, VERONA (Italy)

The 400 Jews of Verona completed their synagogue after their move into the ghetto. This date was actually celebrated as a "Purim" until the French Revolution, since many felt that the ghetto provided some protection, and since in an unusual move the keys of the ghetto were given to the Jewish leaders.

1601 January 14, ROME

In accordance with a papal bull issued by Pope Clement VIII on March 3, 1593, all Talmudic works were handed over to the Inquisition by the Jews of Rome to be burned. The bonfire was held on the Piazza San Pietro.

1604 - 1657 (20 Kislev 5418) MENASSEH BEN ISRAEL (Holland)

A Converso by birth, he became an outstanding man of letters. He was mystically inclined and believed that Jews must dwell in every country before the Messiah could come. This was the basis on which he approached the religiously-minded Cromwell with a petition for the resettlement of Jews in England. He was assisted by Antonio Carvajal, the first "denizenized" (foreigner granted residence and some other rights) Jew in England under Charles I. Although Menasseh was later offered a job in Brazil, he remained in Amsterdam. Cromwell eventually had his way, despite the fact that England and the Dutch states were at odds, and in spite of the opposition of English clergy and merchants.


Jews were granted a liberal charter. In Haarlem the charter was conditional on fifty families arriving in Haarlem so the community was not established at that time. The liberal charter served as a basis for Jewish settlement throughout much of Holland (see 1619).

1607 CONGREGATION BETH JACOB (Holland, Netherlands)

The first Jewish congregation in the Netherlands was established in the home of Jacob Trado. It was led by Uri Halevi. Ashkenazi Jews began to arrive 20 years later. By 1640 there would be over 1000 Jews in the Netherlands.


Advised that bagels are an appropriate gift for those about to give birth. although this is the first documented usage of the bagel it is similar to obwarzanek which were among the breads that Jews were forbidden to sell within the city walls according to a edict in 1496.

1612 November 7, HAMBURG (Germany)

The Senate decided to officially allow Jews to live in the city on the condition that there be no public worship. Portuguese Jews had been living there for over 40 years under the guise of officially being Catholic.

1614 August 22, (27 Elul 5372) FRANKFURT (Germany)

Vincent Fettmilch, a former pastry cook and leader of "the guilds", calling himself the "new Haman of the Jews", attacked the synagogue while the community was at prayer. Although many tried to organize a defense, they were soon overpowered and many took shelter in the cemetery while the community was destroyed. He and his accomplices were hung and quartered for their actions two years later.

1614 August 24, FRANKFURT (Germany)

The Jews were allowed to leave but without any property. 1,380 Jews left. To the credit of some of the Christian inhabitants, many Jews were given shelter in neighboring small communities.

1615 April 20, (21 Nissan 7th day of Passover) JEWS BANISHED FROM WORMS (Germany)

With the encouragement of the Guilds, the Jews were forced from the city during the holiday and the synagogue destroyed. The following year on January 20, (1st of Sh'vat, 5376) they were allowed to return to their homes and rebuild the synagogue. The community instituted a public fast day to be held each year on the last day of the month of Tevet (the month before Shvat). This commemoration remained in effect for generations.

1615 April 23, FRANCE

Louis XIII decreed that all Jews must leave France within one month on pain of death.

1615 PADUA (Italy)

Despite church protests, non-Catholics were officially allowed to study at the university famed for its medical facilities, though at a far higher fee then regular students. Though it was rare, some Jews succeeded in attending by paying heavily for the right, the first being Benaia di Nigro in 1409. It is estimated that during the 16th and 17th centuries approximately 10% of the student body was Jewish.


Shall They Return to Jerusalem Again? , was published posthumously. Brighton (1562-1607), an English clergyman, supported the return of the Jews to the Holy Land'. There is nothing more certain: the prophets do everywhere confirm it and beat upon it.

1616 January 19, WORMS (Germany)

Under orders of the Bishop of Speyer and with the backing of Frederick's troops, the Jews were re-admitted to the city.

1616 GRODNO, (Belarus-formerly Poland-Lithuania)

Jesuits arrived and accused the Jews of blood orgies and host desecrations.

1618 - 1638 THIRTY YEARS WAR (Europe)

Between Catholic and Protestant forces in Europe. The fighting centered around Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands (Ferdinand II of Spain vs. Christian IV of Denmark). In Vienna, Jews suffered during the occupation of Imperial soldiers. Throughout many towns in Germany and Moravia, the Jewish population was expelled, which resulted in thousands of refugees fleeing to Cracow and other Polish cities. After the war, owing to the general destruction and decline of the local populations, France, Moravia, and Germany encouraged foreigners- including Jews - to settle and help rebuild their economies.


Sebastian Miczynski a professor at the local university, published Zwierciadlo Korony Polskej (The Mirror of the Polish Crown) in which he accused the Jews of everything from murder to witchcraft and urged their expulsion. Its publication led to anti Jewish riots and a ban on the book by King Sigismund III Vasa. Despite the ban new additions were reprinted and the charges were still debated in the Diet of 1618.

1619 November 21, SHAH ABBASI (Sufi Dynasty, Persia)

Intensified persecution against the Jews. Many were forced to live "Marrano-like" lives, outwardly practicing Islam. This policy was continued by his son, Abbas II.

1619 December 13, HOLLAND AND WEST FRIESLAND (The Netherlands)

Under the rule of Prince Maurice of Orange, it was decided that each city could decide for itself whether or not to admit Jews. In consequence, the position of Jews differed greatly between cities In those towns where they were admitted, they would not be required to wear a badge of any sort identifying them as Jews.

1619 - 1720 (10 Shvat 5470) RABBI SHALOM SHABAZI (Elshabizi) (Yemen)

Poet, talmudist, and community leader. Shabazi was born in Southern Yemen where he worked as a weaver. Shabazi is most famous as a poet, with almost half the poems in the Yemenite diwan being his. Approximately 550 of his poems and hymns are still in existence, written in Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic. Although he lived in poverty, he was recognized as a spiritual leader and an astute politician, especially during the expulsion of the Jews from Saana in 1679. The local ruler captured his daughter, Shima, but she preferred death to being forced to live with him.

1621 April, SIR HENRY FINCH (England)

Called to restore the Jews to their homeland. Finch (1558-1625), the legal advisor to King James I was arrested after publication of his treatise "The World's Great Restoration", Sir Henry predicted that Jews will once again soon have their own land and a worldwide empire with it. Needless to say, King James was less than enthralled, especially as it implied that the present rulers would have to pay homage to the Jewish king, and forced him to recant any parts which could be construed to not supporting the monarch.

1622 November 25, KING CHRISTIAN IV (Denmark)

In a letter to the Amsterdam Jewish council he promised "privileges" to Jews, including freedom of worship for those settling in his country. Denmark became the first of three Scandinavian countries to permit Jews to settle there.


Permitted Jews to live in France along with a payment of 110,000 francs (about $450,000 in today’s terms)to be delivered with the crowing of each new king. This was of course in addition to a capital tax and a poll tax.

1624 BAHIA (Brazil)

Conversos declared their Judaism after the Dutch conquest. This was the first colony in the New World in which Jews openly professed their Jewish beliefs. Unfortunately, the following year the Portuguese reconquered the region and the Jews were forced to flee.

1625 October 23, POPE URBAN VIII

Decreed that Jews should be buried in unmarked graves. Pope Urban VIII (1568-44) also ordered per-existing tombstones to be removed or destroyed.

1625 VIENNA (Austria)

Jews were forced to move into a ghetto (Leopoldstadt).

1626 December 1, MOHAMED IBN FAROUK (Governor of Jerusalem, Eretz Israel)

Was deposed. His downfall after his harsh persecutions was celebrated by the Jews, although the succeeding governors were not much of a relief.


The first knowledge of Jews on the British conquered (1605) Island, was in a letter from one Abraham Jacob to the Earl of Carlisle. By 1680 there were over 200 Jews on the island , and by the end of the century 190 of them received citizenship.

1630 - 1703 SAMUEL OPPENHEIMER (Austria)

A financier, he supplied the Austrian army during their various campaigns. In 1692 he was falsely arrested by Bishop Kolbnitsch and had to buy his freedom with 500,000 florins. He was the founder of the Viennese Jewish community, receiving permission to settle there after the expulsion of 1670. He supported Jewish communities, even ransoming Jews from the Turks.

1633 Vladislav IV ( Poland )

Confirmed the basic privileges of the Jews yet at the same time prohibited any building of new synagogues or cemeteries without a royal license.


A woman was accused of keeping Jewish customs and refusing to eat meat which was not ritually prepared. She was imprisoned by the Court of High Commission. Though officially Jews were not allowed to settle in England, there were a number of legal cases which show that some Jews did indeed live there.

1639 SURINAME (South America)

The first Jews settled the area, mainly on sugar plantations. They were Spanish-Portuguese Jews, who were mainly from Holland and Italy in 1651. Another group of about 20 people led by David Nassy arrived in 1664 after having to flee French occupied Cayenne. Under the Treaty of Brenda (1667), the area was given by the British to the Dutch in return for New York. The Jews petitioned to receive the same rights they had under the British. Some left, but others were prevented to do so by the Dutch for economic reasons. Suriname is also known as Dutch Guiana.

1639 March 27, ROME (Italy)

A child was forcibly baptized after his father jokingly remarked that he would not mind if the Pope acted as godfather. As a result, two of his children were taken, one a baby, and were carried in a ceremony by the Pope. The Jews rioted and were violently crushed.

1640 - 1688 FREDERICK WILLIAM (the Great Elector of Prussia) (Germany)

After the 30 years war he reformed economic conditions and broke the hold of the guilds. He encouraged Jews and other foreigners to settle in his lands, and is accredited with building up Prussia as an important power.


First Jewish colony where Jews were allowed to live openly as Jews in the New World.


The Warsaw Diet legislated the rate of profit that can be made on merchandise. Christians 7% foreigners 5% and Jews 3%.


Began led by Portuguese catholic planters and supported by Portugal. During the war many Jews both Sephardi and Ashkenazi fought on the side of the Dutch. In one case 13 Jewish soldiers were hung and their Jewish captain burned alive by the Portuguese. Approximately 1450 Jews lived in Brazil in 1645, by 1654 less than half remained. 1647-1648 PRIVATEERING AGAINST PORTUGAL Due to the Anglo-Dutch War of 1652 54, the Netherlands did not have a fleet to spare for the war against Portugal in Brazil. The Zeelanders (a Netherland Provence) backed by the Jewish community organized a massive privateer campaign against Portuguese shipping. Though initially very successful (220 ships captured or sunk), the Portuguese began to send heavily armed escorts to protect their ships which lessened their effect.

1647 SIMON DE CACRES ( Barbados)

Arrived with his brother Benjamin, from Amsterdam. They received permission from Oliver Cromwell to trade in October 1653. De Cacres was one of the signers of Menasseh ben Israel's petition to allow Jews into England. Together with Carvajal they purchased the first Jewish burial ground at mile end. Cromwell used Cacres for updates on political intelligence. In one of his more daring plans, he proposed to Cromwell that he organize a Jewish army to conquer Chile from the Spanish. It was not acted upon.


Bitterness over forced Catholicism by the Jesuits and the unscrupulous taxes collected (some by Jews) for the nobles set the stage for the Cossack uprising. During the reign of Vladislav IV, the Zaporozhin Cossacks lived in a semi-autonomous kingdom called Sitch. Led by their leader - or Hetman - Chmielniki, they decided to fight to establish an autonomous Ukraine with the Cossack leaders as the new aristocracy. Their victories over the Polish army encouraged the serfs to join them. The Jews were even more hated than the Poles and were massacred in almost every town. In the ten tumultuous years that followed, over seven hundred Jewish communities were destroyed and between 100,000-500,000 Jews lost their lives. This helped give rise to the messianic movement which soon followed.

1648 June 24, TULCZYN (Poland)

An agreement between the 2,000 Jews and 600 Christians of Tulczyn to defend it at all costs succeeded in preventing the Cossacks from capturing the town. Kryvonos, the Cossack leader, contacted the local governor and offered to leave the Poles alone if he gave them the Jews. The Jews found out about the plan and only through the intervention of leader Rabbi Aaron (who feared reprisals) persuaded them not to kill the local leaders. Instead, Rabbi Aaron convinced the governor to take a high ransom and give it to the Cossacks. Kryvonos accepted the ransom, entered the town, killed most of the Jews and then killed the Poles for betraying the Jews. For the most part, during the entire war, the Poles and the Jews were uneasy allies against the Cossacks.


Victory for the Protestants. France annexed Alsace and Lorraine. This region, with its many Jews, became part within a France that was still known for its lack of toleration.

1649 January, ENGLAND

The first petition to re-admit the Jews to England was presented to Lord Fairfax. The petition by Johanna and Ebenezer Cartwright called for "Repealing the Act of Parliament" for their banishment from England. Unfortunately, due to the turmoil in England and the execution of King Charles, the petition was never given a hearing.

1649 April 11, MEXICO

The largest Auto da Fe in the New World was held with 109 victims. All but one of them were accused of Judaizing. It was the largest number of Jews ever convicted in the New World. Thirteen were burned alive and 57 in effigy. Of the thirteen, twelve "repented" and so were garroted before being burned. Tomas Trevino, whose mother and wife had also been killed by the Inquisition, refused. For the most part this ended the prominence of crypto-Jews in Mexico.


The more fortunate Jews were taken captive by the Tartars and were ransomed in Constantinople.

1649 JOHN CASIMIR (Poland)

Ascended the Polish throne and negotiated a truce with Chmielniki. One of the Provisions included the expulsion of all Jews in Cossack lands. However, Casimir did allow forcibly converted Jews to return to Judaism.

1651 July 1, POLAND

Was victorious over the Cossacks. The Jews were allowed to return to their lands.


The first group of Jews led by Joao de Yllan from Portugal tried to settle on this island, which was captured by the Dutch in 1634 from the Spanish. The effort failed due to the difficult agricultural conditions, and special restrictions placed by the West India company regarding trade and the use of slaves on plantations. The next attempt in March 1659 succeeded with a group of around 50 Jews led by Isaac Da Costa. A cemetery was set up, and in 1732 a synagogue was built which they named "Mikve Yisrael". Isaac was the nephew of Uriel Acosta/Da Costa (see 1590).


A Protestant pastor, he wrote the first complete history of the Jews. This later served as a basis for the works of Jost and Graetz.

1653 June 6, PETER STUYVESANT (Curacao)

Governor of New Netherlands and the Curacao islands complained about the Jews to the West India company. He warned them to be on your guard.." against " this fraudulent nation."

1654 January 26, PORTUGAL

With the capture of Pernambuco (Recife) from the Dutch, Portugal retook Peru and Brazil. The Jews, having fought on the side of the Dutch, fled by the hundreds to North America, especially to New Amsterdam.

1654 July 8, JACOB BARSIMSON (North American Colonies)

Left Holland aboard the Peartree for New Amsterdam and landed there on August 22. He was considered the first Jewish resident of New Amsterdam (New York). A month later, on September 23, Jews who had sailed from Brazil joined him.

1655 April 26, ENGLAND

Menasseh ben Israel was invited to London by Oliver Cromwell to negotiate the resettlement of the Jews. William Prynne succeeded in officially postponing the resettlement for a couple of years. Cromwell's change of heart was partly due to the rise of Puritanism, which emphasized literal application of the Old Testament.

1655 April 26, THE WEST INDIA COMPANY (North American Colonies)

Refused to accept Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant's request to ban the settling of Jews in New Amsterdam. In their letter, they relate to the "large amounts of capital which the Jews have invested in the shares of this company" therefore "these people (Portuguese Jews) may travel and trade...live and remain there provided the poor shall not become a burden to the company or the community."

1655 August 17, ENGLAND

Antonio (Abraham Israel) Carvajal and his two sons received residency rights (endenizened) as "crypto Jews" thus becoming the founder of the converso (Marrano) London Jews community. Carvajal (see 1590) was an important trader whose wide connections provided Oliver Cromwell with vital information concerning both the Spanish government and the exiled Stuart, Charles II.

1655 August 8, RUSSIA

The Russians took Vilna. As part of the peace settlement between Chmielniki and Czar Alexis, the east bank of the Dnieper became part of the kingdom of Moscow. The Jews of Vilna were once again subject to expulsion and murder.

1655 December 4, WHITEHALL (England)

The question of the re-admittance of the Jews was brought to a conference of notables. The judges decided that there was no statute which excluded the Jews from the country. Cromwell dissolved the commission, considering it too pro-admittance.

1655 LUBLIN (Poland)

A force comprised of Cossacks and Russians led by Peter Ivanovich offered to leave the city alone if it surrendered and paid a heavy fine. The Jews, knowing what would happen to them, paid local people to hide them. The local leaders agreed to the offer, only once they were allowed in, the local inhabitants told the Cossacks where the Jews were hiding. Two thousand were slaughtered.

1656 March 24, ENGLAND

After the outbreak of the English-Spanish war, Jews living in England petitioned Cromwell to be allowed to stay in England, insisting that they were Conversos, not Spaniards. Although Cromwell chose not to reply officially, he permitted the community to establish a Jewish Cemetery, and to have protection during prayers. His unwritten agreement was conditioned on there being no public Jewish worship. This is considered by many to mark the official end of the expulsion of the Jews from England.

1656 May 16, ENGLAND

Antonio Robles, a successful Converso merchant, had his goods confiscated at the outbreak of the war with Spain. Robles contended that he was a Portuguese "of the Hebrew nation" and not Spanish - and therefore his property should be returned to him. In this landmark case the Council decided in his favor, strengthening the position of the community and opening the door for allowing Jews to live in England as Jews.


Its Directors ordered Peter Stuyvesant to permit the Jews to trade and own real-estate in New Amsterdam.

1656 October 4, LECZYCA (Lenshitz, Poland)

During what was known as the Russo-Swedish wars, Jews from the surrounding area took refuge behind the city walls. The Polish army attacked after the local garrison fled to the castle, leaving the Jews to the mercy of the attacking forces. Between 2-3000 Jews were murdered and hundreds of Torah scrolls were destroyed, many of which had been brought to the city by the refugees.


Shah Abbas II (1632 -1666) declaring that all Jews were unclean, forced them to either convert or be expelled. Many Jews accepted Islam on the outside, but continued to practice Judaism in secret similar to their brethren 150 years earlier in Spain.

1657 SPALATO (Split, Croatia)

Jews had lived in this city since the third century. During the Turkish attacks against Venetian rule, the Jews so distinguished themselves that one of the city's towers became known as the "post of the Jews".

1658 February 23, MARYLAND (North American Colonies)

Jacob Lumbrozo, a doctor and the first Jew known to have settled in the colony, was arrested under the Toleration Act of 1649 (act concerning religion). This act imposed the death penalty for anyone denying the basic tenants of Christianity. Though Lumbrozo was saved by a general amnesty, proclaimed by Richard Cromwell it was not until the "Jew Bill" passed in 1826 that Jews could hold public office without submitting to a Christian oath.rnrn

1660 CHARLES STUART (Charles II) (England)

Earlier that year, Thomas Violet had petitioned the London city council and the King demanding the re-expulsion of all Jews. King Charles, who recently regained the English throne, sent a Royal message to Parliament asking them to take the protection of the Jews into consideration. The Violet's petition was rejected.

1660 September, CAYENNE ISLAND (present French Guyana)

A boat with Jews from Amsterdam and Brazil tried to land. The Dutch governor Jan Classen Langedijk refused them permission. This despite that a charter had been signed between the West India Company David Nassy on September 12 1659, allowing for the establishment of a Jewish community. The governor also tried to extort money making false claims against the group. Only following the intervention of the local population (including the Indians), did he relent. One of their most successful products was vanilla extract. The capture of the island by the French just 4 years later, spelled the end of the prospering community.

1661 SHAH ABBAS II (Persia)

Five years after he forcibly converted or expelled the Jews, he reversed his decision. This was mainly due to the loss of revenues previously collected from Jews ( Jizya). He allowed them to return to openly practice Judaism in return for them resuming the payment of the poll tax and wear a distinctive mark on their clothing.

1663 ANTI JEWISH RIOTS (Istanbul)

Two Janissaries (elite guards of the Sultan) of Christian origin accused Istanbul Jews in the Balat neighborhood of killing the child of one of them, (who in reality had killed his own son). In the riot that ensued local Greeks killed almost twenty Jews and ransacked the Jewish commercial center. The two guards was eventually arrested and killed upon orders of the Sultan Mehmed IV.rnrn

1663 April, NEW FRANCE (later Canada) becomes a royal province

Under Louis XIV (1638 1715). According to his proclamation only Roman Catholic's were allowed to settle there. Although a single Jewish woman did try ( see 1738), she was deported. It was only in 1760 after the French and Indian War, that the first Jews (probably British soldiers) were allowed to establish a community.

1664 September, NEW AMSTERDAM (North American Colonies)

Was occupied by the British and its name changed to New York. The rights won by the Jews under Dutch rule were preserved, although they were still not allowed to join a guild or engage in retail trade. Each colony was free to decide which rights to grant the Jews. In many cases they were even less then those granted in England.

1664 May, LVOV

Jews, learning about an impending attack by Jesuit seminary students and the Cathedral school, prepared a defense of the ghetto. The local official sent in the militia to ostensibly restore order. Instead, they joined the rioters, killing about 100 Jews.

1664 - 1723 ISAAC CANTARRNI ( Italy)

Poet physician and Rabbi. His sermons were so popular that they were attended by Christians as well as Jews. He wrote Pachad Yitzchak {"Awe of Issac ) describing the attacks on the Padua ghetto in 1684 , a collection of poems Pi Sefarim ("Mouth of Books"), and Vindex Sanguinis, in Latin, a defense against blood accusations.

1665 August 17, GRANT OF 'PRIVILEGES' (Suriname)

The small colony, recently occupied by the English, gave full rights to the Jews (mostly Spanish and Portuguese refugees) to practice Judaism and run their own affairs. With the support of Henry Willoughby and Lieutenant General William Byam the charter included freedom of religion, permission to build synagogues and schools, as well as the right to their own court of justice. In Jamaica, Jews would only attain full rights in 1831 and in Barbados in 1802. The first synagogue and school were built in 1671 at Cassipora. This remarkably liberal charter was transferred over to the Dutch when they conquered the colony as a means of encouraging the Jews to remain.

1667 July 31, TREATY OF BREDA ( Breda, Netherlands)

Signed between England, the Dutch Republic, France, and Denmark, ended the second Anglo-Dutch War. Under the treaty England received the Dutch provinces in the New World, and guaranteed full rights of worship trade and property to its inhabitants including the Jews. Jews were as yet forbidden to build synagogues.

1668 January 28, POPE CLEMENT IX (1667-1669) (Italy)

Cancelled the humiliating forced races of near naked Jews through the streets of Rome during Saturnalia carnival time (known as the Palio). In return for this revocation, the Jews of Rome had to pay a special cancellation tax of 200 ducats. This tax was paid for almost 200 years.The races had been first introduced by Pope Paul II in 1466.

1668 October 23, BARBADOS

The local British colonists passed "Jewish laws,” Theses determined where Jews could live and what commerce they could engage in, including a ban on retail trading.. Jews were forbidden from owning more than one slave, or employing Christians which prevented them from running a plantation. The Laws remained in effect until 1802.

1669 (8 Iyar 5429) PURIM CHIOS (Aegean Island)

The Venetian armies' attack on the island, which had a sizeable number of Jews, was beaten off. In commemoration, the local Jews instituted an annual celebration.

1669 CAROLINAS (North American Colonies)

"Jews, heathens and dissenters" were granted liberty of conscience.


June 19 1669 MICHAEL I ELECTED KING OF POLAND By the nobility and perceived as malleable to their wishes. Michael I (1640-1673) tried to restore protections and previous agreements to the Jews. He was opposed by the Diet, which was controlled by the clergy and the lesser nobles, and who wanted more restrictions ;" in order that the perfidy and self-will of the Jews should not gain the upper hand". His reign lasted a little more than four years when he died suddenly of food poisoning.

1670 February 28, VIENNA (Austria)

Leopold I ordered Jews to be expelled within a few months. Although Leopold was reluctant to lose the large amount of taxes (50,000 Florins) paid by the Jews, he was persuaded to do so by Margaret, the daughter of, Phillip IV, the Spanish Regent and a strong follower of the Jesuits. (see 1630, Samuel Oppenheimer). Margaret blamed the death of her firstborn on the tolerance shown to the Jews.The last Jews left on the 9th of Av.

1670 August 8, VIENNA (Austria)

Leopold I, after evicting the Jews, sold the Jewish quarter for 100,000 florins, which was then renamed Leopoldstadt in his honor. The synagogue and the bet midrash (talmudic study hall) were turned into St. Margaret's Church.A tablet was placed into the foundation stating that it was now a temple dedicated to God, and not a murderers pit.

1671 May 21, FREDERICK WILLIAM "THE HOHENZOLLERN" (The Great Elector) (Germany)

Became the Margrave of Brandenburg. On September 10 of that year, he re-admitted 50 wealthy Jewish families from Austria to the capital, Berlin. Although they were permitted to live and trade where they wished, they had to pay a protection tax of 8 Thalers per person per year and a gold florin for every wedding and funeral. In addition, Jews were not allowed to sell their houses to other Jews, and were permitted to have prayer rooms, but no synagogues.

1671 BARBADOS (The Carribean)

Under Lord Willoughby and approximately 50 years after the British occupation of the island, Jews were granted freedom to worship without any restrictions. Later, jealous rival merchants sometimes succeeded in temporarily imposing disabilities, usually in the form of higher taxes or trade restrictions.

1673 February 11, ENGLAND

According to the Conventicle Act of 1664, any prayer meeting of more the five persons that was not according to the Book of Common Prayer would be considered seditious. The act had been originally designed as a device against the Puritans, but soon Jews were prosecuted as well. The Jews requested from the King to either be allowed freedom of worship or to be allowed to leave the country with their possessions. Charles II ordered the Attorney General to desist from prosecuting the "offenders".

1678 YEMEN

Iman-Al-Mahdi Ahmad offered Jews the choice of either converting or being expelled to a hot barren land near Aden known as Mawza. The iman also closed all synagogues and prohibited public prayer by Jews. They were allowed to return one year later, though it is estimated that 2/3 of them did not survive the year. Upon their return, they found their homes occupied by Moslems. Many of the smaller communities disappeared and were not rebuilt. Among the exiles was Shalem (Shalom) Shabazi, who wrote over 550 historical, ethical and religious poems. He is considered the greatest Yemenite Jewish poet.

1679 MINSK (Lithuania)

King John III Sobieski confirmed the right of the Jews to own real estate and engage in all trades and commerce, despite the opposition of the local population. These rights were confirmed again in 1722 and led to a relatively peaceful situation for the Jews in the city during those two centuries.

1682 - 1725 REIGN OF PETER I THE GREAT (Russia)

Although by no means a lover of Jews, he tried to enlighten Russian policies and make them on a par with those of Western Europe.

1683 July 14, UHERSKY BROD (Moravia - Eastern Europe)

Hungarian rebels known as Kuruc attacked the town, killing most of its Jewish inhabitants. Many of the Jews were recent refugees expelled from Vienna in 1670. One of the victims was the Rabbi and Kabbalist, Nathan Nata Hannover, who had survived the Chmielniki attacks. He was the author of Yeven MeZulah, which dealt with Chmielnicki's massacres and Sha'arei Ziyyon, a collection of prayers for Tikun Hazot. The survivors fled to Hungary.

1684 August 20, PADUA (Italy)

Attack on the ghetto. During the war between Venice and Turkey, the Jews were accused of praying for the Turks during their attack on Buda (today: Budapest, Hungary). In actuality, it was the 9th of Av and all the Jews were in the synagogue mourning the destruction of the Temple. Soon after, the attack on the ghetto began. When the gates were opened to allow for an emissary to the Duke to leave, the crowd rushed in. As soon as the authorities heard about the disturbances, an order to forcibly curb them was given. The day of the order (10 Elul) became a day of thanksgiving, or Purim Buda.


After a number of minor persecutions the crown confirmed freedom of worship for the Jews.

1685 CODE NOIR (Martinique)

Instigated by the French Jesuit governor Count de Blenac The Black Code was signed by King Louis XIV. According to the code, all Jews had to leave French held territories within three months or forfeit their property.

1686 BUDA (Budapest, Hungary)

During the fighting between the Ottoman and Austrian imperial forces, the Jews chose the side of the Turks. When the Austrians finally conquered the city, only half of the approximate 1000 Jews had survived and their quarter sacked.


Fighting erupted between the English and French along the northern border of New York. One of the first Jews known to have fought under the British flag was Joseph Isacks. Isacks, a butcher from New York, was an active member of the synagogue until his death at age 78.

1696 December 24, EVORA (Portugal)

A provincial capital of Portugal, it had been an important center for Converso Jews. On Christmas Eve, the victims were led from the palace of the Inquisition (still existing today) to the Roman square, the most visible height of the town, where they were burned. The tribunal of Evora was infamous for its cruelty and was responsible for almost two-thirds of the Portuguese Inquisition's sentences to be burned alive, though it had far less than half the trials in Portugal.

1696 BEHREND LEHMANN (1661-1730) (Germany)

Was appointed to the court of Frederick of Saxony. Deeply religious, he built a beit midrash in Halberstadt and financed the Frankfurt printing of the Talmud. He used his influence to help other Jews whenever threatened. His job was to finance his ruler's military expenditures.

1698 - 1738 JOSEPH SUSS OPPENHEIMER (Jud Suss) (Germany)

He was responsible for the financial planning of Karl Alexander, the Catholic ruler of Protestant Germany. After Karl's death, he was accused, among other things, of trying to bring back Catholicism. He had lived a life of opulence and had no dealings with his religion or his fellow Jews. Despite this, the community tried to ransom him to no avail. He returned to Jewish beliefs while in prison and died while reciting the Shema. (See 1738)


During his stay in Holland he was petitioned to admit Jews into Russia but he politely refused. In response Czar Peter (1672-1725) stated, you know the Jews, their character.. and the Russians believe me, the time has not yet come to unite the two nationalities.


Was fought between a coalition of Russia, Denmark-Norway and Saxony-Poland (from 1715 also Prussia and Hanover) vs. Sweden. Czar Peter I and King Augustus II eventually defeated Charles II of Sweden and Stanislaus Leszczynski (the Pretender). Jews were forced by both sides to pay heavy taxes, especially in the cities occupied by the Swedes. In Poznan (1704), Jews were forced to defend the city by catching firebombs with their hands.


It is estimated that at this time there were about 2 million Jews in the world, with the Ashkenazic / Sephardic populations almost equal in size . This would change over the next centuries with Ashkenazic population on the ascendance.

1700 ENTDECKTES JUDENTHUM (Judaism Unmasked)

Was published by Johann Andreas Eisenmenger (1654-1704) Eisenmenger was a Christian intellectual who had a good knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic. Using Jewish sources including those of baptized Jews, he railed against the "superstition and barbarism" of Judaism He proposed a prohibition on the building of synagogues and of public worship. His work served as a basis for future anti-Semites including August Rohling in his Der Talmudjude ( see 1871). Under pressure from Jewish leaders including Samson Wertheimer, Emperor Leopold I confiscated the copies which weren't released until 1711 . An English translation was published in 1748 under the title The Traditions of the Jews. Prince Johann Wilhelm took great interest in it, appointing Eisenmenger professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Heidelbergrn


Published the anti-Semitic Entdecktes Judenthum (Judaism Unmasked). His alleged purpose was to force Jews to recognize their "folly" and embrace Christianity. He recommended that all civil rights to Jews be canceled. Unlike other works of this kind, he tried to address the secular public and intellectuals rather than just the religious. Prince Johann Wilhelm took great interest in it, appointing Eisenmenger professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Heidelberg.


After a plague which impoverished much of the Jewish community, the local ruler decided that the plague was the fault of the Jews and ordered their expulsion and the confiscation of the synagogues. Only the payment of a huge bribe saved the community from expulsion, but it left them destitute.

1707 PETER THE GREAT (Russia)

Conquered Vilna and the Grodno province. Jews were forced to pay a fine for "not supporting" the Russians. When Karl XII "The Great" of Sweden liberated it from the Russians, the Jews again had to pay a heavy fine for not having supported the Swedes.

1710 SANDOMIERZ (Poland)

A second blood libel (see 1698), was incited by Father Stefan Żuchowski (1666-1716). The local Rabbi Jacob Herc and eight others were accused. The Rabbi died while being questioned, his son converted, and 3 others were executed It also led to the expulsion of the Jews from the city by King Augustus II. A large painting depicting a blood libel was commissioned by the church which hung the cathedral until 2006, when after many protests (mostly by recent catholic visitors) it was covered up with plywood . Żuchowski was praised for his efforts and rewarded by being appointed commissioner for Jewish affairs by the Cracow diocese. He published two influential books on ritual accusations.

1710 April 5, THE FIRST BLOOD ACCUSATION IN MOLDAVIA ( present day Romania)

Jews of the town of Targu Neamț (Naimtz) were accused by a baptized Jew (who actually planted the body in a Jewish courtyard) of having killed a Christian child for "ritual purposes". Five Jews were murdered , others wounded or arrested, and all the Jewish houses sacked. Only after an appeal was made to Prince Nicholas Mavrocordatos, was there an investigation which lead to the freeing of all those imprisoned. rn

1712 KING AUGUSTUS II (Poland)

Reneging on his promise to stop further persecution of the Jews, he expelled them from Zausmer on a murder libel.

1712 October 8, SURINAME

The French privateer Jauques Cassard attacked Suriname. The Jews in the settlement of Jodensavana fought valiantly against the French, but were eventually overrun, and forced to pay a very heavy tribute. The community never fully recovered

1713 April 11, GIBRALTAR

Was ceded to Great Britain by Spain under the Treaties of Utrecht. One clause in the treaty read, "no leave shall be given under any pretence whatsoever, either to Jews or Moors, to reside or have their dwellings in the said town of Gibraltar." Although in 1717 the Jews were expelled, they were readmitted permanently the following year. The new Jewish population consisted of both English citizens and Moroccan immigrants.

1714 JOHN TOLAND (England)

Published anonymously his Reasons for Naturalizing the Jews in Great Britain and Ireland on the Same Footing with all Other Nations. Toland, an Irish born deist (a Biblical rationalist movement), believed that the naturalization of foreign-born Jews would encourage foreign-born Jews to settle in England.

1715 March 12, BAVARIA (Germany)

Elector Max Emanuel ordered the expulsion of the few Jews still living in Bavaria.

1724 JEWISH CENSUS BOHEMIA / Moravia (Czech lands)

30,000 Jews lived in Bohemia and 20,000 in Moravia. Prague had a Jewish population of between 11-13,000 people (almost 30% of the city) making it the largest Ashkenazi city in Europe. The largest Sephardic population was in Thessalonica which had approximately 18,000 Jews.

1724 January 18, BULL EX INJUNCTO NOBIS ( It enjoined us ")

Was published by Pope Innocent XIII. It Forbade Jews from selling new objects. This was similar to the bull published by Clement VIII in 1592, and was meant to put Jewish merchants at a disadvantage.


The former Jewish residents of Cayenne (French Guyana) petitioned the king to be allowed to return to their homes. King Louis (1710-1774) replied, " His majesty does not see it convenient" It was only in 1994 after over 300 years that Jews were officially invited to resettle on the island.rn

1726 FAMILIANTS LAWS (Austrian Empire)

Are introduced by Charles VI of Habsburg (1685-1740) and remained in force until 1848. Although for the most part the Habsburgs protected the Jews in their realm they decided to limit their numbers. Accordingly, no Jew could marry unless he possessed one of the "family numbers" (Familiennummern). This led to many Jews marrying "under the table", which made the children illegitimate. Many families were forced to wander from town to town because they were not allowed to permanently settle anywhere. There were strict regulations as to how the numbers were passed on in each family. These laws led to both immigration and assimilation.

1727 - 1792 (4 Iyar 5552) JOSEPH TEOMIM (Galicia-Germany)

Rabbi, halachic authority, and teacher. Teomim composed the Pri Migadim (Sweet Fruits), one of the most comprehensive commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch. Originally intended as a super-commentary on the Shach and Taz (on the Shulchan Aruch), he actually solved problems raised by himself. His work, accepted by all Orthodox Jews (Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Hasidic), is based on a systematic analysis of previous commentators (Rishonim) upon whom the commentators based themselves. At the same time he emphasized that his decisions are not to be taken as definitive halacha. He was an authority on grammar as well as the Talmud, and understood rudimentary logic. He also authored a commentary on the Torah entitled Rav Peninim (Many Pearls). In addition he wrote Porat Yosef and Rosh Yosef novellae to various talmudic tractates.

1729 January 22, - 1781 GOTTHOLD LESSING (Germany)

Poet, philosopher and playwright. Although a strong believing Christian, he advocated religious tolerance. His plays portrayed the Jews as decent, admirable people (Die Juden, 1749). His last play was Nathan the Wise (see 1804).

1729 September 26, - 1786 MOSES MENDELSSOHN (Dessau, Germany)

Born into an orthodox Jewish family, he was influenced by Rabbi David Hershel Frankel, whose knowledge of philosophy and Talmud was vast. At fourteen, he left on foot for Berlin, together with Frankel. There he met Gotthold Lessing, who introduced him to German literature and helped him publish his philosophical Dialogues. In 1783, Mendelssohn and his pupil, Naphtali Wessely, translated the Pentateuch into German. He served as the subject of Lessing's play Nathan the Wise and was the founder of Ha Me'assef, a Hebrew magazine. Believing in Jewish-Christian friendship, he tried to awaken secular interests in his fellow Jews and make them less alien to the Christian world. This backfired, as many of his own grandchildren converted to Christianity.


After two centuries, the New Christians of Southern France (Bordeaux) were recognized as Jews. Two years later their residency was legalized.

1731 ZHITOMIR (Poland/Ukraine)

31 Jewish men and 2 Jewish women were charged with kidnapping and ritual murder of a 3 year old child . The Bishop of Cracow, Kajetan Sołtyk, was the force behind the investigation and trial. Eleven Jews were executed, others converted; some were freed after conversion; others granted speedier executions.

1732 LONDON (England)

The Talmud Torah school, a predecessor of the Jews' free school, was established.

1733 July 11, GEORGIA (North American Colonies)

Soon after its settlement by General James Oglethorpe, the first group of Jews arrived from England. The approximately 40 Jews included Dr. Samuel Nunez, a former court physician, and Abraham de Leon, who introduced viniculture to the colony. Later that same month a group of 12 indigent German Jewish families also arrived. Oglethorpe was originally against allowing the Jews to remain, until one of them, a doctor, helped stop an epidemic.

1736 - 1747 NADIR SHAH (Persia)

For a brief period Jews in Persia experienced a period of tolerance and even growth. With his assassination and the ascension of the Zand and Qajar dynasties (1796 -1926), their position severely deteriorated.

1738 ESTHER BRANDEAU ( New France )

A young Jewish woman traveled to Quebec disguised as a boy. Since Jews were prohibited from settling in New France, she was told she must convert. After a year or so of refusal, she was forcibly repatriated back to France(fall 1739). It would be another 22 years before Jews would be allowed to settle in New France.

1739 - 1809 CHAILE RAPHAEL KAULLA ( Germany)

Consider to be one of the most famous court Jews in her time . Known as Madame Kaulla she took over her father business when she was just 21 years old. She was responsible for providing horses, silver, and jewelry to the local court . In 1770 she became a court factor for the Grand Duke of Wuerttemberg in Stuttgart. She married Akiba Auerbach a horse dealer and Talmudic scholar. Kaulla was probably one of the wealthiest women in Germany and supposedly established a synagogue in each of her homes.

1740 February 3, CHARLES OF BOURBON ( Sicily/ Naples)

Son of Philip V, king of Spain, and considered to be the first Bourbon king of Naples, offered Jews the opportunity to resettle in the two Sicilies. In actuality the 20 families who arrived, lived under severe restrictions and were violently resented by the clergy-led local populace. Within 6 years only three families had remained, these were soon to be expelled (September 18, 1746).

1740 June 1, NATURALIZATION ACT (North American Colonies)

Also known as the Plantation Act,passed, making it possible for a Jew in any of Britain's American colonies to become naturalized. However, it was not always implemented (i.e. in Rhode Island). Between 1740 and the American Revolutionary War, around 200 Jews were naturalized, most of them in Jamaica, a British colony since 1670.rnrn

1742 December 1, CZARINA ELIZABETH PETROVNA (Russia)

Expelled 35,000 Jews from parts of Russia. The Empress ( 1709-1762) was the daughter of Catherine I and Peter the Great of Russia. When advised of the financial loss she allegedly responded "I do not want any benefit from the enemies of Christ."


Jews were encourage to settle in Tiberias by the arab governor Zahir al-Umar ( 1690-1775). Tiberias had been in ruins since its destruction by the Druze in 1660. In order to encourage resettlement he cut taxes and helped build schools. The Jews came mostly from Syria, but also from Cyprus and Safed. One of those he personally invited Hayyim ben Jacob Abulafia who was 82 at the time ( see 1660).

1743 August 27, TIBERIAS (Eretz Israel)

Suleiman Pasha, governor of Damascus, laid siege to the city. The local Jews, led by Hayyim Abulafia, defended the city for 83 days. At the lifting of the attack and the subsequent death of the Pasha (5 Elul), a holiday was declared.


Was published. Written in Yiddish by Menahem Mann ben Solomon ha-Levi Amelander, it was the most important and original Jewish historical work of the 18th century. It began with the destruction of the Second Temple in 72 CE and ended in 1740. Another chapter was added after his death. It incorporated valuable information regarding Jewish life in Holland, Poland and Germany. He also included the story of the discovery of America, and details about the Jews of India and Cochin.

1744 November 8, PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Frederick the Great took Prague in the Wars of Succession and the populace ransacked the ghetto. He soon left and the Croats returned. They accused the Jews of treason and again their quarters were sacked, this time with the help of Austrian and Hungarian soldiers.

1744 December 18, PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Empress Maria Theresa ordered the expulsion of all the Jews of Bohemia and Moravia. Due in part, to the protests of the governments of England and Holland, the decree was dropped everywhere but in Prague.

1745 May 15, EMPRESS MARIA THERESA (Prague, Bohemia)

After many appeals and petitions, she revoked her decree banishing all Jews from Moravia and Bohemia, allowing Jews to live there for an unlimited time. Only the Jews in Prague itself were still under the order. They were soon permitted to return on a restricted basis.

1749 (7 Sivan 5509) COUNT VALENTINE POTOCKI (Lithuania)

Was burned at the stake in Vilna. The Count, along with his friend Zeremba, had met an old Jew in a tavern and promised to convert if he could convince them of the pre-eminence of Judaism. Potocki converted and eventually settled in Vilna. Zeremba, hearing that his friend converted, did likewise and moved to Eretz Israel. Potocki's presence in Vilna became known and he was put on trial for heresy. He refused to recant and was burned at the stake. His ashes were collected and buried in Vilna. On his tomb is written "Abraham Ger Zedek" (a righteous proselyte). The Jews of Vilna would visit his grave and say Kaddish.

1749 MARIA THERESA (Austrian Empire)

Re-admitted the Jews to Prague in return for higher taxes.

1750 April 17, FREDERICK II OF PRUSSIA (Germany)

Issued a general patent to the Jews that limited them to commerce and industry. Jews were no longer to be considered dependents of the king but rather of the State. Jews, on the one hand, were encouraged to be part of the State and its economy, while on the other hand they were still second class citizens who were divided into two classes - privileged and protected. An "enlightened monarch", Frederick wrote his Political Testament (published in 1752) in which he described Jews as dangerous, superstitious, and backward.


Just prior to its division between Russia, Prussia, and Austria, Poland's Jewish population reached 430,000 (excluding Eastern Galicia). In Lithuania there were 157,300 Jews.

1750 MULAY AL-YAZID (Morocco)

Became sultan of Morocco after rebelling against his father and brother. The Jews under his father Mulay Mohammad III (1710 1790) were used as negotiators and bankers. Al-Yazid (1750 1792) being refused a loan by the Jews during his insurgency, swore vengeance. The Jewish community of Tetun was attacked, with the richer Jews being tied to the tails of horses and dragged through the city. Many others were murdered and the women raped. This was followed by attacks on other communities, including Fez and Mekns and Marrakesh. Jews, who had been loyal to his father, were hanged by their feet for 15 days until they died. The Spanish consul, Solomon Hazzan, was accused of betrayal and killed as were hundreds of Muslims loyal to his father or brother. Al- Yazid (1750-1792) died of a battle wound before completing a list of notable Jews and Muslims to be executed.


Sent an encyclical (a papal letter) Aquo Primum to the heads of the Polish clergy. In it Benedict(1675-1758) praised their efforts in combating Jewish " domination." He further encouraged them not to lease any land, or loan any money to Jews. Benedict called the Jews cruel task makers" and urged that no Jew be in any position to give an order to a Christian including as an employer.

1751 December 15, PROBE TE MEMINISSE

Pope Benedict XIV stressed the necessity to control the Jews and encourage conversion. He delineated the situations where a child (even under the age of seven) can be baptized without parental agreement. At seven year of age, he is considered having attained the age of reason (see 1683). Although Benedict decreed that forced baptisms were illegal, nonetheless they would be binding, and any "backsliding" would be considered heresy.

1753 May 26, ZHYTOMYR (Russia)

Under the influence of Bishop Solik (Kajetan Sołtyk) of Kiev, the castle court sentenced 33 Jews to death for the "ritual murder" The entire evidence was based on the “confessions” of the innkeeper and his wife, which were made after being tortured (although they later retracted their statements). Thirteen of those Jews were released upon converting. Eleven others were murdered, including the local rabbi (Polocti) and five others who were quartered alive. One couple converted on the spot and was granted a beheading. A painting was made of the child which was in the position of the archbishop of Lvov and probably still exists.


This legislation allowed Jews to own land and to "prefer bills in parliament without receiving the sacrament." The enactment was protested by mobs and pamphleteers calling it the end of Christianity in England and giving lie to the prophesies of the New Testament which implies that Jews must wander the earth. In the end, it was repealed the next year and was only re-enacted over a hundred years later in 1858.

1754 - 1800 SOLOMON MAIMON (Silesia-Lithuania)

Inspired by Maimonides' Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed), he adopted the name Maimon, abandoned religion, embraced philosophy, and embarked on the life of a wanderer. During his lifetime, he met with some of the greatest minds of his day, including Moses Mendelssohn. Among his works are a critique on Kant and a commentary on Maimonides entitled Givat Hamoreh (Hill of the Teacher). He correctly predicted that "the Christians won't say Mass and the Jews won't say Kaddish at my grave." His autobiography (Lebensgeschichte) provided important insights into 18th Century Polish Jewry, particularly the Hasidic Movement.

1755 February 22, BEATIFICATION OF ANDREW OF RINN aka Andreas Oxner (Germany)

Pope Benedict XIV issued his bull of Beatus Andreas which beatified Andreas Oxner who in 1462 was allegedly murdered by Jews in a ritual murder in Rinn near Innsbruck. This helped spread the anti-Semitic legends and performances which were based on the writings of Hippolytus Guarinoni ( 1651) . They were performed until 1954. Although the cult of the "Child of Judenstein" was proscribed in 1985, yearly pilgrimages are still made to the site.rnrn

1757 - 1811 HERSHEL OF OSTROPOL (Ukraine)

Jester in the court of Rabbi Baruch of Medzhybizh (see 1753). Rabbi Baruch, who suffered from depression and bouts of rage, brought in Hershel to help calm him. Hershel used his sharp wit usually at the expense of the rich and powerful, - Jews, and gentiles. Some believe that he died in a fatal accident, when in a rage Rabbi Baruch had him tossed off his roof. Many folktales were written about him including Isaac Babel’s “Shabos-Nakhamu” and Eric Kimmel's The Adventures of Hershel of Ostropol.

1759 January, LOUISIANA COLONY (North American Colonies)

Despite what was known as the Louisiana Black Code, there were at least 5 Jewish families living there. The law denied residence to Jews or the practice of any religion except Catholicism in the territory.

1759 QUEBEC (Canada - New France)

With the British conquest of Quebec, Jews were allowed to settle there. Two of the first Jews were Aaron Hart and Samuel Jacobs. Jacobs arrived within a month of the British conquest. Abraham Gradis was thought to have been the first Jew to live in Quebec while under French rule, although in reality, he had never set foot there. It was actually his firm which played an important role in helping the French colonial empire in North America.

1759 October 31, SAFED (Eretz Israel)

A massive earthquake destroys much of the city killing 2000 people with 190 Jews among the dead.

1760 December 14, BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS (England)

Was founded. It is the oldest Jewish communal organization in Great Britain. All Jews, whether Ashkenazi or Sephardi (and later the Reform) could elect their deputies, who would in turn represent the entire community. Membership was originally based on synagogues, but much later other organizations were added.

C. 1760 - 1820 HAYYIM FARHI ( Syria- Eretz Israel)

AKA El Mu'Allim "The teacher", for his considerable learning. He was asked to serve Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar the governor of Sidon (r.1776-1804) as his chief advisor. Farhi was the defacto ruler of Acre, and did his best to interceded for fellow Jews when possible. He defended Acre against Napoleon in 1799. He lost his eye, part of his nose, and ear during one of Al Jazzars infamous rages. Farhi was the mentor to Abdullah Pasha who assassinated him.. His body was tossed into the sea and all his assets confiscated by Abdulla (see 1821).

1761 March 4, JEWS EXPELLED FROM LUBECK (Germany)

At the behest of the guilds. The following year only one Jew was allowed to live in Lubeck, and this only after paying a heavy fee. As far back as the 16th century (except for a few years during Napoleons time (1810), Jewish residence was for the most part prohibited. This didn’t change until the revolution of 1848.

1762 March 11, RHODE ISLAND (North American Colonies)

Although considered more liberal than other states, and despite the fact that a few Jews had previously been granted citizenship, the court refused to grant it to Aaron Lopez and Isaac Eliezer, stating that "no person who is not of the Christian religion can be admitted free to this colony". Lopez was granted citizenship by Massachusetts and the sentence "upon the true faith of a Christian" was excluded from the oath. Lopez was probably the first Jew to be granted citizenship in Massachusetts.

1762 December 4, CATHERINE II (1729-1796) (Russia)

Issued a proclamation allowing all foreigners to travel and to settle in Russia - Kromye Zhydov ("except the Jews"), Within 8 years Russia acquired hundreds of thousands of Jews due to the partition of Poland.

1762 - 1839 (25 Tishrei 5600) MOSES SOFER SCHREIBER (The Chatam Sofer) (Pressburg, Hungary)

Rabbi, teacher and halachic authority. A strict adversary to Moses Mendelssohn, he was opposed to any changes made to education or tradition, yet did believe that Jews should study useful trades and agriculture. Sofer was strong supporter of rigid orthodoxy whose influence is still felt today. He was true to his motto “He-ḥadash asur min ha-Torah!” (Innovation is forbidden as a biblical prohibition!). Sofer wrote a voluminous collection of responsa called Chidushai Teshuvot Moshe Sofer (Novella and Responsa of Moses Sofer). It was divided into four parts containing 1377 responsa. He composed poetry, and wrote a diary of the Napoleonic siege of Pressburg from a religious perspective.rnrn


Aka Rayz beshraybung was published by Abraham Levi (1702- 1785). The travelogue written in Yiddish highlighted his visits to Poland Italy , Austria, Hungary, and Germany. He described the way of life and population of each city he visited.rn

1765 - 1809 BEREK JOSELEWICZ (Poland)

Colonel of the Polish armed forces. Joselewicz joined Kosciuszko in the Polish uprising and the Napoleonic Wars. He believed in the importance of having Jews take part in the revolution. Together with Joseph Aronowicz, they received permission from Kosciuszko to establish a Jewish Unit. His famous call in Yiddish for support elicited hundreds of volunteers. Five hundred were eventually accepted, many of whom died in the insurrection.He died in a Calvary charge in the war against Austria near the city of Kotzk.

1768 June 18, HAIDAMAK MASSACRES (Ukraine)

Reached Uman. The peasant serfs and Cossacks rioted much in the same vein as Chemielnicki one hundred and twenty years earlier. At Uman, the Poles and Jews defended the city together under the Polish commander, Ivan Gonta. The next day, convinced by Zheleznyak the Polish revolutionary that only the Jews would be attacked, Gonta allowed the fortified city to be entered without a fight. Approximately 8000 Jews were killed, many of them trying to defend themselves near the synagogue. As soon as the Jews were all massacred, the Haidamaks (the paramilitary bands) began to kill the Poles. Although the Haidamacks began in the 1730's, the main rioting was during the years 1734, 1750 and 1768. It is estimated that during these years 20,000 Jews were killed. The Haidamaks became part of the Ukrainian national movement and are celebrated in folklore and literature.

1768 - 1828 ISRAEL JACOBSON (Germany)

The "Father of Reform", he was also the financial agent of Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. He organized the first Reform service and later founded the first Reform Temple with the help of Jacob Herz Beer. Jacobson was a strong believer in inter-racial association, and in 1801 established a school for Jewish and Christian children in the Herz mountains. The Reform movement was also known as the "Liberal" or "Progressive" movement. It developed partly out of the political and cultural emancipation of Jews in Western Europe. Although Jacobson sought a basis for his ideas in traditional Judaism, the Reform movement soon sought to distance itself from Orthodoxy, nationalism, and the authority of the written and Oral Law and concentrate on the "universal" aspects of Judaism. (See 1806, 1810, 1885)

1768 ISHAQ AL-YAHUDI ( Egypt)

The Jewish Ottoman appointed tax collector, was arrested, fined 40,000 gold pieces, and then murdered by Ali Bey al-Kabir. Ali Bey (1728-1773) was a Mamluk leader who rebelled against the Ottoman rule. Al-Yahudis death signaled the end of Jews serving in governmental positions in Egypt, being mostly replaced by Syrian Catholics. It also marked the decline of the position of Jewish community in general.


This was the first of three partitions (1772, 1794, 1795). The Ukraine went to Russia, Galicia to Austria (whose Jewish population now doubled), and Lithuania to Prussia. Thus Catherine II inherited many of the same Jews she was trying to be rid of. Each monarch made an effort to integrate and assimilate its Jews into the "State of Order" and central administration, thus abolishing self-rule for the most part.

1772 - 1837 CHARLES FOURIER (France)

Catholic anti-Semite; he vented his hatred for the Jews at every available moment.

1775 April 5, POPE PIUS VI (1775-98)

Partly in reaction to success of the reformation, he issued the Editto Sopra Gli Ebrei. The proclamation of Pope Pius VI reinstated all former anti-Jewish legislation. The 44 clauses included prohibitions against possessing talmudic writings and erection of grave stones. They also forbade Jews from passing the night outside the ghetto under pain of death. The regulations were in effect until the arrival of Napoleon's army 25 years later.


As Jews were generally not allowed to live permanently in Warsaw they had settled in the outlying areas including a settlement known as New Jerusalem. The local populace organized street attacks and their expulsion, taking over their property. Fifteen years later after the Jews had returned, they were once again attacked and expelled

1776 May 31, MANTUA (Italy)

Because Jews were not allowed to expand their housing outside the ghetto, they were forced to build vertically. Many times accidents occurred from weakened structures. On this occasion, two weddings held in the same house caused it to collapse. Twenty-eight women (including one of the brides) and three men were killed.


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".

C. 1776 - C. 1823 JEAN LAFITTE

Pirate and adventurer. Lafitte is mostly known for helping General Andrew Jackson in the war of 1812. Evidently his mother and maternal grandmother (Zora Nadrima), were crypto Jews, who had fled to France after his grandfather was executed by the inquisition.


A local judge Francois Joseph de Hell, forged hundreds of receipts proving that peasants had repaid their debts to Jews. He publicly justified it as a legitimate means to protect the peasantry from the "Jewish oppressors". This led to the intervention of Moses Mendelssohn and his friend Christian Wilhelm von Dohm, who wrote his influential On the civic improvement of the Jews.

1778 JUEDISCHE FREISCHULE "Jewish Free School" (Germany)

Was established by Isaac Daniel Itzig and his brother in law, David Friedlander(1750-1834). The school, which omitted Talmud and limited Hebrew studies, concentrated on math, German, French, and commercial courses. After 1806, non-Jewish students were accepted, and they soon became one-third of the student body. (Since Juedische Freischule was the the first Haskalah school established, many use this date to mark the beginning of the Haskalah (Enlightenment) Movement, whose initial aim was to "modernize" Judaism by opening it to European culture and specifically to a philosophy of rationality which was spreading throughout Europe. Jews were encouraged to adopt the manners, dress, and language of their host country. In the beginning there were Orthodox leaders who supported some of the educational aims of the movement. When it became apparent that the movement was leading to an anti-halachic and assimilationist direction, the Orthodox establishment banned the movement, and established its own educational response to it through Samson Rafael Hirsch and others.


Cancelled the "rights and property" of three members of the Hart family for supporting the British. Isaac Hart was murdered for the same "offence." Although many Jews were supporters of the revolution, others were supporters of the Tory cause. Some like Isaac Touro (father of Judah) decided to find refuge in Jamaica and other parts of the British Empire.

1780 - 1852 Judah Bibas- Rabbi and Dreamer of Zion ( Gibraltar-Hebron)

Born in Gibraltar he later headed a Yeshiva there. He was appointed Rabbi of Corfu in 1832 where he reformed its educational system. Bibas also had a doctorate from Livorno Italy. He became a strong supporter of the Teshuva movement which believed that inner repentance had to be coupled with returning to Eretz Israel. During his travel around of Europe (1839-40) promoting his ideas, he met Judah Alkelai (1798-1878) of Sarajevo, who from then on considered himself Bibas student. He settled in Hebron in 1852 near the end of his life and is quoted as saying Jews must learn science and arms(weapons) so they can wrest the land of Palestine from the Turks.

1780 - 1855 RACHEL JOSEPH (SOLOMONS) ( Canada)

Early Canadian pioneer she married Henry Joseph a ritual slaughterer/ businessman who fought in the war of 1812. Her father Levy was one of the first Jews in Canada and a founder of the Shearith Israel congregation in Montreal ( 1768) the oldest synagogue in Canada. Rachel remained orthodox throughout her life and on her own did her best to educate her children as such.rn

1781 March 6, GEORGIA (USA)

Governor James Wright ordered the Jews of the Georgia to leave, accusing them of being disloyal to his majesty by supporting the revolution. The order was never carried out.

1781 October 21, AUSTRIA

Joseph II rescinded the law forcing Jews to wear a distinctive badge. The regulation had been in effect since 1267, more than 600 years.

1782 January 2, EDICT OF TOLERANCE (Toleranzpatent) (Austria)

Guaranteeing existing rights and obligation of the Jewish population, was enacted by Joseph II of Austria, the son of Maria Theresa. Joseph II was influenced by Wilhelm von Dohn, a friend of Mendelssohn and beginning with this edict, followed a generally enlightened attitude toward the Jews. The Edict (with the final edict less liberal then the original), received mixed reviews by Jewish leaders including Ezekiel Landau and Moses Mendelssohn.

1783 March 31, HUNGARY

Joseph II allowed Jews to live in the "Royal cities", including Pest. By 1787, 81,000 Jews lived in Hungary.


The Sultan expelled the Jews after they failed to pay an exorbitant ransom. This was the third time they were expelled within a number of years.


A translation and commentary on the Pentateuch. The work itself also became known as the Bi'ur (Explanation). It was initiated by Moses Mendelssohn who only succeeded in writing a commentary on Exodus. Others including Naphtali Herz Wessely Aaron Jaroslav and Hertz Homberg who carried on the work, became known as the Biurists. Solomon Dubno who wrote the commentary on Genesis, resigned after many in the orthodox community issued a ban against its use. The orthodox rabbis feared that it would encourage Jews to study the secular (German) texts rather than the Torah and Jewish sources.

1784 January 10, LOUIS XVI (France)

Abolished the poll-tax on Jews in Alsace-Lorraine. This tariff was the same tax paid for market animals. It was paid by Jews who wished to enter certain cities. The poll tax had been instituted in many countries in Europe and dated back as far as the Roman Emperor Domitian (93 C.E.), though it was only adopted in Europe in the 14th century.

1784 - 1885 (16 Av 5645) SIR MOSES MONTEFIORE (Italy-England)

Sheriff of London and leading Jewish figure. Wealthy in his own right, he married into the Rothschild family and was extremely successful in his financial ventures. He retired at an early age (1824) and devoted his life to serving Jewish causes. He is noted for his numerous visits to Eretz Israel, contributions to many philanthropies, and intercessions into Jewish affairs. One of his greatest successes was his interference in the Damascus Affair (see 1840). He is credited with founding numerous agricultural settlements in Eretz Israel and the first Jewish quarter outside the old city walls (Mishkenot Shaananim). He added the top levels to the Kotel (Western Wall) to prevent Arabs from throwing garbage and stones on Jews praying at the Wall, and he rebuilt Rachel's tomb.

1785 - 1851 July 19, MORDECHAI MANUEL NOAH (Philadelphia, USA)

Author, journalist, and diplomat, he became the United State's consul to Tunis. Noah dwelled upon the problem of a haven for Jewish refugees. He wrote about the importance of a revived Jewish homeland. In 1825, he decided to acquire Grand Island as a Jewish city of refuge. The plan and the city faded. After he failed to keep his position in the elections for Sheriff of New York, he was appointed Grand Sachem of Tammany Hall by Martin Van Buren. In 1837 he came to the conclusion that the best solution was for the Jews to have their own homeland in Eretz Israel.

1786 - 1837 LUDWIG BOERNE (Germany)

Political essayist. He believed that freedom for mankind and freedom of the Jews were bound together. Though he was later baptized, he still fought for Jewish rights. His famous Letters from Paris called for an end to injustice in Germany. Boerne, along with Heine, are considered major influences in German literature.

1787 November 12, JOSEPH II (Austria-Hungary)

As part of his "Aufklarung" (Enlightenment)policy, he forced the Jews to adopt family names. This was part of the European movement (including the Age of Reason in France) which encouraged rationality and science over religion.

1788 PRUSSIA (Germany)

The poll-tax was lifted from the Jews.

1788 January 18, Botany Bay Australia

The first group of approximately 1300 men, women, and children landed in Australia from England on what was to become known as the first fleet. Most were convicted of crimes in England and were sentenced to various terms of forced settlement. Among them were twenty three Jews (including an infant).One of them was John Harris who, after being freed, became the first policeman in Australia.


The number of Jews residing in Poland and Lithuania was estimated at well over 900,000.


On order of King Louis XVI, Chretien Guillaume De Malesherbes began to prepare a memorandum including recommendations regarding the situation of the Jews . His conclusions helped pave the way to their eventual freedom. Malesherbes believed that their emancipation and the weakening of the Jewish community, would lead to their conversion.

1789 July 14, FRANCE

Fall of the Bastille. Jews viewed the fall of Bastille as a triumph although by and large they were not allowed to participate in the election of the Estates-General which became the Constituent National Assembly. Many of them enlisted in the National Guard.


Approximately four hundred thousand Jews lived in Western Europe, three quarters of them in Germany.


Known as Abbe' Gregoire a catholic priest and revolutionary leader, published , Essai sur la régénération physique et morale des Juifs calling for equal rights for Jews. At the French National assembly he called for a motion on Jewish emancipation. The Jews numbered less than 40,000 out of a population of 26 million.


Over 1000 Jews were forced to flee after being attacked and their houses burnt during an uprising known as the agrarian revolt. The Jews in Alsace numbered around 22,000 more than half the total of French Jewry . In neighboring Lorraine there were a further 7500 Jews totaling almost 70% of French Jewry.

1790 January 27, FRANCE

Active citizenship was extended to the "well born" Sephardic Jews of Bordeaux, who promptly bowed out of the fight for equal rights. They looked upon their poorer brothers in Alsace-Lorraine with contempt.

1791 May 3, POLAND

While Austria and Russia fought against the Ottoman Empire and unrest mounted in Poland, King Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski adopted a constitution turning Poland into a constitutional monarchy. The constitution itself did not change anything for the Jews, or even of the old class (feudalist) regime with the nobles rights remaining as they were. It was too little too late. Polish noblemen, who opposed the new constitution, invited Czarina Catherine II to send Russian troops which resulted in the second partition and the canceling of the constitution.

1791 September 27, FRANCE

On the last days of the National Assembly, a declaration was passed granting Jews full rights and citizenship. This is the first time that Jews were declared full citizens in a European country since the Roman Empire. This, after many delays and arguments against it, mainly led by the representative from Alsace Jean-François Rewbell.

1791 December 23, CATHERINE II (Russia)

Created the Pale of Settlement. Jews were squeezed out of the major cities and ports into the area known as White Russia. Even within the Pale, Jews were excluded from certain cities and Crown lands. The driving force behind the creation of the Pale were the merchants in Moscow, who demanded protection against Jewish competition.

1793 (1 Shvat 5553) ROME (Italy)

A tragedy was narrowly averted in the Jewish ghetto after a mob set fire to the ghetto gates. The riot was partially in reaction to the liberalism of the French Revolution and partly in response to a Jewish protest after two Jewish orphans were forcibly baptized. Only a fortunate downpour which put out the fire prevented the ghetto from catching fire. The day was celebrated as holiday by Roman Jews.

1794 September 17, THADDEUS (TADEUSZ) KOSCIUSZKO (Poland)

Praised the role played by Jews in his abortive revolt against Russia. Singling out Warsaw's Jews he wrote, "(they showed) to the whole world that when it comes to human rights they do not spare their blood". As part of his revolt he granted Joseph Aronowicz and Berek Joselowicz (see 1765) permission to form a Jewish legion. Five hundred men volunteered to a call to arms issued in Yiddish, and fought in Praga, a suburb of Warsaw.

1794 - 1925 KAJAR DYNASTY (Persia)

A fanatical Shiite dynasty which continued the policy of declaring non-Moslem's impure and worthy of persecution. Many Jewish communities were either driven out (Tabriz c. 1797) or forcibly converted (Mashhad 1839). Eventually (in the 1860's) European Jews, hearing about their difficulties, began to exert international pressure to alleviate their plight.


Russia, under Catherine II, defeated Kosciusco and swallowed what was left of the Ukraine and Lithuania. She then possessed 900,000 Jews. Prussia received Warsaw and its surrounding area while Galicia was given to Austria.

1795 - 1874 (5 Cheshvan 5634) ZEVI HIRSCH KALISHER (Germany-Prussia)

The foremost developer of a nationalistic religious philosophy, which hernexpounded in his Dreishat Zion (The Seeking of Zion). Kalisher was arnstudent of Rabbi Akiva Eger and served as an unpaid rabbi in the townrnof Thorn (now part of Poland). He believed that the return to Zion shouldrnbe brought about by acts, not by waiting for the Messiah (see 1862. Once the Jews returned to Zion, then the Messiah would come. Kalisher was instrumental in encouraging the idea of establishing agriculturalrnsettlements as well as having Jews guarding them.rnrnrn


And granted equality to its 50,000 Jews.


Due to the partitioning of Poland, he inherited most of the Jews in Eastern Europe. With the help of the nobility, Paul I initiated an investigation into the "problem" of the Jews. According to one of the proposals, Jews should be forced to accept family names, abandon distinctive dress, send all children to public schools after age 12, and be forbidden to participate in city government. The Jewish population of White Russia was to be evenly distributed within White Russia, with the rest transferred to other areas.

1796 - 1880 ADOLPH (ISAAC) CREMIEUX (France)

One of the most brilliant Jewish orators and advocates of the Revolution of 1848. On many occasions, he used his influence in the government to help his fellow Jews. He also helped found the Alliance Israelite Universelle. His son, however, converted to Christianity.

1796 April 17, EASTERN POLAND

After falling to Prussia in the third partition of Poland in 1795, the government enacted "The Regulation" which removed a number of regulations regarding occupations and domicile restrictions for Jews. This still left many of the old regulations in place, including that of not being able to marry under the age of 25, and then only upon proof of a fixed income.

1797 April 17, EASTERN POLAND

After falling to Prussia in the third partition of Poland in 1793, the government enacted "The Regulation", which removed a number of regulations regarding occupations and domicile restrictions for Jews. This still left many of the old regulations in place, including the one about not being able to marry under the age of 25, and then only upon proof of a fixed income.

1797 August 28, PADUA (Italy)

Four months after the entry of the French army, the provisional government decreed that "Jews are able to live in every part of the city." Jews enlisted in the National Guard and the main street in the ghetto was changed to Via Libera. Unfortunately, as in most parts of Italy, this newly won freedom only lasted until the arrival of Austrian troops 8 months later.


A British clergyman published Scriptural Grounds for expecting the Restoration of the Jews, Jerram (17701853) believed that the Bible supports the restoration of the Jews to their homeland.


Resulted in attacks throughout the community. Some Jews were forced into the Danube and drowned; others had taken refuge in the synagogue, which was set on fire.

1798 February 15, ROME (Italy)

After the occupation of Rome by General Berthier, the local republicans dethroned the Pope and Jews removed the yellow badge. Two days later, a tree of freedom was planted in front of the synagogue.

1798 July 1, SWITZERLAND

Special taxes on Jews were finally abolished.

1798 September 12, FRANCE

In the wake of the French capture of Mayence (1792), the gates of the ghetto were torn down. The Jews of Mayence remained French citizens until the end of the occupation in 1814.

1798 - 1839 EDUARD GANS (Germany)

Jurist and one of the founders (along with Zunz and others) of the Verein fuer Cultur und Wissenschaft der Juden (Society for Jewish Culture and Science). Gans' contribution to jurisprudence was a series of papers concerning the Jews of Rome and Roman Law.

1798 - 1878 JUDAH ALKALAI (Sarajevo-Jerusalem)

Rabbi, author, and precursor of modern political Zionism. Alkalai studied in Jerusalem before returning to a post as Rabbi in Zemun(near Belgrade). At age 76 he returned with his wife to live in Eretz Israel. Alkalai wrote many books Darkhei No'am (Pleasant Ways), Shalom Yerushalayim ( Peace of Jerusalem)(1840), Goral la-Adonai (A Lot for the Lord),(1857) and Minhat Yehuda (offering of Judah) (1843) . In them he discussed the idea of Teshuva (return) both spiritually and physically and was greatly influenced by Judah Bibas. He called on Jews to help finance the purchase of land from the Turks, the establishment of agricultural enterprises and the renewal of Hebrew as a spoken language.

1798 - 1860 WARDER CRESSON (USA -Eretz Israel)

Born a Quaker he came to believe that God's plan was to bring all the Jews to Jerusalem before the "end of days". In 1844, he was appointed the first American consul to Jerusalem but it was retracted before he actually arrived. Despite this he decided to remain, became interested in Judaism and converted in March 1848 taking the name Michael Boaz Israel ben Abraham. When he returned to the USA to tie up his affairs, his wife, and son tried to have him institutionalized. During the trial, at which he was acquitted, over 100 witnesses were called. Cresson divorced his wife and moved to Jerusalem. His goal was to set up a soup kitchen and encourage new methods of agriculture, in order that Jews need not rely on missionaries for any help. He took the name Michael Boaz Israel, married Rachel Moelano, and became a respected member of the Sephardic community. He is buried on the Mount of Olives.

1799 February 25, NAPOLEON CAPTURED GAZA (Eretz- Israel)

This was his first encounter with "Palestinian" Jews. It is said that he offered "the re-establishment of ancient Jerusalem" as a Jewish homeland in return for Jewish loyalty.

1799 ITALY

With the uprising of the counter-revolutionary forces against Napoleon, the Jews, who had risen to his banner, were attacked everywhere.


As reported by Le Moniteur Napoleon called for Jews, as its rightful heirs, to join him in freeing Palestine. Thus becoming the first (soon to be head of state) to propose the re-establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel.


Was proposed by David Friedlander as a compromise to help integrate into Christian society. Friedlander ( 1750-1884) was a successful banker, and considered to be the successor to Moses Mendelssohn. He proposed that Jews join the Lutheran church on a moral and ethical basis, without accepting the belief of Jesus as the messiah.

1801 BUCHAREST (Romania)

A blood libel led to the death and wounding of 128 Jews.

1801 - 1825 REIGN OF ALEXANDER I (Russia)

Though at first a liberal, he rapidly changed his perspective. However, he envisioned the eventual emancipation for the Jews and their absorption into Russian "Christian" culture and life.

1804 December 9, JEWISH STATUTE (Russia)

After two years of deliberation, Alexander I published legislation regarding the future of the Jews in Russia. Based on the premise that the Jews (especially those absorbed from Poland) were undesirable elements, it was declared that efforts should be made to transform them into "productive" citizens. On the one hand, Jews were allowed to attend university, open their own secular schools, and become involved in industry. On the other hand, in the villages they were severely restricted with regard to occupations and land ownership. This was part of his policy to cast blame on the Jews (rather then on the Polish nobles) for the exploitation of the peasants.

1805 June 29, BLACK SABBATH (Algiers)

Hundreds of Jews were killed in rioting following the assassination of Naftali Busnach. Busnach, a shipping magnate, was the head of the Jewish community. He had a monopoly on much of the trade and extensive influence on the treasury. The Turkish garrison, jealous of his power, blamed him for the shortage of wheat and had him assassinated.

1806 July 26, NAPOLEON (France)

Formed the Conference of Notables to deal with the relationship of the Jews and the French State. It consisted of 112 deputies from all parts of the French empire. At the assembly, which was led by the financier Abraham Furtado and Rabbi Joseph David Sinzheim, the delegates were confronted with a questionnaire on polygamy, usury, loyalty, and intermarriage. Pleased with their answers, Napoleon decided to re-establish the Sanhedrin under his careful direction, with representatives from all congregations. Even though the assembly was to be held on the Sabbath (some claim this was a loyalty litmus test), they decided to attend and not risk the wrath of the Emperor.

1806 JAMES GREEN (Gibraltar)

The British council general of Morocco was requested by the British Jews of Gibraltar, to help annul the decree that no Jew is allowed to appear in Morocco in western clothing. The regulation did not apply to Christians. This denoted the first time that European Jews requested from their country to intercede with a Moslem power. He did so, and the decree was cancelled.

1807 May 14, BADEN (Germany)

Judaism was recognized as a tolerated religion. Although their rights improved, especially for the Schutzjuden (protected Jews), full emancipation would only be granted over 50 years later (see 1862).

1808 January 29, CANADA

Ezekiel Hart (1767-1843), though elected to the Canadian parliament, was prevented from taking his seat because, as a Jew, he could not take the oath "on the true faith of a Christian." Though re-elected in May 1808 and in April 1809, he was prevented from being seated each time. Only in 1832 did legislation pass allowing Jews to hold public office and giving them full civil rights.

1808 March 17, INFAMOUS DECREE (Decret Infame) OF NAPOLEON (France)

Cancelled any debt owed to Jews by those in military service, or by women if it was signed without the approval of their husbands or parents. It abolished the freedom of trade of the Jews by forcing them to acquire permits (which were almost never given) from the local prefects, and prevented Jews from settling in the area of the Upper and Lower Rhine.

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".

1808 December 1, JEROME BONAPARTE

Granted full emancipation to the Jews in Westphalia.


Jews were ordered into ghettos (mellahs) by the ruler of Morocco, Mulay Suleiman (1792-1822). This affected the cities of Tetuan, Rabat, Sale, and Mogador.

1808 July 20, NAPOLEON

Decreed that Jews must adopt fixed names. Some governments i.e. Bohemia forced Jews to adopt surnames but restricted their use of given names to biblical ones.


Decreed Napoleon. Some governments e.g. Bohemia forced Jews to adopt surnames but restricted their use of given names to biblical ones.


AKA 'The London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews'. This evangelical societys main aim ( though meeting with little success) was to convert Jews to Protestant Christianity. In addition, they believed in the importance of restoring the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Known today as the CMJ (Church's Ministry Among Jewish People) they have constantly taken a pro Israel position.

1810 - 1904 HAYYIM SELAG SLONINSKI (Bialystok, Poland)

Known as "Hazas". Orthodox mathematician and science writer. His works included Kochva d'Shavit on astronomy, Toldot ha-Shamayim on the calendar and Yesodai Hochmat Hashiur (Founding of the Science of Calculation). He founded Ha'Zefira, a Hebrew newspaper on science. His writings were accepted even by Orthodox Jews.

1811 December 28, CIVIL RIGHTS (Germany)

Were extended to Jews in Frankfurt.


Chancellor Karl August von Hardenburg with the approval of king Frederick William III (1770-1840) announced the full rights being extended to Jews of the Prussian Monarchy. Jews were still not allowed to be appointed to judicial and administrative offices. One of the other directives was that Jews now had to adopt family names. This directly led to the publishing of David Friedlanders call for a radical change in synagogue service, including substituting German for Hebrew, and deleting most references of the destruction of out ancient homeland. Prussia is out fatherland and German is out mother-tongue (Muttersprache)

1812 December 4, ARGENTINA

Though the Inquisition would only officially be abolished the following year, President Bernardino Rivadavia (1780-1845) called for freedom of immigration and promised the preservation of Jews' basic human rights.

1812 NAPOLEON (France)

Began his Russian campaign. Hasidim in Russia debated whether supporting Napoleon against the Czar would speed up the coming of the Messiah. In Western Europe many of the civil restrictions on the Jews fell wherever Napoleon conquered, although this did not take place in Russia.

1812 HANNAH ADAMS (1755-1831) (USA)

Wrote History of the Jews from the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Present Time. Adams, who was not Jewish, also included information on American Jewry and is considered one of the first woman professional writers in America.

1812 January 21, - 1875 MOSES HESS (Germany)

Author, socialist, and forerunner of the Zionist movement. In his book Rome and Jerusalem (1862), he based German anti-Semitism on race and nationhood and advised Jews to accept the fact and revive their own state in Eretz Israel. Hess, a socialist, orginally worked with Marx and Engels but grew disillusioned with the idea that a "progressive society would eradicate anti-Semitism".

1812 June 18, WAR OF 1812

Was declared by Congress. During the war, John Ordroneaux, a naval commander, sank five British ships in one battle and was raised to the rank of commodore. In 1814, at the Battle of Fort McHenry, there were 30 Jews in the garrison. Its defense inspired the composition of the "Star Spangled Banner". Another Jew, Captain Mordecai Myers, became a hero when he saved more then 200 men, as well as most of the supplies from sinking boats. He later became one of the first Jews to settle in western New York.

1812 - 1878 BARON JOSEPH GUENZBURG (Gnzburg) ( Russia)

Philanthropist, and banker. He was the founder and first president of The Society for the Promotion of Culture Among the Jews of Russia ( see 1863). He and later his children, were strong defenders of Jewish rights and great supporters of Jewish education. Guenzburg also supported The Society for Handicraft and Agricultural Work (ORT), and the Jewish Colonization Association (ICA). During the pogroms of 1881-2 he extended relief to hundreds of its victims.

1814 March 29, FREDERICK VI (Denmark)

Officially allowed Jews to find employment in all professions and made racial and religious discrimination punishable by law. Frederick (1768-1839) while giving the Jews the right to vote, still denied them the right to be elected to Parliament.

1815 March 6, LUBECK (Germany)

With the defeat of Napoleon, new restrictions were imposed on the Jews all over Europe. In Lubeck, the guilds demanded and obtained a decree expelling all Jews.


The immediate effect on the Jews of Napoleon's deposition was a return to their previous lack of freedom. At the Vienna Congress, Jews sent a Christian attorney, Carl Buchortz, to act on their behalf. An agreement was reached whereby "Jews were given rights in proportion to accepting the duties of citizenship." This was the first time that Jewish rights became a European political issue.

1815 - 1863 Civil rights lost (Corfu)

After enjoying full rights under the French (1797-1799 and 1805-15), Corfu became a protectorate of England . As a result Jews were forbidden to practice in the courts, and lost many of their rights. On June 2, 1864 Corfu was annexed to Greece and the Jews were officially granted equal rights, although in reality they were prevented from holding any public office and often attacked at polling stations.

1815 - 1863 Jewish civil rights lost (Corfu)

After enjoying full rights under the French (1797-1799 and 1805-15), Corfu became a protectorate of England. As a result Jews were forbidden to practice in the courts, and lost many of their rights. On June 2, 1864 Corfu was annexed to Greece. Officially Jews were granted equal rights, although in reality, they were prevented from holding any public office and often attacked at polling stations

1816 MUNICH (Bavaria, Germany)

Jews were allowed to bury their dead within the city limits. Until this time, all the Jewish dead had to be transported to Kriegshaber for burial. This marked the beginning of the official Jewish presence in Munich.

1816 - 1909 (29 Av 5669) SAMUEL SALANT (Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem) (Eretz Israel)

The son-in-law of Joseph Salant. He arrived in Jerusalem in 1841 and proceeded to become one of the most influential figures in Eretz Israel. During his time as chief rabbi, the population of Jerusalem grew from 5000 to 30,000 Jews. Salant was behind the establishing of educational facilities which would include instruction of Arabic and Hebrew. He was one of the founders of Bikur Holim (Cholim) hospital and encouraged people to move into the "new" neighborhoods outside the old city walls.


Was formed in New York. Its founders included Joseph Boudinot, a former president of the Continental Congress, and John Quincy Adams, then secretary of state. Many other such societies were organized, leading the Jewish community to publish pamphlets and articles against these efforts. The first pamphlet, Israel Vindicated (1820) was published by Abraham Colins.

1817 - 1893 (28 Av 5453) NAPHTALI ZEVI YEHUDA BERLIN (the Netziv) (Belorus, Russia)

Head of the Volozhin Yeshiva, which grew to over 400 students during his time. He was both a scholar and an organizer, and the yeshiva reached its zenith under his guidance. His works include Emek Davar, a commentary on the Torah, and Emek Hanatziv, a commentary on the Sifri. He was among the first religious leaders to encourage weekly study of the Torah portion. He joined the Hovevei Zion movement, which urged Orthodox Jews to support settlement in Eretz Israel. In 1892 the Russian government closed his yeshiva, and he felt that his place was with his community despite his great desire to go to Eretz Israel. His health rapidly deteriorated and he died shortly after.


Was set up by Alexander I. He appointed Prince Alexander Golitsyn, of the Russian Bible Society as its head. Golotsyn in turn created the Israelitish-Christian Society, offering financial incentives, free land ,as well as other privileges to those Jews who would convert.

1818 JOHN ADAMS (1735-1826) (USA)

Statesman and President. In a letter to Mordecai Manuel Noah, he wrote: "I wish your nation may be admitted to all the privileges of citizens in every country of the world." Regarding the re-establishment of a Jewish state, he wrote in the same year: "I really wish the Jews again in Judea an independent nation."

1818 May 5, - 1883 KARL MARX (Father of Communism)(Germany)

Converted to Protestantism as a child. He embraced Lutheran anti-Judaism and charged that the basis for Judaism is greed and that social emancipation could only be accomplished by freeing society from commercialism, which was associated with Jews. Although many Jews embraced Communism as a panacea, many fled to the haven of socialism or capitalism. Still, the Capitalists call the Jews Communists and vice versa. Marx's theories were published under the title Das Kapital in 1867.

1819 August 31, HAIM FARHI (Acre, Eretz Israel)

Was murdered on the command of Abdullah Pasha. Farhi was the head of an important banking family, which had been influential in helping Abdullah come to power. Farhi had previously narrowly escaped death at the hands of Abdullah's predecessor, Ahmad al-Jazzar Pasha. During Napoleon's siege of Acre in 1799, Farhi refused Napoleon's offer of a promised Jewish independence and defended the city. Farhi was warned that his former backer had a change of heart but he refused to flee, fearing a backlash against the Jews in the Galilee. He was noted for his generous philanthropy, especially in Acre and Damascus.


Addressing a group at the old south church in Boston, they announced that with the help American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions they were going to "Palestine" in order to help the Jews resettle. "Christians must strive to restore the sovereignty of their ancestral home... If the ottoman rule was to vanish nothing but a miracle would prevent their immediate return." They left the same year. Parsons died in Egypt in 1922. In 1825, Fisk was arrested by the Turks near Jerusalem and jailed. He was released but later attacked by Arabs near Nazareth and died of his wounds.

1820 March 4, ALEXANDER I (Russia)

Prohibited the employment of Christian servants by Jews.


The Jewish population of the United States rose from 10,000 to 250,000. (From 1830-1870 mostly German Jews arrived.)

1821 December 24, - 1891 LEON (YEHUDA) PINSKER (Russia)

Renowned physician and early Zionist. Pinsker's conduct during the cholera epidemic of 1848 earned him respect and admiration. His ideas on Zionism were set out in his pamphlet "Auto-Emancipation" (see 1887), which was the first textbook analysis of Modern Zionism. Pinsker believed in the purchasing of land and immigration of Jews as a first step in solving the problem of anti-Semitism.

1823 AFFAIR OF THE HATS (Tunisia)

The local bey (ruler) ordered all Jews, whether locals or foreigners, to wear a three corner cap. Despite the protests of European countries, the order was only rescinded seven years later when a new bey (Ahmad) came to power


Owed more than 21% of its public debt to Jews.

1823 - 1892 ERNEST RENAN (France)

French philosopher, historian and Semitic Philologist. Some have considered him the "Father of anti-Semitic anthropology" for his description of Jews as selfish exploiters trying to entrap "honest Christians", and his belief that the Semites were " an incomplete race. " . This being said he did not belief that Jewish people constitute a biological racial entity.

1823 CZAR ALEXANDER I (Russia)

Banned Jews from leasing farming lands and even living in small villages. Alexander, afraid the Jews would have undo influence on local peasants, decided to force them to move to larger cities where it would be easier to keep an eye on them.


Alexander I, after an initial period of liberalism, reverted to the anti-Jewish position of his predecessors. He began with forbidding Jews to have Christian servants and culminated just before his death with banishing all Jews from larger villages in the Mohilev and Vitbesk districts.

1824 DAVID DBETH 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 182432. 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.

1825 January 13, RUSSIA

Prior to his death, Alexander I expelled all the Jews from Mohilev and Vitebsk.

1825 - 1855 REIGN OF CZAR NICHOLAS I, BROTHER OF ALEXANDER (1796-1889) (Russia)

Made nervous by liberal developments in neighboring countries, he isolated Russia and banned Western ideas and liberalism. Half of the twelve thousand anti-Jewish laws passed between 1649-1881 originated during his reign. As an officer Nicholas had written in his diary that the Jews were "leeches who attach themselves to the populace and suck its blood."

1825 January 16, REFORMED SOCIETY OF ISRAELITES (Charleston, South Carolina, USA)

Was founded by forty seven members of the Kahal Kodesh Beth Elohim synagogue after their petition to institute "reform" was rejected. This marked the beginning of Reform Judaism in North America. The movement received further support with the immigration of German Jews, including reform leaders, to the United States after the revolution of 1848 The Charleston community was one of the largest and wealthiest in North America at that time.

1826 August 20, POPE LEO XII

Prohibited Jews from leaving the Rome ghetto without a written permit from the Criminal Tribunal. Jews meeting Christians while outside the ghetto were forbidden from speaking to them in a "familiar way".He also rebuilt the ghetto in Ancona, which had been demolished by Napoleon.

1826 March 6, KAISER FRANCIS II (Austria)

In reaction to the immigration of Jews to Eretz Israel, the Austro-Hungarian Kaiser (and last holy Roman Emperor ) passed a law forbidding secret immigration or the removal of funds from the empire.


The assessor of "Holy See", denied a request by cardinal Cesarei Leoni archbishop of Jesi ( Ancona Italy), to allow Christians work in Jewish houses on the Shabbat. He confirmed the ruling of The Third Lateran Council (1179) and Gregory IX (1233) prohibiting Jews from employing Christians .

1829 ISAAC JOST (Germany) (1793-1860)

Published the first history of the Jews by a Jew since Josephus, preceding Graetz by almost 50 years. As an educator and histographer, his approach was purely rationalistic, based on modern research and reflected his position of support for the Reform movement. Jost began his history with the Maccabees and ended in the nineteenth century.

1829 October 14, - 1884 EDWARD LASKER (Germany)

One of the first German Jews to enter politics. A defender of his people, he introduced the law which gave the Orthodox the right to establish their own school system.


This revolution - in which many Jews took part - was defeated.

1830 - 1831 POLAND

Revolted against Russia. Even during the revolt, General Chlopicki expelled the Jews from the National Guard at the insistence of the officers. The Jews formed their own unit called "the Beardlings".


Was the first constitution in the Danubian provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia (pre- Romania). All Jews were required to register with local authorities, and to indicate their professions in order that those Jews who [cannot] demonstrate their usefulness [could] be expelled


Jews had been present in Jamaica since the time of the British conquest in 1655, yet they were not allowed to vote until this date. Within fifteen years, eight of the 47 members of the House of Assembly (which didn't meet on Day of Atonement) were Jewish.

1831 - 1896 BARON MAURICE DE HIRSCH (France)

Banker and philanthropist, he tried at first to teach agriculture to Jews in Russia. When that failed, he established the Baron de Hirsch Fund of New York and later the Jewish Colonial Association (JCA). Both of these plans attempted to resettle the Jews in lands outside of Europe, especially Argentine rural areas, but both met with limited success. At the beginning of the 20th century the JCA also administered Baron Edmond de Rothschild's colonies in Eretz Israel. In 1873, Baron de Hirsch donated one million francs to the Alliance Israelite Universelle for its school system (see 1860).

1832 ITALY

Giuseppe Mazzini organized a new society called Young Italy which many Jews joined. Their goal was to unify Italy. Although they were defeated by the French, one of his followers was Garibaldi, who later played an important role in unifying Italy.


Granted political rights to Jews.

1832 November 3, JOACHIM LELEWEL (Poland)

A non-Jewish Polish revolutionist and historian. He called on the Jewish people to join in a revolution. He was influenced by Bartlomiej Beniowski, a Jewish Polish revolutionary into calling on Poles to help Jews to establish a homeland in Eretz Israel.

1833 October 29, HESSE-CASSEL (Germany)

Was formally made part of the kingdom of Westphalia. All Jews, except for peddlers and petty traders, were granted civic equality. The other German kingdoms took nearly forty years to grant civic equality to their Jews.


Jews were allowed to be admitted to the Bar. Two years later in 1835 Francis Goldsmid became the first Jewish barrister.


Ibrahim Pasha sent in troops to quell a local revolt against his rule. Despite the fact that the Jews had played no part in the revolt (and had been assured of protection), the troops were allowed 6 hours in which to plunder and attack the community and Synagogues. Witnesses reported five girls raped and murdered as well as seven men killed.

1835 CZAR NICHOLAS I (Russia)

Similar to Catherine II, Nicholas ordered a Ukase (decree) which restricted the Pale even further banning Jews from living in a 25 mile zone along the western front as well as the cities of Kiev, Nikolaev and Sevastopol.

1835 March, BAB EL HOTA (Jerusalem)

A number of courtyards and houses near the Lions gate were purchased by Jews. Unfortunately, a local blood libel in 1838, although dismissed, created an environment of fear. This coupled with the distance from other Jewish houses and the decrease in the Jewish population after the epidemic of 1838-9, caused it to be abandoned.

1836 November 5, POPE GREGORY XVI

Refused to stop the special cancellation tax which the Jews had to pay in lieu of running naked through the streets during the Saturnalia winter carnival. The race had been initiated by Pope Paul II in 1466. Pope Gregory XVI ruled: "It is not opportune to make any innovations" and affirmed its continuation.

1837 January 1, GALILEE EARTHQUAKE (Eretz Israel)

Registering approximately 6.5 (in today's terms) killed an estimated two thousand Jews perished mainly in Safed and Tiberius . Numerous monuments and archaeological sites were damaged. The Alsheich synagogue and the southern wall (containing the torah scrolls) of the Abuhav Synagogue were not affected. This together with the attacks the following year (see 1838), led many of the residents chose to resettle to Jerusalem and Hebron rather than rebuild. This led to the Jews becoming the largest ethnic population in Jerusalem within a decade.

1837 QUEEN VICTORIA (England)

Ascended the throne in England. During her reign there was a great increase in the number of Jews settling in England.

1837 - 1888 SAMUEL POLIAKOFF (Russia)

Railroad Baron. He built over 2500 Km of railroads as well as founding several banks. Though he refused to hire any Jews, he did, at the end of his life, play an active role in founding ORT and helped build the synagogue in St. Petersburg.

1838 June 30, SWEDEN

The Swedish government passed a law abolishing discrimination against Jews. Unfortunately, this law was repealed due to public objections. Another 30 years were to pass before Jews were given the right to vote.


Was published by Lord Alexander Lindsay (1821-1880) provided the first proposal by a major politician to resettle Jews in Palestine: The soil of "Palestine still enjoys her sabbaths, and only waits for the return of her banished children.

1838 July 18, POPE GREGORY XVI

Criticized the lack of measures against Jews in recent years."The unfortunate political events… have produced ... the failure to observe Apostolic Constitutions and the other Edicts regarding the Jews."


Influenced by other anti-Jewish riots under Mohammad Shah Qajar (1808-1848), the local community attacked the Jewish quarter. The synagogue was destroyed, over 30 Jews were killed and the rest of the community was threatened with annihilation. Moslem leaders offered to prevent further riots on condition that the Jews convert, which they did. The Jews became known as jadīd al-Islām (Ar.) by Muslims and as /i> Mashhadis by themselves. In secret they continued to practice Judaism. Years later over than two-thirds of them left Mashad for Khurasan and Afghanistan, where they openly returned to Judaism

1839 CLOTHES TAX (Lithuania)

A special Jewish clothes tax was imposed in order to encourage Jews to forgo traditional dress. The right to wear a kippa cost five rubles a year.


Organized by Montefiore, it found , 6,408 people Jews living in the country. This differed with the figure of 9,000 the 9,000 Jews reported by the British consul at the same time.


Was sent by leaders in the Perushim and Sephardic communities. In it, they supported agricultural work by Jews. Lehren (see 1784) the director of the Halukah was against it, believing that Jews should concentrate on study, and that the land is supposed to remain desolate until the coming of the Messiah.

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.

1840 August 11, ENGLAND

Lord Henry Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, in a letter to the ambassador in Constantinople wrote: "There exists...among the Jews...a strong notion that the time is approaching when their nation is to return to Palestine.... I instruct ... to strongly recommend to the Turkish Government ... to encourage the Jews of Europe to return to Palestine."

1840 September 25, LORD SHAFTESBURY (England)

Presented a paper to Foreign secretary Lord Palmerston (Henry John Temple). In it Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper) called for the recall of the Jews to their ancient land. He believed that the return of the Jews to the land of Israel was not only a Biblical prophecy but in the best interests of British foreign policy.

1840 February 17, RHODES BLOOD LIBEL

After the disappearance of a Christian boy, the Jews were accused his murder for ritual purposes. One Jew Elyakim Stamboli, was arrested and severely tortured, until he confessed. Others were arrested including the chief Rabbi, and the Jewish quarter was blockaded. The onset of the Damascus affair further inflamed the issue. The chief rabbi was tortured in the presence, and with the support of the vice councils of England, Austria and Sweden. Only in July were the Jews acquitted and released , despite the insistence of the vice councils that the Jews were guilty. The local pasha was removed from office.

1841 - 1842 EL SALVADOR

After the revolution it became an independent republic, with Dr. Juan Lindo serving as its president. Lindo, a descendent of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, was the founder of the National University of El Salvador, and author of the second constitution. His strong stand regarding education is reflected in his law which required each town with more then 150 people to erect a school. He also served as the president of Honduras (1847-1852).

1842 January 27, LONDON (England)

First English Reform synagogue was founded. It was known as the West London Synagogue for British Jews.


The Pale was further narrowed, displacing approximately 150,000 Jews. Sir Moses Montefiore traveled to Moscow in an unsuccessful attempt to intercede.

1843 October 13, B'NAI B'RITH (USA)

Was founded under the leadership of Henry Jones at Sinsheimer's cafe on Essex Street in New York, to maintain orphanages and homes for the elderly and widows. It extended its work to many spheres of American Jewish life, including combating anti-Semitism (A.D.L.) and working with students on campus (Hillel). At the time of its founding, there were approximately 15,000 Jewsish in the United States. It was the first Jewish fraternal society in the world.

1843 September 29, POPE GREGORY XVI

Denied Klemens von Metternichs (1773-1879) chief minister of the Austrian Empire appeal for Tolerance Towards Jews. The Pope replied that the restrictions placed on Jews have a sacred origin and cannot possibly be lightened. the Jews are forbidden such ownership ( property) by the sacred Canons as a Nation of deicides and blasphemers of Christ,

1843 - 1926 MEIR SIMCHA OF DVINSK (Lithuania)

Rabbi and Talmudist . Knowm for his work Ohr Somayach ( Light of Joy") on Maimonides, and Meshech Chochma ("The Price of Wisdom" on the Pentateuch . Although a mitnaged ,he was on very friendly terms with the hasidic counterpart in his town, Rabbi Yosef Rosen, known as the Rogatchover Gaon. During WWI he refused to leave the town as long as there were any Jews still present, and supported the idea of religious Zionism.

1844 December 31, BASKET TAX (Korobka) (Poland-Lithuania)

The right to collect the tax on kosher meat, and its by products (leather etc). Its origin is found in 17th century eastern Europe when it was established in some towns as a means to help their communities pay a special Jews tax to local authorities. Any funds left over were used to pay for the Rabbis salary and educational services. The right of collection of the Basket tax was auctioned off to the highest bidder. There was great opposition to this tax since it hurt the weaker levels of society making kosher meat prohibitive. In many places the intelligentsia and other privileged people received exemptions It was still in force until the 20th century.

1844 - 1910 KARL LUEGER (Austria)

Founder of an anti-Semitic Austrian Catholic party, the Christian Social Party (in 1893). He became mayor of Vienna in 1897 (see 1897) and was a strong supporter of Christian Socialism. When asked why some of his friends are Jews he replied I decide who is a Jew. Although later praised by Hitler. in Mein Kamph, in reality during his administration, the Jews of Vienna did not suffer more than anywhere else in Europe at the time


Was estimated as thirteen thousand inhabitants. These included eight thousand Turco-Egyptians, four thousand Greeks and Armenians, and one thousand Jews and Maronites. Very few local Arabs were noted as living in the city.


Was published by George Bush a professor of Hebrew. He called on "elevating the Jews" by recreating their state in Eretz Israel.

1845 August 19, - 1934 EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD "Hanadiv Hayaduah" (France)

Philanthropist and art expert. Known as the "Builder of Modern Eretz Israel". Rothschild's interest began as early as the mid-1870's after viewing a play by Alexandre Dumas, La Femme de Claude. This play promoted the return of the Jews to their homeland. But it was only after being approached by Rabbi Samuel Mohilever that he became active in supporting the new settlements of Zichron Yaakov and Rishon Lezion and helped establish Ekron and Rosh Pina. Rothschild at first did not wish to use his name and so the soubriquet "Hanadiv Hayaduah" (The well-known benefactor) was used instead. Although later there was tension between the settlers and Rothschild's managers, he single-handedly helped maintain the early efforts of the Zionist movement. Rothschild established PICA, the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, which acquired land and established industries. It is estimated that he spent over 50 Million dollars in supporting the settlements, as well as another half a million to help develop an electrical power station.


French naturalist and writer, published The Jews, Kings of the Epoch: History of Financial Feudalism. Tossenel (1803-1885) promoted the idea that the "Jewish spirit" was identical with capitalism and money-worship. "Every unproductive parasite living off the work of someone else, Jew, usurer, money-dealer - all are synonymous to me." He was influential in the development of German antisemitism in the 1880's.

1846 June 24, HUNGARY

The residence tax was officially abolished. In order to have it cancelled the Jews had to pay a one time fee of 1,200,000 florins.

1848 March 20, BERLIN (Germany)

Riots and street fighting killed 20 Jews. Anti-Jewish riots spread to Bavaria, Baden, Hamburg, and many other cities.

1848 March 29, SARDINIA

Carlo Alberto granted full rights to the Jews.

1848 April 6, GERMANY

In every part of Germany, excluding Bavaria, Jews were granted civil rights. As a result, Gabriel Riesser (a Jew and an advocate for Jewish emancipation) was elected vice-president of the Frankfurt Vor Parliament, and became a member of the National Assembly. It must be noted that for the most part, these freedoms existed only on paper and were not enforced.

1848 April 17, ITALY

The gates of the Roman ghetto were pulled down. Although Pope Pius IX was in favor of considering the removal of the ghetto gates, a popular leader named Ciceruacchio led a group who tore down the gates Passover eve. The Jews in the ghetto at first thought they were being attacked and hid in their houses.

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).

1848 LOUIS KOSSUTH (Hungary)

Led the revolt against Austria. Twenty thousand Jews were among the insurgents.

1848 - 1916 REIGN OF FRANZ JOSEPH I OF HAPSBURG (1830-1916) (Austria)

Considered to be one of the most enlightened monarchs of the 19th century. During his rule he cancelled many of the restrictions against the Jews and made them full citizens of the state in 1867. During the Mortara Case (1858) he tried in vain to bring about the release of the Jewish child. Franz Joseph was highly appreciated by the Jewish community, to the degree that anti-Semites referred to him as the "Judenkaiser."

1848 PIEDMONT, (Italy)

As a result of full emancipation given to the Jews, 235 joined the Piedmontese army. Among them was Enrico Guastalla who fought against Austria, and was promoted to Major. Guastalla joined Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italy's most brilliant soldier of the Risorgimento (Reunification), in his campaigns and was elected to Parliament in 1865.

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.

1849 July 28, HUNGARY

First National Assembly, led by the revolutionary leader Kossuth, granted complete political and civil rights to the Jews in recognition of their loyalty.


Joined with Mazzini and succeeded in unifying Italy for the first time since the Roman Empire. Many Jews volunteered in the Civil Guard. Three Jews were elected to the National Assembly, three to the City Council and two to the Committee for Defense.

1849 July 22, - 1887 EMMA LAZARUS (USA)

American poet whose poem "New Colossus" is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. She wrote many poems about the problems facing the Jews all over the world. In 1882 she wrote a series of open letters in the journal American Hebrew, called “Epistle to the Hebrews”, calling for American Jews to help establish a Jewish state. The following year she went to London, with letters of introduction from Henry James in an effort to put forth the idea of establishing a Jewish national homeland.

1849 July 29, - 1923 MAX NORDAU (Hungary-France)

Author, theater critic, physician and Zionist leader. Nordau had achieved international fame as a writer prior to meeting Herzl at the Neue Freie Presse. The Dreyfus Affair awakened him, as well as Herzl to anti-Semitism. Nordau became Herzl's first convert and together they formulated the goals for the Basel Program. Nordau was a proponent of aggressive political Zionism. His famous "Nordau Plan" called for the settling of five hundred thousand Jews in Eretz Israel as a means of acquiring a Jewish state (1920). Jabotinsky later (1936) adopted Nordau's plan as the basis for his Ten-Year Plan.

1849 - 1932 (19 Adar 5693) JOSEPH HAYYIM SONNENFELD (Slovakia-Eretz Israel)

One of the foremost leaders of "the "old Yishuv" in Jerusalem. The term "Old Yishuv" refers to those Jews who lived in Eretz Israel prior to the Zionist movement. He was instrumental in establishing (along with Yehoshuah Leib Diskin) schools and orphanages. Sonnenfeld was a dynamic rabbinical leader who preached separation between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox communities. At the same time, he was a strong supporter of the resettlement of Eretz Israel and the use of Hebrew as the official language. His scholarly works include responsa on the Shulchan Aruch as well as on the Talmud.

1850 RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883) (Germany)

Published his first anti-Semitic article Das Judentum in der Musik. The composer attacked the Jews, denying the existence of Jewish cultural creativity. He accused all Jews of being money hungry and condemned them as the "demon causing mankind's downfall" (Untergang). Wagner proposed that they be either assimilated or removed from cultural life. He was a strong supporter of political anti-Semitism. Wagner's daughter married the English/French anti-Semite, Houston Stewart Chamberlain.

1850 December 12, COMMISSION AGAINST VAGRANCY ( Romania)

Interior Minister Ion Bratianu, (1821-1891) instituted a number of anti Jewish legislation's. In his "commission against vagrancy", Jews were defined as a vagabonds who could be expelled at will from the country.


By Colinda Minor an American evangelist who had arrived in Eretz Israel the year before. She was active in helping the Jewish farm in Artas near Bethlehem and later a one outside Jaffa called Mount Hope where she received some help by Montefiore. Minor hoped to provide work for the local Jews and believed that "Gods time to favor Zion has come…. (He will) set his hand a second time to recover Israel."

1851 March 5, IASI ROMANIA

After the establishment of a "Commission Against Vagrancy", 37 Jews were forced onto a Turkish boat to be exiled. Some were thrown overboard.


A congregation for Russian Jews was formed with the help of former German Jewish immigrants. This traditional congregation opened a school and soon became the center of Orthodoxy in the U.S. Abraham Joseph Ash, an halachic authority, was elected as its rabbi in 1860 and held the position until his death in 1888. So as not to be dependent on a community salary, he also tried his hand in business without much success.

1852 January 16, MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL (New York, USA)

The first Jewish Hospital in the United States (originally known as "Jews Hospital of New York") was founded by a group of mostly German Jewish immigrants. One of its founders was Samson Simson, one of the first Jewish lawyers in New York City who had studied under Aaron Burr. That same year, he also helped found the Beth Hamedrash Hagodal. Other contributors included Samuel Myer Isaacs, who helped found Maimonides College in Philadelphia, and Adolphus Simeon Solomons, who in 1881 helped Clara Barton found the Red Cross.

1852 February 21, POPE PIUS IX (1792 1878)

Protested the Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold IIs, decision allow them to live outside the ghetto. In his objection he wrote "Otherwise, it will open the door to requests for other civil rights for Jews and for other non-Catholics."

1853 KEREM AVRAHAM ("Abraham's Vineyard")

Was purchased by James Finn (1806-1872) the British council in Jerusalem . Its purpose was to train Jews in agriculture and other trades so as to become financial independent of the Halukah system. Today it is a neighborhood in the center of Jerusalem, near Geulah.


According to Cesar Famin (1799-1853), a French diplomat and historian, there were 8,000 Jews 4000 Muslims and 3490 Christians in Jerusalem. For the most part, from that time on the Jews remained the dominant religion if not the actual majority in Jerusalem, other reports date it from 1844.


Was established by protestant Christians from the USA and Prussia including the Dickson family, Colinda Minor and the (Gross) Steinbeck family. They believed that by helping Jews return to the land of Israel they would hasten the coming of the messiah. The grandson of Johann Steinbeck was the author John Steinbeck.

1854 - 1944 EMANUEL LOEW (Hungary)

Naturalist and botanist. His four volume work "Flora of the Jews" names and examines the nature of plant life in the Bible and the place of plant life in Jewish law and legend. He listed 117 names of plants in the Bible and 320 in talmudic literature.

1854 March 28, CRIMEAN WAR

Britain and France joined the Ottoman empire in the war against Russia. Although the immediate cause were the rights of the Greek orthodox church in the holy land, The real reason was the expansion of Russia at the expense of the weakened Ottoman empire. Jews fought on all sides, especially the Russian side. The outbreak of war led to the cessation of any transfer of funds to Eretz Israel, which in turn resulted in great hardships. One outcome of the war was the expansion of counselor offices and the renewed interest in the area.


Alexander became Czar after his father's death during the Crimean war. Although by no means a liberal, the disaster of the war and comparisons with the West prompted him to make certain changes which included revoking serfdom, establishing local councils (Zemstovs) and reforming the legal system in 1864). Alexander's rise to the throne gave hope to the Jewish population after the harsh policies of Nicholas I. Although he refused to do away with the Pale, he did abolish the forced abduction of Jews into the army and allowed Jewish merchants (for the first time) to temporarily live in Moscow.


Was appointed by the Czar Alexander II to seek ways to help "fuse" the Jews into Russian society and separate them from the "historical solidarity" of the Jews among themselves.

1856 November 10, LONDON (England)

Jews College was opened by Rabbi Nathan M. Adler. Its main goals were to offer courses and training in both Jewish and secular subjects as well as to establish a Jewish secondary school. The secondary school only lasted about 20 years.

1856 - 1941 LOUIS BRANDEIS (USA)

Liberal jurist and lawyer, he was known as "the people's attorney". He opposed monopolies and fought for higher wages and freedom of speech. In 1916 Woodrow Wilson nominated him to the position of Supreme Court Justice. Brandeis was an ardent Zionist, and in 1939 he resigned to devote himself to the Zionist cause. Although he disagreed with Weizmann regarding what he considered to be the economic and organizational inefficiency of the World Zionist Organization, he continued to be involved with the establishment of the Palestine Economic Corporation and the Palestine Endowment Fund. Brandeis fought the Peel Partition Plan of 1937, maintaining that the Jews had a right to all of Mandated Palestine. Kibbutz Ein Hashofet was named in his honor.


The school had been established a month earlier by Eliza Herz nee Laemel and the poet Ludwig August Frankl (1810-1894), making it the first Jewish school in Jerusalem to combine religious and secular study. A ban against any school which would include secular subjects was issued by the Ashkenazi Jewish community in Jerusalem. One of the co-signatories was Rabbi Samuel Salant. Other Rabbis, including Yehiel Michal Pines (1849-1913) and David Friedman of Karlin (1823-1917) as well as members of the Sephardic community, declared the ban invalid, and demanded it be rescinded. In actually, it was reinforced later on by Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin (18181898) to include all Ashkenazi Jews anywhere in the land of Israel.

1857 September, TUNISIA

Under a direct threat from Napoleon III's troops, Muhammad al-Sadiq-Bey (1857-82) proclaimed the Pacte Fondamental which gave equal rights to Jews. It was enforced following the execution of a Jew, Batto Sfez, for allegedly blaspheming Islam. By 1864 the new constitution was abolished by the Bey due to pressure from the population.

1857 September 15, JAMES FINN (Eretz Israel)

The second British Consul in Jerusalem, wrote to the Foreign Secretary the Earl of Clarendon offering a plan to settle Jews in agriculture in Eretz Israel to help the land prosper. He proposed "to persuade Jews in a large body to settle here as agriculturalists on the soil ... in partnership with the Arab peasantry.

1858 June 23, MORTARA CASE (Bologna, Italy)

Edgardo Mortara, a seven year old Jewish boy, was kidnapped by the Roman Catholic Church on the pretext that a servant girl claimed that she had baptized him. The Pope, Pious IX, refused to surrender him despite much protest. The combination of the Damascus Affair and this affair led to the unification of many Jews, and later to the establishment of the Alliance Israelite Universelle.

1859 April 14, GALATZ (Romania)

Jews were accused of taking blood from a Christian child (for the baking of matzos), though not of killing him. Fifteen "culprits" were arrested. The next day a mob broke into the synagogue. Tney killed some of the worshippers, destroyed some fifty scrolls, and demolished the synagogue. The fifteen were soon released with no convictions, yet the government refused to allow the synagogue to be rebuilt for nearly twenty years.

1859 GARIBALDI (Italy)

126 Jews joined Garibaldi's volunteers ("Red Shirts") in helping to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies for the Kingdom of Italy. At this time, there were less than 30,000 Jews in all of Italy.

1860 May 17, ALLIANCE ISRAELITE UNIVERSELLE (Kol Yisrael Haverim) (France)

Was launched by a group of French Jews under the direction of Adolphe Cremieux. It was designed to defend Jewish rights and to establish modern Jewish educational facilities throughout the world. The Alliance is considered to be the first modern Jewish organization. It became the prototype of other organizations of its kind. The catalyst for its creation was the Damascus Affair in 1840, the Mortara Case in 1858, and the growing need to protect Jews on an international basis. The Franco-Prussian War diminished its universality and separate organizations were formed in Germany and England.


Following an attack by the Spaniards, 400 Jews were killed in the city of Tetuan in anti-Jewish riots. During the war many Jews took refuge in Gibraltar.


The grand-nephew of Daniel Mendoza. He achieved unprecedented honor (for a Jew) in England. Starting as a lawyer rather late in life, he was soon renowned for his abilities and was later appointed Lord Chief Judge, as well as Attorney General and Queens Council. Although not active in Jewish affairs, he stated in 1915, "The Jews ought to have a place" and a government of their own."

1860 - 1941 SIMON DUBNOW (Russia)

The most prominent Jewish historian of recent times. He wrote two separate histories: "History of the Jews" and "History of the Jews of Russia and Poland". He believed that the Jews had a cultural autonomy within other nations, and therefore should all speak Yiddish as a common language. Dubnow also encouraged Sholem Aleichem in his writing. Dubnov was killed in Riga in December 1941, allegedly by a Gestapo officer who had at one time been a student of his.


Jews fought heroically on both sides. 10-12,000 Jews fought for the Confederates and 15-20,000 for the Union, including 9 generals, 21 colonels, 40 majors, and 205 captains. The majority, including Isaac Meyer Wise, sided with the North for moral reasons.

1861 - 1893 SHUKR BEN SALIM KUHAYL I (Sana'a, Yemen)

Was also known as Mari (Master) Shukr Kuhayl I. During a particularly difficult period for Jews in Yemen, this poor preacher, announced himself as the messenger of the Messiah. He soon upgraded his claim to that of the Messiah himself, and won many adherents in Yemen. Shukr was killed and decapitated in 1865 by local Arabs. Prior to his death he promised to reappear and a few years late was succeeded by Judah ben shalom ( see 1867)

1861 March 3, EMANCIPATION ACT (Russia)

In an effort to gain support of the liberals, censorship was eased on newspapers, and controls relaxed in universities. Serfdom was also abolished with about half of them owning some land. Ironically this worked to the detriment of the Jews. The serfs, now producers, began to see the Jewish merchant middlemen as standing in their way to attaining wealth. This would lead to mass participation in the pogroms of 1881.

1862 MOSES HESS (1812-75) (Germany)

Wrote "Rome and Jerusalem". After his belief in the panacea of socialism waned, he came to the conclusion that anti-Semitism would not be cured by assimilation. Instead, he held that Jews should build their own nation and society in an independent Eretz Israel.

1862 December 17, GENERAL GRANT (USA)

In issuing his infamous order 11, he ordered all "Jews as a class" expelled from his lines. In New York City 7,000 Jews marched in protest against his decision. Lincoln rescinded Grant's order.

1863 - 1941 MENACHEM MENDEL USSISHKIN (Russia-Eretz Israel)

Zionist leader. He served as Hebrew Secretary at the First Zionist Congress and bitterly opposed the Uganda plan. His views were expressed in a pamphlet, "Our Program", which advocated group settlement based on labour. Ussishkin was President of the Jewsh National Fund for eighteen years, and he was the force behind large land acquisitions in Emek Hefer and in the Jezreel and Bet Shean valleys. He was one of the few Zionist leaders to actually settle in Israel.


Was founded by Baron Joseph Guenzburg. Also known as the OPE, its goal was to help Jews learn the Russian language, secular subjects and culture. There were numerous difficulties including antagonism by Russian bureaucracy, and the reluctance religious community which saw it as a tool for assimilation. During later years there was controversy on the language of instruction in the schools for refugees. The OPE wanted Yiddish, others wanted Russian, and the Zionists wanted Hebrew.

1864 - 1867 MEXICO

Backed by French troops Emperor Maximilian, the archduke of Austria, ruled as emperor of Mexico. Many Jews from France, Belgium, and Austria arrived in his wake, helping to establish the modern Jewish community in Mexico. After his execution by republican forces under Benito Juarez, the situation for the Jews in Mexico did not change for the worse.

1864 - 1888 MOROCCO

During this period, 307 Jews were murdered by Moslems without one Moslem being put on trial for this crime.

1866 January 15, SWITZERLAND

Jews were finally granted equal rights. It took another seven years for the Constitution to be changed.

1866 GALANTZ (Romania)

City officials started a tug-of-war with Turkey over the Danube. In this case, the Jews were the rope. They were forcibly shipped across the river and told not to return. Turkey refused to accept them and shipped them back. This continued until Romania decided to drown them if they returned. Two people subsequently drowned and Turkey allowed the survivors to remain.


An act was passed which replaced the oath of admission to Parliament, paving the way for Jews to be admitted to both houses.

1866 WILLIAM VAN PRAAGH (1845-1907) (Holland- England)

Began pioneering experiments teaching lip-reading to deaf mutes at the Jews' Deaf and Dumb Home in London.

1866 ALEXANDER CUZA (Romania)

Was overthrown. Cuza had united Romania for the first time in 1859 and tried to prepare for the emancipation of the Jews. He was succeeded by Ion Bratinau who, together with his brothers, ruled until World War I. The 50 years of their reign was a time of government-led pogroms and harassment of Jews.


Was issued by Carol I of Romania (1839-1914). In article 6 he proposed that "religion is no obstacle to citizenship" and continued "with regard to the Jews, a special law will have to be framed". The next day anti- Jewish roots ensued and the Bucharest Synagogue destroyed. Article 6 was then canceled and substituted with article 7 which stated "only such aliens as are of the Christian faith may obtain citizenship".

1866 - 1956 MURAD BEH FARAG ( Egypt)

Jewish scholar and poet. In 1923 he co-authored the first Egyptian constitution. Although a strong Egyptian patriot as portrayed in his poem 'My Homeland Egypt, Place of my Birth', he also believed in the right for the Jews to have a state of their own.

1868 December 3, SAXONY (Germany)

One of the last German states to give Jews full legal equality. Jews had been living in Saxony since the 10th century in towns like Magdeburg, Halle, and Erfurt. It was only one year before the inauguration of the North German confederation that they were given equality.


After the war of 1866 Prussia increased its territory to include Hanover, Hesse-Kassel, Saxony, etc. Under the initiative of the Liberal Party, full rights were extended to Jews, including serving in public positions. By April 16, 1871, this became Imperial Law and was extended to the entire empire. Although later reaction revoked most of this freedom, discrimination never returned to the level existing in the Middle Ages - until the rise of Hitler.

1869 October 20, MICHAEL BAKUNIN (1814-1876) (Russia)

In the article published in Le Reveil du Peuple, he attacked the Jews as being a "Nation of Exploiters". Bakunin was a revolutionist anti-Semite and one of the founders of anarchism. In his many articles, he emphasized that Jews controlled most of the commerce and banking in Europe and were the enemies of the proletariat. He viewed Rothschild and Marx as being two sides to the same coin.


Was published. This anti Semitic work was written by Jacob Brafmann, a former Jew who converted of Russian Orthodoxy. Brafmann was commissioned by the Holy Synod to foster Christianity among the Jews. He was appointed professor of Hebrew at the Minsk seminar in 1860. In his fictionalized account of the working of the Kahal, he accused the Jews as being the enemy within. Despite protests and refutations it was printed with public funds and distributed free to all government offices. In the same vein he also published Local and Universal Jewish Brotherhoods. Both of these works found themselves incorporated into what would become the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

1869 - 1944 BARON ERNST ABRAHAM VON MANSTEIN (Witsburg Germany)

Jewish convert, conductor, artist , educator, and scholar. A descendant of an aristocratic German family, he married Francisca Bezold, also a convert. His brother's adopted son was the Nazi general Erich von Manstein. Manstein tried to emigrate to Eretz Israel a number of times, but was refused permission. During the war, the Germans deported most of the Jews of the town to Terezinstadt, and although he could have stayed, he joined them. After his death his nephew arranged for him to be buried in Witsburg. Ironically he was buried with a Nazi flag in the Christian cemetery. His body was re-interred in the Jewish cemetery in 1960.


Published Le Juif, le judaïsme et la judaïsation des peuples chrétiens. Mousseaux proposed that the Jews had manipulated the French revolution and enlightenment, in order to destroy a Catholic France. He claimed that Jews engaged in ritual murder, and wanted to control the world and demanded that their equal rights be rescinded. His book was blessed by Pope Pius IX. It was quoted in Édouard Drumont's popular anti-Semitic work La France Juive, and a German edition was published by Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg in 1921.

1870 July 19, NAPOLEON III (France)

Declared war on Prussia (Franco-Prussian War). A number of Jews, including Jules Moch and Leopold See, attained high rank in the French army. See later became Secretary general of the Ministry of the Interior. The war also marked the beginning of Rabbis serving as chaplains in the German army. After the War the region of Alsace and part of Lorraine became annexed to Germany. Many Jewish families preferred to emigrate rather than be under German rule.

1870 September 20, ROME (Italy)

After the defeat of Napoleon, Victor Emanuel seized the Capital, breaking the power of the Papal State. On October 13 the Jews were proclaimed free while the Roman ghetto, one of the oldest and cruelest ghettos in Europe, was torn down and soon abolished. This was the last ghetto system to fall. It had lasted three hundred and fifteen years.

1870 October 24, ALGIERS

Under the leadership of Adolphe Cremieux, France granted Algerian Jews French citizenship. Up to this date they could only be naturalized individually. Approximately 35,000 Jews took advantage of this right.


Were granted a baronetcy by the archduke of Hesse-Darmstadt. The title was later made hereditary by Czar Alexander II. The Guenzburgs were noted for their financial institutions in Russia which helped develop railroads and mines. The family was instrumental in trying to ease the plight of Jews in the Pale.


Jews and Catholics were allowed to run for public office, although in order to become a minister one had to be a member of the Swedish state church. This regulation remained in effect until 1951.


The forcing of Jews to hear conversion sermons was abolished by Pope Pius IX, after almost six hundred years(1278).

1870 - 1953 HILAIRE BELLOC (England)

French born British poet. Considered the most prolific spokesman for English Catholicism, he wrote 150 books. In his book The Jews (1922) he argued that the existence of the Jewish people "presents a permanent problem of the gravest character," and was a threat to the " white race". He generated the idea that Jews were only interested in money, yet he condemned Nazi anti-Semitism.

1870 October 24, CREMIEUX DECREE

Minister of Justice Adolphe Cremieux, granted full citizenship for the Jews in French-ruled Algeria.

1871 AUGUST ROHLING (Austria)

Arch anti-Semite, he published his Talmud Jude in which he claimed Jews were encouraged to cheat and attack Christians. It was often quoted in the ritual murder trial in Tiza-Eszlar (1882). He was the author of other anti-Semitic literature and was largely responsible for the outbreak of blood libels at the end of the century. In 1883 Rohling lost a libel suit against a Viennese Rabbi who accused him of not having the ability to even read the Talmud. Though Rohling was dismissed from his position at the University, his book continued to gain widespread popularity.

1871 - 1890 OTTO VON BISMARCK (Germany)

Served as chancellor of Germany. Although liberal support brought him to power, he joined the reactionaries. He tried to suppress democracy and stood in the way of Jews who opposed him.

1871 March 28, (Easter Sunday) FIRST MAJOR ORGANIZED POGROM WITHIN RUSSIA (Odessa)

Organized by local Greek merchants, the Jews were accused of stealing a cross. Thousands of local inhabitants joined in, supported by the police and the local governor.

1872 April 22, BAVARIA (Germany)

Jews were granted civil rights as part of the constitution of the German Reich of 1871, though some of the special "Jewish taxes" were only abolished in 1880.

1872 RUDOLF MOSSE (Germany)

Founded one of the great Berlin Dailies, the Berliner Tagblatt to which many Jews contributed their talents, i.e. Wolff and Bernard.


Discrimination against Jews began in what is now City College of New York.

1873 July 12, PERSIA

Shah Nasr-ed-Din and Adolphe Cremieux met to discuss the problems of oppressive social and economic discrimination against the Jews. The Shah agreed to encourage Jewish schools, and work to improve the Jewish condition. Unfortunately, despite his intentions, the government did little to prevent attacks against the Jewish population or to rescind many of the anti-Jewish regulations.


Jews became the scapegoat for the over-speculation which occurred after the Franco-Prussian War.

1873 January 9, - 1934 CHAYIM NAHMAN BIALIK (Eretz Israel)

Poet laureate of the Jewish national movement from his debut in 1892 (El Ha-Tsippor - To the Bird) until his death. Bialik wrote both essays and poetry in which he voiced the hopes, joys, and woes of his people. He believed that unfortunately only persecution would move people to accept Zionist aspirations. After the 1903 massacre in Kishinev, Bilalik was asked to visit the site. Afterwards he wrote Beit Ha-hareigah (In the City of Slaughter) where he condemned the cowardice of the local Jews. This served as a catalyst for the organizing of local Jewish defense units. Two of his greatest poems are Metei Midbar (Dead of the Desert) and Megillat Ha'esh (Scroll of Fire). Bialik also translated Don Quixote and William Tell into Hebrew and was president of the Hebrew Language Council.

1876 GEORGE ELIOT (England)

Published Daniel Deronda. As a Christian, she envisioned her protagonist finding his Jewishness, which led him to establish a Jewish Eretz Israel. The novel had a profound influence both in England and the United States, portraying a real possibility of Jews returning to a viable homeland.

1876 - 1909 SULTAN ABDUL HAMID II (Ottoman Empire)

Considered to be a benefactor to Turkish Jews, including Jewish refugees from Romanian persecutions. On the other hand, he disregarded his own constitution and was considered a tyrant when it came to anything which he felt would weaken his authority and rule, which also included Zionism.


Was refused admission to the Grand Union Hotel in Saratoga Springs because he was Jewish. Seligman was a renowned philanthropist and helped the Union cause during the Civil War for which in recognition, President Grant had offered him the post of Secretary of the Treasury. Judge Henry Hilton ruled that it was bad for business to allow Jews to enter the resort. Though the Grand Union Hotel was not the first incident in the USA, it received a great amount of publicity.

1878 August 8, PETAH TIKVAH (Gate of Hope) (Eretz Israel)

A colony was established in Eretz Israel that was founded by a group of Orthodox Jews who wished to "work the land". It was abandoned in 1881 after Arab attacks and re-established a year later by people of the first Aliyah.

1878 June 13, BERLIN CONGRESS (Romania)

At a summit of European powers discussing the Balkan region, civil rights were "guaranteed" for Romanian Jews. The Romanian populace and government soon ignored this order.


A conference of evangelical Christians published the Niagara creed, which included the belief that the Jews must first be returned to the land of Israel before there could be a second coming.

1879 ALBERT NEISSER (Germany)

Discovered the bacillus of gonorrhea. Although he was baptized, he employed many Jews and encouraged them in their work.

1879 KUTAIS (Georgia)

Jews were accused of murdering a Christian girl for ritual purposes. In this, one of the last ritual murder cases, the defense council tried to prove that local Monks were behind the accusations and presented a social analysis of ritual murder cases.

1879 - 1923 VLADIMIR MEDEM (Russia)

A Russian Bundist. He advocated the treatment of the Jews as a nationality (like the Poles) based on socialism. Though he was baptized in infancy, he returned to Judaism and was one of the founders of the Bund.

: The Berlin Anti-Semitism Dispute

was begun by Heinrich Gotthard von Treitschkes essay Our Outlook. Von Treitschke (1834 1896),was a German historian Reichstag member, and virulent anti-Semite. He coined the phrase Die Juden sind unser Unglck!" ("The Jews are our misfortune!"), which was became the motto of Der Strmer the Nazi newspaper. He was strongly opposed by Theodor Mommsen ( 1817 1903) a liberal nationalist and classical scholar who denounced von Treitschke.

1880 RUSSIA - ORT (Russian initials for Obstchestuo Resemes lenovo Truda)

The Society for the Encouragement of Handicraft was established by Baron Horace de Guenzburg. Its goal was to organize vocational programs for poor Jews throughout the world.

1880 October 5, - 1939 VLADIMIR JABOTINSKY (Odessa,Ukraine-Eretz Israel)

Founder of the New Zionist Organization (1935), the Haganah (1920), the Jewish Legion (1917), Betar (Brit Trumpeldor) (1923), Revisionist Party (1925), and the Irgun (1937). Until he joined the World Zionist Organization, Jabotinsky was considered by Tolstoy and Pushkin to be one of Russia's most promising writers. He was soon recognized as a distinguished statesman, linguist (he wrote in over seven languages, translating Poe and Dante into Hebrew) and orator par excellence. In 1935 he split with the World Zionist Organization, accusing them of procrastinating and developing defeatist policies. He believed in 90% immigration and 10% politics, as well as the use of Hebrew only as a state language (the Establishment considered him unrealistic). In the 1930's he organized an aviation and navy school in Europe, while at the same time calling for the complete evacuation of Eastern Europe. One of the last of the hundreds of pamphlets he wrote was entitled The Eleventh Hour (1939) and it called for the immediate resettlement of 600,000 Polish Jews. He was branded an alarmist. He died of a heart attack while visiting Camp Betar in Hunter, New York.

1881 April 28, (Easter) KHERSON, ELIZABETHGRAD (Russia)

A tavern dispute on blood libels spawned massive outbreaks against the Jews (in which soldiers often joined) in Kiev (May 12) and Odessa (May 15). In all, over a 223 pogroms occurred in Russia over the next two years. Ignatyev, the Minister of the Interior, insisted that the Jews caused the pogroms. General Drenbien refused to endanger his troops "for a few Jews".

1881 December 25, WARSAW (Poland)

Anti-Jewish riots began in Poland. In Warsaw twelve Jews were killed, many others were wounded, and some women were raped. Two million rubles worth of property was destroyed. All of this led to an increase of emigration to the west.

1881 - 1897 ALGERIA

There were anti-Jewish riots throughout most of the country after Jews were granted citizenship.

1881 - 1914 RUSSIA

Mass emigration. Each year more then 50,000 Jews left Russia. By the beginning of World War I 2,500,000 Russian Jews had left. Some years the numbers reached well over 100,000.

1881 - 1900 USA

600,000 Jews entered from Russian and Romania.


Arrived in the United States, mostly from Eastern Europe.

1881 - 1963 POPE JOHN XXIII

The first Pope to speak out forcefully on behalf of the Jews. Pope John (1958-1963) followed the controversial Pope Pius XII who during the holocaust had never publicly condemned the murder of the Jews. Pope John was outspoken in his sympathy for those Jews slaughtered by the Nazi's. He composed a "Prayer of Repentance" in which he begged forgiveness for all that the Church had done to the Jews.

1881 March 14, REIGN OF ALEXANDER III (Russia)

Devoted to medievalism, he urged the return to a Russian civilization. Alexander III attacked and persecuted liberals and revolutionaries alike. He did not though revert to reestablishing serfdom or canceling many of the judicial reforms. The most influential person during his reign was Pobestonostov, his financier and procurator of the Holy Synod, who earned the title "the Second Torquemada". The newspapers in Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa began a campaign against the Jews. The outcome of the anti-Jewish pogroms, which were to continue almost unabated until 1905, sparked the mass emigration of Jews from Russia and its environs to the West.

1881 February 10, LA CIVILTA CATTOLICA

The official Jesuit publication (founded by Pope Pius IX) published an article justifying pogroms as a natural consequence of the Jews demanding too much liberty. The article was written by Father Giuseppe Oreglia di Santo Stefano, one of the journal's founders.


German economist and philosopher, published Die Judenfrage (The Jewish question). Duehring (18331921) was one of the initial proponents of modern racial antisemitism, based on anthropology rather than religion. He influenced the Nazi Alfred Rosenberg who borrowed some of his ideas in his book Die Spur des Juden im Wandel der Zeiten (The Track of the Jews Through the Ages) (1920).

1881 October 6, JUDAH LEIB LEVIN

Urged in the Hamgid magazine for Jews to go to America rather than Eretz Israel . It is a country settled by enlightened people... the holy land where we would be slaves to the sultan." Levin (1844-1925) known as Yehalel, was a well known Hebrew poet and socialist. This debate was of vital importance at this time. Within 10 years almost 200,000 people would leave Russia approximately 75% of them would go to the United States.

1881 - 1965 MORITZ (DON MAURICIO) HOCHSCHILD (Germany- Bolivia- USA )

Mining magnate. Though criticized by the Bolivian government as a ruthless industrialist, it only recently became known that during the late 1930's, he also used his position and wealth to bring over 9000 Jews to Bolivia . Hochschild provided housing for many, and set up a Jewish school for them in La Paz .

1882 January, COUNT NIKOLAI IGNATYEV (Russia)

The anti-Semitic minister of the Interior. He was requested by Alexander III to set up local commissions of inquiry into the blame for the recent pogroms. Ignatyev determined that they were caused by "Jewish exploitation." This led to the publishing of the May laws. In his desire to rid himself of the Jewish population, Ignatyev allowed Jews to emigrate. This resulted in massive immigration to the west. Alexander himself commented upon hearing about the pogroms "And I, to admit the truth , am glad when the Jews are being beaten".

1882 April 1, TIZA-ESZLAR (Hungary)

A blood libel began when a servant girl went missing. Although not the slightest evidence was found that Jews were even remotely involved, the young son of the janitor of the synagogue was interrogated - whereby he described full details of the "murder." The Jews were then accused of having the girl kidnapped for ritual murder purposes. Fifteen people were brought to trial despite the protests of Lajos Kossuth (non-Jewish leader of the Hungarian Independence Movement) and the fact that the girl's body was found in the river. A year later all of them were acquitted.

1882 April 10, PODALIA (Russia)

A pogrom left 40 dead, 170 wounded, and 1,250 dwellings destroyed. Fifteen thousand Jews were reduced to total poverty.


Based on the "findings" of Count Ignatyev's commissions, the May or "Temporary" Laws were issued. Jews were banished from all rural areas and towns of less than ten thousand people, even within the Pale. Strict quotas were placed on the number of Jews allowed into higher education. As formulated by Konstantin Pobedonostev, the Russian statesman and anti-Semite, they were designed to "cause one-third of the Jews to emigrate, one-third to accept baptism, and one-third to starve". These laws remained in quasi-effect until 1914 and provided the impetus for migration to America as well as expanded interest in the settlement of Eretz Israel.

1882 July 31, RISHON LEZION - THE FIRST ALIYAH(Eretz Israel)

Was founded by a group of 10 families. Later that year, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, in response to the Russian pogroms and a plea by Rabbi Samuel Mohilever, agreed to help the new Moshava. The settlement marked the beginning of the first Aliyah (going up) to Eretz Israel, and the beginning of Rothschild's deep involvement with settlement activities.The first Aliyah which lasted until 1904 came in three waves 1882-1884 comprising of Romanian and Russian Jews, 1890-91 from Russia and 1900-1903 from Russia and Eastern Europe. Most of the immigrants came due to harsh persecution and pogroms, economic disasters, the influence of the Hovevei Zion and the fact that there was in place a mass emigration movement throughout eastern Europe - although mostly to the United States. Around 30-40,000 Jews arrived during these periods bringing the Jewish population to 55,000.

1882 December 12, ROSH PINA (Eretz Israel)

Was founded by 130 Romanian Jews. Ironically they arrived on a ship to Beirut named the Titus.. The settlement was originally founded by residents of Safed in 1878 who had named it Gei Oni ("Valley of My Strength) but was abandoned after less then two years.


Wrote Ein Zukunftsbild which envisions a Jewish state ruled by a constitutional monarchy and divided into tribes with Hebrew as its national language. He described a modern exodus and predicted a Europe without Jews after anti-Jewish persecution that would be led for the most part by Germany. Eisler wrote his book 17 years before Herzl's The Jewish State.

1882 March 29, (Easter) BALTA (Ukraine)

During a local pogrom, the Jews succeeded in defending themselves until local police and soldiers disarmed and arrested many of them. During the night around 5,000 peasants arrived in the city. The local priest, Radzionovsky, with the help of some of the militia, held the crowed back for an hour until the arrival of the heads of the army garrison and the district police who directly ordered the soldiers to step aside. Forty Jews were killed, 20 women raped, 170 wounded, and 1,250 dwellings destroyed, leaving fifteen thousand Jews in total poverty.

1882 January 1, LA CROIX ( The Cross)

A French catholic news paper published an article entitled "Who Governs France". The author alleged that Jews control Germany , and asked if they will " baptized or not" eventually control France. The paper (now a daily) is still published.

1883 February 4, COUNT K.I. PAHLEN (Russia)

Was commissioned by Alexander III to "Study of the Current Laws Concerning the Jews" . His report, issued on May 24, 1888, recommended by a majority opinion "changing the system of laws and restrictions for a system of graduated laws of freedom and equality". They counted around 650 special laws concerning the Jews." The czar decided to accept the minority report by Count Dimitri Tolstoy, to continue the policy of preventing Jews from leaving certain areas and even instituted a quota for Jews at universities and secondary schools.

1883 HARTUV (Artuf) ( Eretz- Israel)

Land near the todays town of Beit Shemesh, was purchased to set up an agricultural settlement by the Jewish Refugees fund. Headed by Lord Aberdeen its purpose was to provide Russian refugees with work and to eventually convert them - it lasted 3 years. Twelve years later it was bought and settled by Jews from Bulgaria. rnrn


Anti-Jewish riots began and continued until 1904. Many Jews immigrated to Anatolia, Turkey.


As a result of constant persecutions Jews began to emigrate to Eretz Israel.


William Hechler (1845 -1931) an Anglican minister, had traveled to Eastern Europe two years earlier to investigate anti-Semitism. There he met with Leon Pinsker who introduced him to modern Zionism. In Hechler's pamphlet, he called for the Jews to return to Eretz Israel. Hechler attended the first Zionist congress and formed a strong relationship with Herzl. He made great efforts to encourage close ties between the grand duke of Baden and Herzl and even tried to arrange a meeting between Herzl and the czar. His house was also a museum which included Montefiore's carriage, which he donated to the Eretz Israel museum upon his death.


The first group of Yemenite Jews moved into small huts and caves in a small village on the slopes facing the city of David. Due to their dark complexion, different pronunciation of Hebrew and dissimilar customs, the Jewish community initially treated them with suspicion, As such; the first people to help them were Christian missionaries. Later, they were aided by Rabbi Israel Dov Fromkin, who established the Ezrat Nidachim (Help for the Remote), society. By 1891, there were 45 permanent stone houses, and a synagogue (Beit Knesset Ohel Shlomo). After the riots of 36-38 the residents war evacuated (see August 1938).


He served as Rabbi and the chief justice of the rabbinical court (av bet din) in Pishtian, Hungary. As a follower of the Munkaczer Rebbe, he had originally supported his anti-Zionist approach. However, his witness of the 1938 Nazi invasion into Czechoslovakia and its persecution of the Jews changed his views. He wrote Em ha-banim semeicha. (A happy mother of children) which was published in 1943. Teichtal in opposition to his Rebbe defended the position of rebuilding the land of Israel, believing that it was the key to eventual redemption. He was killed in the last days of the war on a transport train from Auschwitz trying to defend a fellow Jew. He also wrote a responsa entitled Mishneh Sochir.


Published his notorious anti-Semitic harangue La France Juive in which he attributed all of France's ills to the Jews. His writings helped provoke and maintain the Dreyfus Affair.

1886 - 1939 BELA KUN (Hungary)

A young supporter of Lenin, he eventually became the head of the Hungarian government, forming a Soviet Republic. Kun refused to tolerate any opposition and his harsh line alienated the peasants. He was forced to flee after a series of disasters. Kun was killed by Stalin in 1939. Although totally alienated from Judaism he did appoint other Jews to governmental positions. After his collapse, anti-Jewish riots broke out. Approximately 7,000 were murdered.


Although Jews were forcibly conscripted into the army, they were banned from all military schools. This was soon followed by Jews being prohibited from joining the army medical corps and military bands. At the same time, Jewish communities were severely fined if the quota of Jewish conscripts wasn't reached. In addition, new education restrictions were instituted: no more than ten percent of Jews in the Pale and five percent outside the Pale were allowed to attend University.


A German orientalist and anti-Semite, wrote the essay "Jews and Indo-Germanics. “One would have to have a heart of steel to not feel sympathy for the poor Germans, and, by the same token, to not hate the Jews,… (or) those who…advocate for the Jews, or are too cowardly to crush these vermin". He laid the foundation for Stoecker (see 1879) and Nazi ideology.


Its purpose was and is to publish books of Jewish interest in English. Among its hundreds of publications are Graetz's, Dubnow's and Baron's History of the Jews, and Ginsburg's Legends of the Jews. Other important authors included Israel Zangwill, Leo Baeck, Cecil Roth, Jacob R. Marcus, and Louis Finkelstein. They have also published the American Jewish Yearbook for nearly 100 years (1899).


Jews were officially allowed to live in three cities: Helsinki, Turku, and Vyborg. Although there were already about 1,000 Jews in Finland, until this date all Jews were temporary residents and had to renew their permits every three months. They were only permitted to deal in second-hand clothes and were forbidden to leave their city of residence.


First began. Although Jews had been living in Argentina since the beginning of the 17th century they only received rights in 1853. To a great extent this was achieved through the efforts of Baron de Hirsch's Jewish Colonial Association (JCA). A census taken two years earlier showed 366 Jews in Buenos Aires.


Jews were not allowed to practice law without a special permit.

1890 April 1, ZIONISM

Nathan Birnbaum (1864-1937) in his journal Selbstemanzipation (Self Emancipation) coined the term "Zionism". Birnbaum's idea was to change the philanthropic approach of the time towards the return of Jews to Eretz Israel to a more activist or political one. Although the idea of a return to Zion had been a foundation of Jewish thought and belief since biblical times, it only became a practical political movement at this time. This was later adopted as the Basel Program by the First Zionist Congress under Herzl (see 1897).


Published Caesar's Column, a utopian anti-Semitic novel showing the Jews (Israelites) as the international bankers and rulers of Europe.


Was organized by the Reverend William E. Blackstone an American evangelist. This was the first Ecumenical conference between Christians and Jews in America. It called for the restoration of Israel to the Jewish people (the Reform movement did not participate). A joint, Christian-Jewish declaration against Russian oppression of the Jews was also declared.


Was presented with a petition by prominent non-Jews requesting an international conference to consider and bring to a just conclusion the Jewish claims to Eretz Israel.

1891 March 28 - 29, (Passover) JEWS EXPELLED FROM MOSCOW (Russia)

Grand Duke Sergei, the Czar's brother who had just become governor of Moscow, ordered the expulsion of all Jews from the city. Permission to remain was only given to those who would convert or to women who were willing to become prostitutes. In addition, a few thousand former cantonists who were registered and wealthy merchants were allowed to continue residing in Moscow. In January 1892, in middle of a deep cold spell, the Jewish quarter was surrounded and Jews who had until then avoided expulsion were hunted by the police and firemen. In all, approximately 14,000 Jewish families were expelled to the Pale.

1891 September 11, JEWISH COLONIAL ASSOCIATION (France-England)

Was officially established by Baron de Hirsch. Other shareholders included, among others, Rothschild, Cassel, and Goldsmid. De Hirsh himself donated two million pounds and incorporated the Association in London. His plan was to promote migration of Russian and European Jews and settle them in agricultural areas in countries around the world.

1891 April 1, Ritual murder accusation (Corfu)

Rubina Sarda the local Jewish tailor's 8 year old daughter, was found dead. Her father Vita was immediately accused of the crime by the local constable. Others, including police, spread a rumor that the girl was not Jewish but really a Christian by the name of Maria Desylla, and was killed for ritual purposes. The local Greek orthodox leader or metropolite refused to intervene and disappeared until the incident was over. Despite a declaration by her teacher, confirmed by the French consul at Corfu, that she was Jewish the local Jewish community was attacked with violence spreading to other parts of Greece. Approximately 5 of the 7,000 Jews of Corfu fled by boat with their property confiscated by locals. Some were thrown overboard. None of the perpetrators were punished.


Sent a petition signed by 413 Jewish and Christian leaders to President Benjamin Harrison and Secretary of State James G. Blaine, calling for a conference with the aim of returning Jews to their native homeland. Although ignored, Blackburn (1841–1935) sent a second petition to President Wilson 1916. There is a debate as to whether it had any effect on Wilson's decision to recognize the Balfour declaration.

1891 SELAH MERRILL (Jerusalem)

The American consul to Jerusalem wrote "Jews and Jewish Colonies in Palestine”. This in response to a request by the state department regarding the Blackstone memorial. In it he suggested that " The Jews need to learn their place". What the Jews wanted, he believed, wasn’t land to colonize, but cities “where they can live on the fortunes or the misfortunes of other people.” He blamed Russian anti-Semitism on the behavior of the Jews. Merrill served as the consul to Jerusalem on and off between 1882 and 1907.


The official Vatican Newspaper publishes an article supporting ritual blood accusation. The article claimed that there were many unimpeachable witnesses to the fact that Jews use Christian blood for preparing Matzo.


Was created to defend Jews against anti-Semitic libels in Germany. After 1933 it provided legal advice to German Jews. It was closed down by the Gestapo in 1938.

1893 BUKHARA (Russia)

After the "May laws" were issued, many Jews decided to leave for Israel. The Bukharim set up their own community in Jerusalem.

1893 JUSTINAS PRANAITIS (St. Petersburg, Russia)

"Proved" that Jews used the blood of Christian children in the baking of matzos. In 1911 he was the "expert" witness in the Beilis trial.


Was created by German Jews to protect immigrant girls from white slave traders. Founded by Hannah Solomon, it also established educational, social, and cultural services for women. It was the first national women's Jewish organization in the United States.

1893 - 1965 MARGARETE SOMMER (Germany)

Catholic social worker. During the Holocaust, she helped protect Jews from deportation to death camps and hide them whenever possible. She was also a leader in the Catholic resistance circle of Berlin. In August 1942 she composed a report which was sent to Rome, regarding the deportation of Jews and the conditions in concentration camps. Sommer together with Konrad Preysing, the German prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, made a major effort to get the Catholic Church to speak out and even drafted a statement for the Fulda Conference in 1943. The declaration would have condemned German atrocities, but they were stymied by Cardinal Adolf Bertram who chaired the conference. Yad Vashem recognized Margarete Sommer as Righteous Among the Nations.

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.

1894 - 1917 NICHOLAS II (Russia)

Last of the Russian Czars. Nicholas was extremely anti-semitic. He continued Alexander III's policies against the Jews and carried them one step further by commissioning Sergei Nilus, a monk, to write something which would arouse hatred of the Jews. The result of this was the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion (see 1905). A weak ruler, he was influenced by everyone around him: Mescherski (editor of a Slavophilist newspaper), Pobednostav and especially his wife, Princess Alix (Alexandra Fedorovna.)

1894 - 1981 URI TZVI GREENBERG (Galicia - Eretz Israel)

Nationalist poet and journalist. In 1923 he called on Jews to leave Europe, predicting its destruction. After the 1929 riots in Eretz Isreal, he became one of the founders of the Brit HaBiriyonim (The Strongmen's union) which was the activist division of the Revisionist Movement ( see 1925). He also served in the Knesset as a member of the Herut Party.


Among the 6 Jews who won medals (8 gold), were two cousins on the German gymnastics team, Alfred and Gustav (Felix) Flatow. Alfred won three gold medals Gustav two. During WWW II they fled to the Netherlands. They were eventually deported to Theresienstadt where they both died, Gustav of starvation..

1896 - 1989 SALO BARON (Austria-USA)

Historian and Scholar. Baron received doctorates in law, philosophy, and political science as well as rabbinical ordination. Although a prolific author, he is chiefly famed for his 17 volume A Social and Religious History of the Jews which relates to social history rather then concentrating on personalities.

1896 February 14, HERZL (Vienna, Austria)

Published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State). This was basically a revision of his Address to the Rothschilds. In it Herzl envisioned a Jewish state as the only solution to the "Jewish Question". This could be attained in two stages, firstly the establishment of a political base and then mass aliyah (immigration). Many Western European Jews rejected his thesis, but it had the effect of pushing him into the spotlight and thereafter he was regarded the leader of the Zionist movement.


William Hechler, the Anglican minister who befriended Herzl, met with his friend the Grand Duke Frederick I of Baden, ( the Kaisers uncle) and the Kaiser himself. He broached the idea of restoration of the Jews to their historic homeland. This led to a meeting between Herzl, the grand duke and Hechler on April 23, which in turn led to the later historic meetings between Herzl and the Kaiser.

1896 - 1989 SALO BARON (Galicia-USA)

Known as probably the greatest Jewish historian of the 20th century. He collaborated with his wife Jeannette on many of his books including his magnum opus, A Social and Religious History of the Jews . He was ordained by the Jewish Theological seminary in Vienna and held three doctorates.

1897 October 7, FIRST CONFERENCE OF THE BUND (Jewish Workers Union) (Vilna,Lithuania)

It was the first Jewish Socialist party in Eastern Europe. At first decidedly anti-Zionist and pro-Yiddishist, it was organized as a union of Russian Jewish socialist groups. The Bund exerted a great influence on Jews in Europe and America.


Roman Dmowski, Jan Poplawski, and Sigismund Balicki founded the Endeks (National Democrats) which vowed to refuse Jews citizenship and expel them. They planned to have a "national state, not a state of nationals".


The Jewish population was estimated at 1,321,000. This is 14.5 percent of the total populace.


Fifteen Jews serving on the battleship the USS Maine were killed when it sank. Five thousand Jews served in the American Army, a ratio of 20% more than the general population including 30 army and 20 naval officers. The first person of Colonel Roosevelt's Rough Riders to reach the top of San Juan Hill was also a Jew - Irving Peixotto and the first to be killed was Jacob Wilbusky.

1898 October 1, KIEV (Ukraine)

A decree by the Russian Czar (Nicholas II) explicitly barred Jews from living in major Russian cities. The action followed laws issued the previous May (the "May laws"), restricting Jewish settlement to the Pale of Settlement. In Kiev, alone, some 7000 Jews were forced to relocate.

1898 October 28, KAISER WILLIAM II (Germany)

Visited Eretz Israel and met with Herzl. Herzl was disappointed by the lack of commitment on the part of the Kaiser. Much of this was due to the opposition to the Zionist enterprise of German liberal Jews, bankers, and his foreign minister, Bernhard von Buelow.

1898 CUBA

Jews were granted the previously forbidden right to build synagogues and worship publicly.


The Papal Nuncio in Vienna, reported back to the Vatican regarding anti-Semitic pogroms occurring in Galicia. In his report he blamed the Jews for the violence: "… it cannot be denied that Jews and Jewish property are being exposed to ferocious reprisals.…[T]he main cause is none other than the Jews themselves. With their usury and their dishonest business dealings, they have created anti-Semitism themselves."rn

1899 - 1902 BOER WAR (South Africa)

A direct outcome of the war was the movement into the interior. Jewish settlements were established and strengthened in Durban, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. At the time there were approximately 25,000 Jews in South Africa.


The famed Russian poet (1743 1816) had been appointed by czar Paul I to investigate the famine in white Russia. In his report Opinion, he placed most of the blame on the "mercenary trades" of Jews.


Asked Pope Leo XIII to denounce ritual murder accusations. Monsignor Rafael Merry del Val of the Holy Office ( formally the inquisition) who was appointed to reply wrote in part, " … the temerity of the powerful Jews of London, who, in their unchallenged rule in Europe have reached the point of such lunacy that they would pretend to be defended by the Holy See."

1900 March 15, KONITZ (Germany)

A blood libel occurred after the death of a local student. Wolf Israelski was accused and arrested, while Count Plucker promoted riots against the Jews. After Israelski was proven innocent, two others, Moritz Lewy and Rosenthal, were arrested on the same charge. Rosenthal and Lewy were acquitted, but Lewy was sentenced to four years for denying he knew the victim. All the evidence was based on the testimony of a petty thief, Masloff, who later received only one year for perjury.


After debating the issue of Jewish innocence of blood libels the Holy Office of the Inquisition ruled that Vatican cannot issue any declaration that the Jews are innocent. Pope Leo XIII approved the conclusion. "Although nothing was found either in the Holy Office or at the Secretariat of State, where careful research was undertaken, bearing on this accusation ... ritual murder is a historical certainty....

1900 March, CYPRUS

Davis (David) Trietsch, a German writer and Zionist leader, brought 11 families from Galicia to Cyprus. This as an experiment to see if Cyprus could serve as a temporary safe haven until Jews could be settled in Eretz Israel. Trietsch, (1870–1935) conceived of the idea in 1896, a year before the first Zionist congress, but only began to act on it in 1899.Unfortuatly, due to poor planning the project failed. In 1903 when the debate regarding a temporary home for Jews arose, Trietsch began quiet negotiations with the British. The opposition of the Greek Orthodox Church to any Jewish settlement on the island brought an end to his idea.

1901 RELIEF SOCIETY FOR GERMAN JEWS (Hilsvereinder Deutschen Juden) (Germany)

Was founded. It was designed to help Eastern European Jews immigrate to Germany.

1901 - 1977 HO FENG-SHAN (China)

Chinese diplomat who served as the consul general in Vienna, Austria. After its annexation by Germany, Ho issued about 2000 visas for Jews to Shanghai. This despite the explicit orders by the Chinese ambassador in Berlin, Chen Jie who wanted strong German - Chinese relations.


Was organized in the United States by Russian Jews to serve as counselors, interpreters, attorneys, and an employment service, as well as to help them find their relatives.

1903 April 19, KISHINEV (Bessarabia)

Riots broke out after a Christian child, Michael Ribalenko, was found murdered (Feb. 16). Although it was clear that the boy had been killed by a relative, the government chose to call it a ritual murder plot by the Jews. The mobs were incited by Pavolachi Krusheven, the editor of the anti-Semitic newspaper Bessarabetz, and the vice governor, Ustrugov. Vyacheslav Von Plehve, the Minister of Interior, supposedly gave orders not to stop the rioters. During three days of rioting, forty-seven Jews were killed, ninety-two severely wounded, five hundred slightly wounded and over seven hundred houses were destroyed. Despite a world-wide outcry, only two men were sentenced to seven and five years and twenty-two were sentenced for one or two years. This pogrom was instrumental in convincing tens of thousands of Russian Jews to leave Russia for the West and for Eretz Israel. The child's real murderer was later found.


Wrote the poem In the City of Slaughter. In this poem Bialik chastised the Jews for not defending themselves in the massacre of Kishinev. Herzl was also affected by Kishinev and he decided to visit Russia and give consideration to the Uganda Plan. In America, groundwork was laid for the American Jewish Committee and American Jewry was cast into international prominence.

1903 August 23 - 28, SIXTH ZIONIST CONGRESS (Basle, Switzerland)

Herzl proposed using territory offered by Britain, specifically Uganda, as a temporary shelter for Jews fleeing Eastern Europe and Russia. The Russian delegates, after a riotous debate, walked out and refused to return for the next congress unless the plan was dropped.

1903 September 1, GOMEL/HOMEL (Russia)

Von Plehve, the Russian Minister of the Interior who helped promote the Kishinev pogroms, instigated another pogrom. In spite of a vigorous defense, twelve Jews were killed and two hundred and fifty homes were destroyed. Thirty-six of the defenders were prosecuted, together with the perpetrators of the pogrom.

1903 - 1907 RUSSIA

During these 4 years, 500,000 Jews fled Russia, with 90% of them going to the United States.

1903 July, - August, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (London)

Rise of Lenin's group known as the Iskra (The Spark), named after their newspaper published in Switzerland. Vladimir Lenin headed the Bolsheviks (majority) while George Plekhanov headed the Mensheviks (Minority). Although Lenin was not to have a majority until 1917, he refused to relinquish the name. The Mensheviks included many Jews including Julius Martov, Raphael Abramowitz(Rein), and Fyodor Ilyich Dan (Gurvich). The two groups argued over organization and tactics with the Menshevicks believing it best to cooperate with liberals and wished to have a more "open" party. In general there were more Jews in the Mensheviks which better reflected Jewish liberalism and intellectuality. The congress refused to allow the Jewish delegates to participate in the revolutionary work while remaining an independent ethnic group which lead to the Bund seceding from the Social Democratic Party.

1904 July 15, VYACHESLAV VON PLEHVE (Russia)

The Russian Minister of Interior, was assassinated. Von Plehve was responsible for the Kishinev massacres in which forty-seven Jews were killed, ninety-two severely wounded or crippled, and five hundred slightly wounded. His assassin was a member of the socialist revolutionary movement which had also suffered because of his policies. Czar Nicholas was frightened into making a few concessions. Unfortunately, he did not make enough to meet public demand.


The Russian government accused the Jews of helping the Japanese and starting the war to help their "Kinsmen by race". Thirty thousand Jewish soldiers and 3000 Jewish doctors fought for the Russians. Two "orders of the day" recognized Jewish heroism; One on November 29 honoring Joseph Trumpeldor the other on July 25 1905 honoring Lazar Lichmaker both of whom coincidently fought without an arm

1904 - 1914 SECOND ALIYAH (Eretz Isreal)

With the fresh outbreak of mass pogroms in Eastern Europe, a second wave of immigration to Eretz Israel began. Unlike the First Aliyah, which believed in private agricultural enterprise, these formed the basis for the communal life and the foundation of the Kibbutz and Moshav movements. Approximately 35,000 new immigrants arrived bringing the population to about 90,000 before the outbreak of WWI. At the same time (between 1881 and 1914) 2.5 million Jews emigrated from Eastern Europe.

1905 April 24 - 25, (Easter) BIALYSTOK AND ZHITOMIR (Russia)

Were attacked by the Black Hundreds (League of the Russian People), an unofficial pro-Czarist terrorist force. This time the Jews tried to defend themselves. In Zhitomir, police prevented Jewish self-defense organizations from protecting their property. After two days, 15 Jews and one non-Jewish student who had volunteered to defend the Jews, were killed. The Governor did nothing to stop the mobs until a number of Jews broke into his office and threatened him. The hostilities ceased almost immediately.


The Black Hundreds and other bands alleged that the Jews were responsible for their defeats in the Russian Japanese war and other Russian ills. In Odessa, the commander of the cadet school General Deryugin told his soldiers "Your on your way to massacre the Jews, You have my blessing for your work." In spite of many attempts at self defense, hundreds were killed, and thousands were wounded in more then fifty areas throughout Russia. In over 50 major pogroms over 40,000 homes and shops were destroyed, giving new impetus to immigration to both the West and Eretz Israel, with over 200,000 Jews leaving in one year.

1905 October 30, MANIFESTO OF NICHOLAS II (October Manifesto) (RUSSIA)

Czar Nicholas II, after a nation-wide strike, issued a manifesto granting a constitution and a Duma (parliament) in which the Constitutional Democrats (Kadets) and Social Democrats would participate. The Social Democrats included both the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. In addition it promised to grant civil liberties including freedom of religion and freedom of speech.Another party the Octobrist's was also created and which supported a constitutional monarchy.As a party, they were often anti-Semitic and wished to ban Jews from the military, and continue enforcing the Pale.


Slowed the number of Jews allowed to immigrate.

1905 MAXIM GORKY (1868-1936) (Russia)

A Christian author and one of the founders of Soviet literature, he wrote letters of protest against the Black Hundreds in particular and anti-Semitism in general. Leo Tolstoy, one of Russia's greatest writers, joined him in defending the Jews.


Published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his book Velikoe e Malom (The Great in the Small). The protocols deal with an alleged "secret" plot by the wise Jews to enslave the Christian world. In reality (as revealed by the London Times in 1921), the book was a plagiarized version of a lampoon on Napoleon by Maurice Jely published in 1864. Despite this, the book has been reprinted in almost every language. In Germany it was treated as the Gospel and British troops carried it into Eretz Israel in 1947. It was circulated in Poland (1966) and an Arab version appeared in 1967.

1905 November 3, YOSEF HAIM BRENNER

There had been a proposal at the seventh Zionist Congress earlier that year (July) to develop cultural activities for the Jewish community in the United States. Brenner in his article entitled, "A long letter was sent to me" wrote, "Shame and disgrace (concerning) the worry about Jews in America, when 6 million are hanging by a burnt thread".


Was formed. It was headed by Judge Mayer Sulzberger, a leader in the fight for liberal immigration laws. Its aims included the protection of civil and religious rights of Jews all over the world. Among its founders were Dr. Cyrus Adler, Louis Marshall and Jacob H. Schiff.

1906 - 1966 SAYYID QUTB

Author, radical Islamist ideologue, and a leading advocate of the Moslem Brotherhood. In his book “Our Struggle with the Jews”, he based his anti-Semitism on the foundations of the religious traditions of Islam. After plotting to assassinate Nasser, he was arrested and executed. One of his students was Ayman Zawahiri, a mentor of Osama bin Laden and a leading member of al-Qaeda.

1907 September 29, BAR GIORA (Eretz Israel)

A Palestinian Jewish self-defense organization was formed to protect the settlements in Sejera (the lower Galilee area) from raiders. Two years later it was reorganized and broadened into HaShomer (the Watchman) by Israel Shochat. HaShomer was eventually transformed into the Haganah. Despite opposition from local Jews and the Baron's overseers, they persevered with the idea of Jews taking responsibility for their own defense.


Granted Jews political rights.


A Jew hunt was organized (one of many) to find Jews living outside the Pale. Ten were found in the city and 74 more in the neighboring woods. All were forced back into the Pale.

1910 WERNER SOMBART (Germany)

A Christian economist and historian, he published a treatise on the evils of capitalism, which he ascribed to the Jews.

1911 June 22, - 1913 BEILIS TRIAL (Russia)

Took place after a Christian boy was found dead near a brick factory in which Mendel Beilis worked. He was accused of ritual murder by the government. The only evidence was the word of a drunken couple who claimed they saw a man with a black beard walking with the child. The Russian government actively took up the case after the assassination of Stolypin by a Jewish revolutionist. Professor Sikowsky,(Sikorsky), an eminent Professor of Psychology, "proved" that Jews use Christian blood for ritual purposes. Beilis's lawyers, Margolin and Grusenberg, fought the government for two years until diplomatic pressure forced the Russians to drop the charges. Beilis then settled in the United States, where he died after a long illness in 1934.

1911 October 11, LIBYA

Was conquered by Italy. Jews received equal rights and for the next 25 years (until the onset of fascist anti-Jewish legislation), the community flourished.

1911 August 19, TRADEGAR RIOTS ( Wales)

Over 250 local workers attacked and looted Jewish business's, claiming that the Jews charged too high prices for goods. Beginning with a drunken brawl, it spread through the area resulting in 15 injures, and the army being called out to regain order.

1912 April 11, Technikum (Technion) (Haifa, Eretz Israel)

Was founded with the help of Paul Nathan of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden ("Relief Organization of German Jews") and Jacob Schiff. The Technikum Institute of Technology, later to be known as the Technion,was struck the following year (see 1913), by both teachers and students when they tried to institute German as the school's language instead of Hebrew. Due to both the strike and the approaching war the school did not actually begin classes until 1924.


The fourth Duma was convened. Although a suggestion not to allow Jews to serve in the army was not accepted, it was decided that no Jew, converted Jew, or children of converted Jews were allowed to become officers in the Army.

1912 April 17, FEZ RIOTS

Began as a protest against the French protectorate in Morocco. After attacking the local French garrison in Fez, the local soldiers attacked the Jewish quarter. Almost 7,000 Jews took refuge in the Sultans gardens, some taking shelter in empty cages used for Sultans menagerie. The rebels attacked anyone that they believed to be European or Jewish, killing 66 Europeans, and 42 Jews. The French retook control also using an artillery barrage, killing some 600 Moroccans


Under pressure from Congress, he abrogated the Russian Treaty of 1832 on the grounds of Russian discrimination and persecution of the Jews.


Was formed by Father Andrej Hlinka, and after his death, headed by Father Josef Tiso. The conservative party was against the idea of a Czechoslovakian republic, and demanded Slovakian independence. It had a decidedly religious anti liberalism, and anti-Semitic bend. After 1935 it became more overtly anti-Semitic, and its youth groups participated in many anti- Jewish riots., including the one Bratislava in April 1936. One of its leaders Karol Sidor a devote Catholic, became the Slovakian ambassador to the Vatican, and called for the expulsion of all Jews. It partnered with the Nazi Germany issuing its own anti-Jewish laws.


Carried the offensive into Eastern Prussia and Austrian Galicia. Jews were caught between both armies. Russia repeatedly attacked the Austrian army and although they could not proceed they managed to hold on to Galicia until 1917, The Austrians were forced into setting up refugee camps in Austria and Hungary.


Was established by Jacob H. Schiff, Louis Marshall, and Felix Warburg. It soon combined (November 27) with the Central Relief Committee founded by Orthodox leaders and the People's Relief Committee representing labor into one organization - the American Joint Distribution Committee. It campaigned and distributed funds wherever Jews were in need, especially in Eastern Europe. It is popularly known as the "Joint" or "JDC." During the First World War they spent almost $15,000,000 on relief efforts.


During the entire war, Yiddish was declared an illegal language, and wounded veterans were immediately shipped back to the Pale. Although around 500,000 Jews served in the army, they were branded by the government as cowards, traitors and spies.

1914 August 1, (Av 9) OUTBREAK OF WWI

In all, out of the 65,000,000 men who fought in WW I, 1,500,000 were Jews. The USA had 250,000 Jewish troops, 10,000 of them officers. Britain 10,000 with 1,300 officers (with a Jewish pop. of less than 300,000). France 55,000 including 14 Jewish generals. Germany with a Jewish population of 600,000 had 100,000 Jewish soldiers with 2,000 officers. 35,000 German Jews won medals including 2,000 pilots, among them Jacob Wolf the oldest German pilot (48). Austria - Hungary had 320,000 including 8 generals. Russia had approximately 500,000 Jews serving. Jewish dead were estimated at 120,000.

1915 March, GRAND DUKE SERGEI (Russia)

The Russian Commander-in-Chief began to expel all the Jews in the Pale on the pretext that they could not be trusted with the advancing Germans. Kovna, Lithuania, and Kurland were most affected. Over 500,000 Jews were forcibly evacuated, sometimes on forced marches. Until the arrival of the Germans, who prevented any more expulsions, over 100,000 died of starvation, disease and exposure.

1915 May 7, LUSITANIA

An American ship was sunk by the Germans. This act eventually brought America into World War I. Roughly 250,000 Jews served in the U.S. Armed Forces, with an estimated 3,500 dead, and 12,000 wounded.

1915 December, GERMANY

Under General Ludendorff, reconquered most of Poland. The Jews in the occupied territory were generally fairly treated.

1915 KU KLUX KLAN (Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Was organized by William J. Simmons with a white Protestant American membership. During its heyday it delved into politics, organized boycotts and committed acts of violence against Jews, Blacks, Catholics, and anyone foreign born.

1915 - 2014 SIDNEY SHAPIRO aka Sha Boli (Brooklyn, New York- Beijing)

Author and translator. He arrived in china under the auspices of the U.S. military during WWII . He was one of the few Westerners to gain Chinese citizenship and become a member of the PCC a political advisory body. Among his works is a translation of a the 16th century Chinese classic Outlaws of the Marsh as well author of Jews in Old China, and his autobiography I Chose China.

1915 April 28, THE KUZHI INCIDENT (Lithuania)

A number of German soldiers on a reconnaissance mission entered the small village of Kuzhi for provisions and left. Soon after, the Russians returned and the Germans shelled the village. The Russian high command accused the Jews of giving information to the Russians, and despite the fact that the Kerensky commission found the accusation to be libelous, it was used as an excuse to begin the expulsion of 200,000 Jews most from the Kovno region.


Jews were accused of evading active service despite the fact that approximately 100,000 Jews served in the German army, 12% higher then their population ratio.


Under Brusilov, returned to its offensive along the Polish and Galician borders. The Jews in those areas were accused of siding with the Germans.


Turkish Syrian military Governor Ahmed Djemal Pasha (1872-1922), decided to ban Jews from praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem eventually cordoning off the area. Nine months later he offered to retract his ban upon payment of 100,000 Francs. He was later accused of helping oversee the Armenian genocide and was finally assassinated by Armenians while working for the Soviets in Tbilisi.

1917 February 3, IRAQ

British troops occupied Baghdad. After suffering heavily from forced conscription, torture and extortion by the Turkish ruled government, local Jews celebrated their freedom by declaring it a holiday (Yom Ness). Their freedom lasted until 1929, when the British granted independence to Iraq and all Zionist activity was prohibited.


Broke out in Petrograd. After three years of ruinous war the old regime collapsed. By March, a provisional government under Alexander Kerensky was set up. During the ensuing revolution the Jews were caught in the middle. Much of the conflict centered around the south and west, where over 3 million Jews lived. It is estimated that over 2000 pogroms took place, especially in the Ukraine, leading to the death of 100,000-200,000 Jews within the next 3 years.

1917 March 28, TEL AVIV-JAFFA (Eretz Israel)

As the war front came closer, the Turkish Governor of Jaffa ordered all Jews to leave the city, including Tel Aviv.

1917 April 6, UNITED STATES

Declared war on Germany. Approximately 250,000 Jewish soldiers (20% of whom were volunteers) served in the U.S. army. Roughly 5.7% of the solders were Jewish, though Jews made up only 3.25% of the general population.

1917 November 2, ARTHUR BALFOUR

British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, he sent Lord Walter Rothschild a letter declaring the British government's sympathy and support for the Zionist cause. Cloaked in ambiguity, the meaning of the declaration was to be long debated; the Arabs insisted on an independent Arab state in Syria and Eretz Israel, the French on keeping to the Sykes-Picot Treaty. In spite of this, Britain felt that a Jewish state would: 1) provide a base between India and the Suez, 2) promote Jewish financial support in America for the British war effort , 3) create British support by the Jews in the Central Powers and 4) convince Russian Jews to keep fighting in the war

1917 December 6, FINLAND

Became independent of Moscow and finally granted Jews civil rights. The implementation of the original law, passed in 1909, was delayed by the Russian government.


With the Central Powers. 350,000 Jews served in the Russian army and an estimated 70,000 of them were killed during the war.

1917 March 17, RUSSIA

The provisional government abolishes all restrictions against the Jews.

1917 March 26, PRINCE G.E. LVOV (Russia)

The first Prime Minister (and minister of the Interior) in the provisional government, sent a message to the Alliance Israelite Universelle promising that Russia would respect the beliefs and varied natures of its people. On that same day in Petrograd, a conference of Russian Jews was held which tried to find common ground in post-czarist Russia.


Was founded with Thomas Masaryk as its first president and Eduard Benes as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. At first the Jews had trouble, but it soon resolved itself. Both of these men did their best to defend the Jews.

1918 November 20, - 1920 UKRAINIAN POGROMS

After the fall of the Czar there was a strong movement to establish an independent political entity. The Jewish parties voted against the severance, with Russia leading to direct attacks on the Jews. One of the first attacks was in Lvov where 72 Jews were killed and 443 wounded.

1918 - 1988 ABBA KOVNER (Lithuania-Eretz Israel)

Resistance leader and poet. Kovner organized the United Partisan Movement in 1941, maintaining that Jews should not "go like sheep to the slaughter". He fought as a partisan leader until the end of the war. After liberation he was instrumental in establishing Beriha, which smuggled survivors to Eretz Israel and carried out revenge operations against Nazis and their collaborators. In Israel he joined a kibbutz and became a well known poet. He won the Israel prize for literature in 1970. Kovner helped establish the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv and the Moreshet Holocaust Institute.

1918 March 23, 23 SHERIF HUSSEIN IBN ALI

In his newspaper al -Qibla wrote " Palestine… is a sacred and beloved homeland ..(of) its original sons ( abna'ihil -l-asiyim)-the Jews". Hussein ibn Ali ( 1853-1931) was a Hashemite Arab leader who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca. He considered himself the caliph of all Muslims. His son Abdullah became ruler of Transjordan, and Feisal ruler of Iraq. Only in January 1921 partially in reaction to British support for ibn Saud, did he come out against the agreement.

1919 January 3, SIMON PETLURA (Ukraine)

Ukrainian nationalist and commander (Ataman) of the Zaporog Cossacks and Haidamaks armies, began his retreat from the Red Army. At the same time he accused the Jews of being supporters of the communist regime and encouraged a series of pogroms. Attacks began on a number of cities and towns including Berdichev, Uma, and Zhitomir. Although he denied responsibility for the "excesses" of his troops, three hundred seventy-two cities and towns were attacked in 998 major and 349 minor pogroms resulting in about seventy thousand killed and an equal number wounded. He was later assassinated in revenge (see 1926).

1919 January 8, HUNGARY

Bela Kun (Kuhn), a communist dictator, was disposed of after a short period of time with the help of Romania and Admiral Nicholas Horthy. Since Kun was a Jew, all the Jews were accused of being communists. During the riots that followed, known as the "White Terror", well over three thousand Jews were killed.

1919 January 26, POLISH ELECTIONS

Although the Jews won about 10% of the vote they were only allowed to elect 4% of the representatives due to the electoral system.

1919 March 3, EMIR FAISAL

Wrote a letter to Felix Frankfurter expressing his support for the Zionist cause. "We Arabs...look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist Movement....We will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome."

1919 March, POLAND

An anti-Jewish boycott became a serious threat. Cooperatives were created to undersell Jews and numerous laws were passed to force Jews out of business and the legal and medical professions.

1919 April 5, PINSK (Poland)

35 well-known Jews were executed. They were taken from a legitimate business meeting of the Jewish Cooperative and accused of being Jewish Bolshevists. Others also arrested were told to dig their own graves and then released.

1919 June 10, COMITE DES DELEGATIONS JUIVES (Committee of Jewish Delegations) (France)

Submitted a proposal to the Paris Peace Conference requesting them to include in all treaties a provision for guaranteeing minority rights. The committee which didn't include the French and British delegations (who considered it too nationalistic), included dozens of Jewish organizations world wide and represented about12 million Jews. Among its resolutions were also that countries would be held responsible for pogroms committed on their soil, and another supporting the rights of the Jewish people to Eretz- Israel. The Committee dispersed in 1936 when it was replaced by the World Jewish Congress.

1919 June 28, TREATY OF VERSAILLES (France)

World War I ended with an Allied victory. Out of the estimated 1,506,000 Jewish soldiers in all the armies, approximately 170,000 were killed and over 100,000 cited for valor. In Germany alone over 100,000 Jews served with 12,000 killed. England saw 50,000 Jews serving with 10,000 causalities and 1,596 decorated for valor.

1919 August 1, HUNGARY

Limited the number of Jews in commerce, law, medicine and banking. The new definition of a Jew was someone who converted after August 1, 1919. An estimated 5,000 Jews converted to Christianity during the weeks before the law went into effect.

1919 August, GENERAL DENIKIN (Russia)

Commander of the White Russian Army and supported by the United States, he attempted to overthrow the Bolsheviks. He temporarily succeeded in stopping both Petlura and the Bolsheviks. Like Petlura, he identified the Jews with communism and proceeded to carry out his own pogroms, allowing his troops to perpetrate over 213 pogroms, and killing upwards of five thousand Jews.

1919 - 1933 WEIMAR REPUBLIC (Germany)

Provided Jews with full equality yet ironically it gave birth to the greatest catastrophe to the Jews since the destruction of the Second Temple. The republic was divided by communists, national socialists, and monarchists all pulling in different directions. The runaway inflation, the defeat of Germany in World War I, and unemployment were all blamed on the Jews. During the republic over 430 anti-Semitic associations and societies were founded, as well as hundreds (700) of anti-Semitic newspapers, magazines and periodicals. By the end of 1920 the Protocols of the Elders of Zion had sold over 120,000 copies.


Thirty five members of the Jewish Defense Organization were disarmed and shot after the Ukrainian National Army recaptured Kiev from the Bolsheviks. As an organized unit, the Jews had played an important role in the defense of Kiev.

1919 October 11, RIOTS ( Przemysl, Poland)

Broke out and the Jewish militia was disbanded after a rumor spread that Jews were machine gunning Poles. Rumors, no matter how absurd, served as a catalyst for a pogrom.


Was signed between Chayim Weizmann and Emir Faisal ( 1885-1933). The agreement included a call to " work together to encourage immigration of Jews while protecting the rights of the Arab peasants agreed borders... and a commitment to carry into effect the Balfour Declaration of 1917, calling for a Jewish national home in Palestine." An addendum was attached by Faisel " Provided the Arabs obtain their independence But if the slightest modification shall be made, I shall not be then bound by a single word of the present Agreement'. Unfortunately the British and the French went back on their word having signed the then secret SykesPicot Agreement dividing the Middle East between themselves, thus paving the way for the ongoing conflict.

1919 January 7, SEMANA TRAGICA / WEEK OF TRAGEDY ( Argentina)

After a general strike, the police and army were called in. The wealthy class, many of whom belonged to the white guard (Guardia Blanca) , blamed Jews, especially recent Jewish Russian immigrants, for the unrest. A pogrom ensued leaving many dead and wounded.

1919 February 8, HAYYIM ELAZAR SHAPIRO/ Munckazer Rebbe (Hungary)

Wrote a public letter exhorting rabbis against Agudat Israel and especially the Zionist movement even if "all the nations agree, God forbid, she (Jews) will not go there. He continued his uncompromising stance all of his life. A book of his writings Tikun Olam "Improving the World", was composed in 1936 in the same vein. Shapiro (1868-1937 was also against modern medicine and science, reproving anyone who would study architecture or engineering.

1920 January, GERMANY

Ripe for anti-Semitism after its defeat in World War I, the first translation of the Protocols was published. It was called The Secret of the Elders of Zion and was published by the Verband gegen die Ueberhebung des Judentums (League against Jewish Arrogance). Led by Ludwig Miller (von Hausen) AKA Gottfried zur Beek. They also published the periodical Auf Vorposten which blamed Germany's defeat on the Jews. The German Protocols was reprinted five times in 1920 alone.

1920 February 24, NSDAP (National Socialist) Party (Germany)

The Nazi party endorsed its own platform which consisted of twenty-five points. Seven of these points concerned the Jews. As part of their program they insisted that Jews could never be citizens or a part of the German Volk (people). That same year the German National Peoples Party (DNVP) also came out "against the predominance of Jewry in government and public life".

1920 April 4 - 5, JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Anti-Jewish riots. Five Jews were killed and two hundred and eleven wounded. Vladimir Jabotinsky and others were arrested for organizing a self-defense league.


Assigned the British government the Mandate over Palestine, directing her to establish a national home for the Jewish people as presented in the Balfour Declaration. As part of their mandate the British were instructed to recognize "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country." In addition, Britain was to "facilitate Jewish immigration" and "close settlement by Jews on the land." The civil administration was established on July 1, 1920 with Sir Herbert Samuel as the first high commissioner.

1920 July 1, SIR HERBERT SAMUEL (England-Eretz Israel)

A British statesman, he was appointed High Commissioner of Eretz Israel. His first official act was to grant amnesty to political prisoners, including Jabotinsky. He governed the British Mandate for five years - not without confrontation with Zionist ideology. He was knighted in 1937 and took the title Viscount Samuel of Mt. Carmel and Toxteth. During the 1930's he fought to allow more German Jews to immigrate to England and became a supporter of the State of Israel after its formation.


Jozef Pilsudski, the Polish statesmen and later first marshal, aligned himself with Petlura and decided to attack Russia in the midst of the Russian Civil Wars. During this attack, which reached as far as Kiev, the armies assaulted the Jewish quarters in each town. Although Pilsudski himself was not considered anti-Semitic, he only acted to stop them after foreign pressure was applied. Approximately thirty thousand Jews were systematically killed before Allied pressure slowed them down. This linked the idea of Polish nationalism with pograms in the mind of the Jews.

1920 TREATY OF TRIANON (Hungary)

Fifty-one percent of Hungary's Jews became citizens of Romania and Czechoslovakia, yet remained loyal to Hungary. At the same time they were resented as aliens by their host countries. Many of the remaining Jews in dissected Hungary soon assimilated, yet despite this they were regarded as menaces and third class citizens.


Under Henry M. Morgenthau issued their report on the anti-Jewish riots in Poland. Morgenthau put much of the blame on Polish Jews stating that in order to "cure the evils of Poland... they must change their mode of life."

1921 May 2, JAFFA (Eretz Israel)

Arabs rioted, killing forty Jews and wounding two hundred others. The riots soon spread to Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Kfar Saba, Hadera, and Rehovot. Though casualties were "relatively" light, the British decided to immediately suspend Jewish immigration and appease the Arabs by "redefining" the borders of the Balfour Declaration. (See Haycraft Report 1921)


The Yiddish arm of the Communist Party was created as a government tool to control the Jews. It was disbanded in 1929.

1921 - 1944 November 7, HANNAH SZENES (Senesh) (Eretz Israel-Hungary)

Poet and freedom fighter. Born in Hungary, she immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1939 and joined kibbutz Sedot Yam. Her poem Halikha LeKesariya ("A Walk to Caesarea") is famous today as Eli Eli ( My God My God). In 1942 a call went out for volunteers for a special mission against Germany. She joined 32 other young Jews who were trained by the British to infiltrate behind enemy lines. While in Yugoslavia she wrote her famous poem wrote the poem Ashrei ha-Gafrur ("Blessed is the Match"). She was captured in June 1944 and executed November 7, 1944 . Six other parachutists lost their lives during their missions. Her diary and many of her poems were published after her tragic death. She was reburied in 1950 on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

1922 June 24, WALTER RATHENAU (Germany)

The Jewish German foreign minister was assassinated by anti-Semitic nationalists who blamed Germany's defeat in World War I on the Jews.


Chamber of Commerce urged land owners not to sell to Jews.

1922 September, HUNGARY

College enrollment for Jews was restricted. Hungary was the first nation to openly disregard the Minorities Rights Treaty adopted at the Paris Peace Conference which dealt with the basic civil, political, and religious rights of minorities.

1922 November 11, MUNICH PUTSCH (Germany)

General Ludendorff and an Austrian corporal named Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) were arrested after a short parade proclaiming the overthrow of the government. Hitler was sent to Landsburg prison where he wrote Mein Kampf (My Battle), a vicious harangue against democracy, communism, the Versaille diktat and, of course, the Jews as the root of all evil. The book became the "Bible" of the Nazis, and was published in almost every major country. Hitler himself soon rose (1925) to become leader of the Nazi Party and chancellor of the German Reich in 1933. Hitler's compulsive hatred of everything Jewish, coupled with his pathological personality, led him to become the first person in history to systematically conceive and implement the extermination of European Jewry.


In his book The Jews in America, he called for the barring of further Jewish immigration.

1923 January 30, SOL BLOOM (1870-1949) (USA)

Was elected to Congress, and would serve until his death in 1949. Bloom was born into a poor Orthodox family yet succeeded in amassing a small fortune enabling him to retire early and enter politics. Bloom was a strong supporter of Roosevelt and was appointed as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the beginning of the war. Although he made an effort to increase the number of Jews allowed into the United States, he did little to antagonize the administration and supported the State Department's positions. After the war, he became a supporter of Israel.


The Joint agreed to donate funds to help the Russian government resettle Jews in the Ukraine. Fewer than fifteen thousand were actually resettled.


Immigration quotas were reduced to two percent of the number of foreign born persons of each nationality that was present in 1890. As a result, immigration was reduced to a trickle. Between 1933-41 the same amount of German Jews (157,000) entered the USA as entered in 1906.

1924 - 1930 FOURTH ALIYAH (Eretz Israel)

Was comprised mainly of older Jews who feared conditions in Europe and were barred from the United States by its closed door policy (the Johnson Act). Nearly half of the 62,000 immigrants were from Poland. Due to an economic slump, 11,000 of the immigrants subsequently left the country.

1925 April 30, PARIS (France)

The Revisionist Party (Brit Ha-Tzionim Ha-Revisionistim) was founded by Zev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky adhered to the Herzlian concept that Zionism is basically an ideological movement. He demanded a more aggressive policy toward the British, believing that only world-wide pressure would force the British to abide by the Mandate. The revisionists believed that the highest priority of the Zionist movement should be in bringing the greatest number of Jews to Eretz Israel in the shortest possible time.


Deans of all Austrian universities decided to deny Jews positions in higher education.


A total of 33,135 Jews worked in agriculture, 20,382 of them were farmers.

1925 February 5, ESTONIA

Became the only country in eastern Europe to grant full rights to its minorities, including the Jews. This, despite the fact that Estonia was not a signatory on the league of nations treaty of 1921.

1926 - 1995 (16 Cheshvan 5755) SHLOMO CARLEBACH (Germany-USA)

Singer and composer. Reb Shlomo, as he was known, is considered "The Father of Modern Jewish Music". He successfully synthesized the American folk idiom with traditional and Hasidic music, creating a following in both the observant and non-observant Jewish communities around the world. During the 1960's he established the "House of Love and Prayer" in San Francisco, which served as a magnet for many non-committed Jews. It was the only Jewish presence in Haight-Ashbury, a gathering point for young seekers in the 1960's and 1970's. Reb Shlomo's activities in Israel and the USA helped spur the Baal Teshuvah movement which brought many Jews back to Jewish observance.

1927 June 30, HENRY FORD (USA)

The automobile magnet was forced to publicly apologize for libel against the Jews. Aaron Sapiro, a lawyer, had accused Ford and his Dearborn Independent of the libel. Although the case was a personal one, the newspaper's anti-Semitic propaganda figured heavily in the case. Ford was forced to retract some of his accusations and apologize.

1928 March 25, POPE PIUS XI

Disbanded the catholic organization Friends of Israel Opus sacerdotale Amici Israel, which had been active for only two years. Their aim had been to promote a better attitude to Jews by among other things canceling the charge of deicide against the Jews, and to work towards their conversion.

1929 August 16, ERETZ ISRAEL

Although warned by the Zionist Executive that the Arabs were preparing to attack the Jews of Jerusalem with massive riots, High Commissioner Sir John Chancelor refused to cut his vacation short, declaring that relations between the two sides were improving. The day after the ninth of Av, after Friday prayers, two thousand Arabs attacked Jews praying at the Western Wall. One Jewish youth was stabbed in the back. The British Government refused to condemn the attack, leading the Arabs again to believe that the British supported their riots.

1929 August 23, ERETZ ISRAEL

Arabs began to riot throughout pre-state Israel after Moslem Friday prayers. The next day, the riots spread to Hebron where over 60 Jews were killed and over 50 injured. During the week of August 23-29, 113 Jews were killed and 339 wounded. As a result, Sir Walter Shaw headed a commission which urged the banning of Jewish immigration and absolved the Arabs and the Mufti of guilt. Another commission led by Sir John Simpson declared that the entire Zionist operation was unsound and undesirable. Both of these commissions were under the auspices of Lord Passfield, the British Colonial Secretary.

1930 October 20, LORD PASSFIELD (Eretz Israel)

Issued his "White Paper" banning further land acquisition by Jews and slowing Jewish immigration. Weizmann, who had always toed a pro-British line, resigned in protest.

1931 - 1934 ENGLEBERT DOLFUSS (Austria)

An anti-communist who served as chancellor. He soon convinced the president to appoint him dictator (1933). Although he persecuted the Nazis, he considered all Jews communists and treated them as such.

1931 - 1939 FIFTH ALIYAH (Eretz Israel)

One hundred thousand Jews came to Eretz Israel, most of them from Germany.


Decided that the Western Wall area was part of the Temple Mount and belonged to the Moslem Wakf. Therefore Jews would henceforth not be permitted to blow the Shofar as part of prayers services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.


An estimated 3,114,000 Jews lived in Poland, comprising 9.8% of the total populace.


Was elected New York's first Jewish governor. From that time on, Jews formed a pact with the Democratic Party.

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.

1933 March 20, VILNA (Lithuania)

At the initiative of the Jews of Vilna, an anti-Nazi boycott began. It eventually spread all over Poland and to many countries in Europe. Yet within 6 months Poland itself signed a non-aggression treaty with Hitler which called for the cessation of all boycott activities.

1933 March, BRESLAU (Germany)

Jewish lawyers and judges were attacked by the Nazis. This was the first official violence against Jews.


The Civil Service Law prohibited Jews from holding public service jobs. These included the civil service, army, labor service, commerce, teachers and lawyers.

1933 April 11, NICHTARIER ("non-Aryan") (Germany)

Became a legal classification, known as the Arierparagraph (Aryan Clause). According to this, anyone who had a Jewish grandparent was considered Jewish even if the person had converted. This made it "legal" to discharge Jews from their position in the universities, hospitals, and legal professions. In some countries under later NAZI occupation (Italy, Bulgaria, etc.) this definition was modified so that it didn't include the children of converts or converts who were married to local Christians.

1933 April 26, THE GESTAPO (Geheime Staatspolizei) (Germany)

Secret State Police was established. After a short time Hermann Goering was appointed as commander and changed its character to one of a political police force. Within a year Goering agreed to transfer the Gestapo to Heinrich Himmler where it came under the jurisdiction of the SS. The Gestapo was in charge of investigating, along with the S.D. all enemies of the Reich of which the Jews figured prominently. In addition the Gestapo eventually played a major role in planning and the carrying out of the "Final Solution". Although the S.S. for the most part ran the concentration camps, the Gestapo was responsible for rounding up the Jews as well as overseeing the Einsatzgruppen or Special duty groups. In 1936, Reinhard Heydrich became head of the Gestapo and Heinrich Mller, its chief of operations. Mller took over after Heydrich's assassination in 1942. He disappeared near the end of the war and was never caught.


Special envoys from the Pope met with Hitler, who proposed that he was "doing Christianity a great service" with his policy regarding the Jews. The Vatican representatives described the meeting as "cordial and to the point."

1933 May 17, NORWAY

Vidkun Quisling established the Norwegian Fascist Party. About 1,800 Jews lived in Norway.


Was passed, providing the Nazis with a "legal" tool to revoke the naturalization of Eastern European Jews living in the Reich.

1933 August 25, TRANSFER (Haavara) AGREEMENT

Negotiated between the German Zionist Federation, the Jewish Agency and the German Finance Ministry. The agreement encouraged the emigration of German Jews. Although forced to leave their assets in Germany, they received partial payment through the Jewish agency which in turn imported and sold German goods for the same amount of capital although it was forced to accept a far lower rate of exchange. Levi Eshkol (later prime minister) was sent to Berlin to run the company. The agreement was strongly criticized by Jabotinsky and those Jews trying to organize a boycott of German goods. In all, $40,419,000 was transferred to Germany by 1939, while almost 60,000 German Jews were able to leave to Eretz Israel.


Members of anti-Semitic political organizations (Endeks and Naras) attacked Jews in the streets.

1933 - 1939 BRITAIN

Admitted 75,000 Jews.

1933 July 25, JACOB ROSENHEIM (Germany)

President of Agudat Israel in Germany pleaded with Lord Melchett of Britain and British Chief Rabbi Hertz not to boycott German goods, calling it "a near crime against humanity". Agudat Israel was afraid that such actions would become provocations and goad Hitler to pursue a harsher policy against the Jews.


An American diplomat, met with Hitler, who told him I will do the thing the rest of the world would like to do. It doesnt know how to get rid of the Jews. I will show them." On May 1, he met with Roosevelt and warned him about Hitlers intentions regarding the Jews, also describing a visit he had made to Dachau. FDR facing domestic issues and not wanting any problems with foreign policy made no comment. It is believed that his observations cost him the position of becoming the next ambassador to Germany. He would later become the first United States ambassador to Israel.rnrn

1933 April 11, ARMIN T WEGNER ( Germany- Italy)

A notable German writer, wrote a letter " For Germany" to Hitler, protesting the persecution of the Jews, and warned of the consequences. He concluded with, " …to preserve the honor of the German people". Wegner ( 1886- 1978) had served as a nurse in WWI, and was instrumental in bringing the Armenian Genocide to public attention. He was interred in a number of concentration camps, but managed to flee to Italy. Today his letter is known as " The Warning". Wegner was awarded the title of Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in 1967.


Preached a series of four sermons against Nazi denial of the old testament as the basis for Christianity, and against Alfred Rosenberg's the theories of racial antisemitism. Many believed that his writings and sermons were in defense of the Jews. Yet, when praised by the World Jewish Congress, his secretary protested writing, “In his sermons given last year during Advent, the Cardinal defended the ancient biblical writings of Israel but did not pronounce on the Jewish question of today ".

1933 June 6, MAYOR LA GUARDIA (New York City)

At a public conference organized by former American ambassador to Germany James Gerard, La Guardia called Hitler a "perverted manic", and warned, "Part of his program is the complete annihilation of the Jews in Germany." Gordon Hull the secretary of state apologized to the German government.


Was passed. It became the basis for the deportation of Eastern European Jews.

1934 May 1, DER STRMER (Germany)

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


A congressman from Pennsylvania who attacked the Jews in Congress. This was the first act of political anti-Semitism in the United States.


Two thousand Jews were expelled from towns and cities and forced to live in the wilderness.

1934 July 2, THRACE POGROMS (European part of Turkey)

Which had begun a few weeks earlier with a boycott of Jewish owned businesses, soon included actual attacks on Jewish property. They occurred after the passing of the Turkish Resettlement Law (which proposed forceful assimilation of non-Turkish minorities), and a recent visit by the inspector general of Thrace, Ibrahim Tali Ongoren. He was quoted as stating publicly The Jew of Thrace is so morally corrupt and devoid of character worships gold, and knows no love of the homeland. Approximately 10,000 Jews fled to Istanbul and other areas, before calm was re-established. No reparations or efforts to restore stolen property were made.

1934 January 9, MAX NAUMANN ( Germany)

In a speech referring to his own people, the leader of the League of National German Jews Verband national deutscher Juden stated," No one has anything against the good ones …". Naumann and his group supported the eradication of Jewish ethnicity, was anti-Zionist and called for the expulsion of Eastern European Jewry from Germany. In November 18, 1935 his group was declared illegal, and he was arrested by the Gestapo. Naumann died of cancer in May 1939.

1935 September 15, NUREMBERG LAWS (Germany)

"The law for the protection of German Blood and Honor" was instituted. As part of these laws, it became a capital offense to marry or have intimate relations with a Jew. The law was more specific than the 1933 laws regarding mixed or Mischlinge Jews, which defined as a Jew as anyone with one Jewish grandparent. The racial law was based on that Nazi belief that the basic freedoms of individuals were superseded by "racial or national characteristics" which were supposed to make some people inferior to others. As part of the "Reich Law", Jews were no longer citizens (with rights) but rather subjects of the Reich. These were among the 2,000 laws enacted against Jews which included the revoking of German citizenship, the prohibition against serving in the public sector, owning or editing newspapers, or immigrating to Germany.


Cancelled the "Treaty of Commerce and Friendship " between the city of New York and Germany. This was in retaliation for discrimination of American Jews in Germany.

1935 October 1, - 1936 March 31, JEWISH IMMIGRATION VISAS

Four thousand, three hundred and fifty (4,350) visas were granted by the British. From these 1000 were deducted as haven be given in advance, 250 were for non-Jews, 1,200 deducted to cover "illegal" immigrants. In addition, 1,900 for dependents of legally employed residents, totaling 4,350.

1936 March 18, MASS PROTESTS (Poland)

By Jews and Polish workers against anti-Semitic violence. Despite the tens of thousands who joined, the effect was insignificant.

1936 February 29, CARDINAL AUGUST HLOND (Poland)

Newly appointed Primate of Poland. He declared in a pastoral letter that since Jews are usurers, slave traders and frauds, Poles should boycott their businesses.

1936 April 21, BEGINNING OF THE 36-39 RIOTS (ME'ORAOT) (Eretz Israel)

Arab headquarters called for a general strike and a rebellion against the Mandate in an effort to prevent Jewish immigration. Initially 80 Jews were murdered and 308 wounded. By the fall of '39, over a hundred Jews had been killed in Arab attacks. The official Zionist policy at the time was havlagah (self-restraint).


Endorsed an "economic war" against the Jews

1936 December 5, IRGUN ZVAI LEUMI (Etzel)(Eretz Israel)

Signed an agreement with Vladimir Jabotinsky. The Irgun, which was known at that time as Haganah Bet, was under the command of Abraham Tehomi who had split with the Haganah five years earlier. The agreement was that Tehomi would be the commander under Jabotinsky's political guidance. Tehomi rejoined the Haganah a year later and took 30% of his forces with him. The Irgun believed that armed force was a prerequisite for the creation of a Jewish state, that Arabs who attacked Jews should expect retaliation and that no one had a right to prevent Jews from immigrating. The relationship between the Irgun and the Haganah was usually stormy, though they did have periods of cooperation.


Edward Smigly-Rydz (Pilsudski's immediate successor) ordered Jews to be segregated in university classrooms. He was part of what was known as the anti-Semitic "colonels" clique." (see 1937)


Sir Oswald Mosley and 3000 of his black shirt followers attempted to demonstrate in the East End of London, home to tens of thousands of Jews. The " battle" mostly led by the communist party, was one of the few times where the left succeeded in stopping the fascists. Mosley did not try again to enter the East End.

1937 March 14, POPE PIUS XI

Criticized the Nazis for interfering with Catholic education in the Third Reich. Although he denounced Nazi racism and totalitarianism, he also mentioned that the Jews were guilty of deicide. This was one of the few times the Vatican came out publicly against the Nazi regime. The next pope, Pius XII, did even less.

1937 June, BRAZIL

The ministry of Foreign Affairs distributed a secret memo urging all Brazilian consuls not to grant visas to Jews. In spite of this, between the years 1933 and 1945 almost 100,000 Jews made their way to Latin America.

1937 February 21, OZON (Poland)

The anti-Semitic Camp of National Unity (Oboz Zjednoczenia Narodowego)) was created by Colonel Adam Koc, and Minister of Defense Smigly-Rydz. Trying to stave of pressure from the extreme right they adopted 13 points (called the 13 theses) similar to the Nuremberg laws, depriving Jews of civil rights and advocating their expulsion from all of Poland. They organized boycotts and although officially condemning anti- Jewish violence, they turned a blind eye to it, under the guise of national defense.

1937 October 20, POLAND

In response to discrimination policies, Jews, assorted liberals and students went on strike. Within a few weeks the government succeeded in putting down the strike and enforcing its decrees.


Founded and headed the Rassemblement anti-Juif de France. His program included promoting the "Protocols" and his own magazine, La France Enchaines, as well as calling for the expulsion or extermination of the Jews. During the war he became Commissioner General for Jewish affairs and helped deport nine thousand foreign Jews to German camps.

1937 February 7, BOLESLAW PIASECKI (Poland)

Head of the Oboz Narodowo-Radykalny National Radical Camp ONR) a facist Polish party which supported 'Catholic totalitarianism', called for the expulsion of all Jews from Poland

1937 January, MARIUS MOUTET (France)

The Colonial Minister, brought up the possibility of resettling French Jews in the many different colonial holdings, including the island of Madagascar (see 1887).


Left to Madagascar to investigate the possibility of sending Polish and/ or French immigrant Jews to the Island for resettlement. The commission, under Mieczyslaw B. Lepecki, the director of the special office of the prime minister, was supported by the foreign minister Josef Beck. Its report stated that it was probably not a feasible solution, for the number they had in mind.

1938 January 21, ROMANIA

Jewish citizenship was revoked. Miron Cristea - patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church and successor to Goga - declared: "The Jews are sucking the marrow from the bones of the nation."

1938 March 13, HITLER ENTERED AUSTRIA (the Anschluss)

To the greetings of the Church and Cardinal Innitzer. All Catholic Churches flew the Nazi flag and rang bells in honor of Hitler's troops. Dr. Arthur Seys-Inquert, who later achieved infamy as a mass murderer of Jews, was appointed chancellor. Austria was annexed to Germany and with it the Austrian Jews.

1938 June 1, MASS ARRESTS (Germany)

Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Gestapo, also known as the Secret Police, ordered the arrest of thousands of German Jews. Most were sent to Buchenwald which soon had to be enlarged. Others were sent to Dachau and Sachsenhausen. In Dachau the prisoners were told to make lots of yellow stars in preparation for a new influx of prisoners.

1938 June 29, SHLOMO BEN YOSEF (Shalom Tabachnik) (Eretz Israel)

Was hung for alleged terrorist activities. Ben Yosef a member of Betar, along with Abraham Shein, and Sholom Djuravinand attacked an Arab bus in retaliation for the murder of 6 Jews. Although no one was killed in the attack, he was tried, convicted and despite world wide protests, hung by the British. His last words were reportedly "Restraint (Havlaga) is fatal".

1938 July 5, EVIAN CONFERENCE (France)

Was called by President Roosevelt, eleven days after Hitler annexed Austria, to discuss what to do about the Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi Germany (It took three months to arrange). Delegates of thirty-two nations attended and decided they could do very little. The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica were the only countries willing to take in Jews fleeing Europe - and then only for payment of huge amounts of money.


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.


Eichmann (1906-1962) was so successful in forcing Jews to emigrate and confiscating their property that the Center later served as a model in Prague and in Berlin. Eichmann had joined the SS in 1933 and served in Dachau. His promotions were partly due to friendship with Ernest Kaltenbrunner who later commanded the Reich Security Head Office (R.S.H.A.) and partly due to his total association with Nazi ideals. Eichmann was compulsive about details and in preparation even learned some Yiddish and Hebrew. He eventually came to head Gestapo's Section IVB4. Eichmann's fanaticism in carrying out the "Final Solution" even came at the expense of the German war efforts. Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents in Argentina in May 1960 and put on trial in Jerusalem. A year later he was hung, his body cremated and his ashes strewn into the sea.

1938 August 8, MAUTHAUSEN (Austria)

Was established. It was the first Austrian concentration camp and one of the most notorious of all the camps. Run by the SS, it was originally for Austrian anti-Nazis taken under the "protective custody law" of 1936, but it soon contained Spanish Republicans, "enemies of the state" and Jews. Situated near a quarry, its victims were forced to carry heavy loads up over 150 steps. Most of the prisoners (Jews and non-Jews) were classified as "return not desired." A gas chamber was later installed and satellite camps were opened. Franz Ziereis served as its commandant from the beginning until he was captured and shot in May 1945. 122,767 out of an estimated 335,000 prisoners were murdered.

1938 August 18, - December, SWITZERLAND

Closed its borders to Jewish refugees who could not produce valid entry visas. Despite this, Paul Gruninger, the local police chief of St. Gallen (near Austria) permitted 3,600 Jews to enter Switzerland. In December 1938, he was suspended and charges were later brought against him. Found guilty of insubordination, he was sentenced a stiff fine and lost his position and pension. In 1971, he received recognition from Yad Vashem as one of the "Righteous Among the Nations".

1938 October, GERMANY

Forcibly deported 17,000 Jews to Poland. Poland refused them entry, forcing them to remain in No Man's Land. Germany continued to expel small groups, often using force to prevent them from reentering Germany after they were turned away at the Polish border by the Polish police.

1938 November 9, KRISTALLNACHT (Germany)

Goebbels called vom Rath's murder "a Jewish conspiracy" and a nation-wide pogrom was organized by the German government. Fifty thousand Jews were arrested and taken to concentration camps, five hundred synagogues were destroyed and the Jewish community of Germany was forced to pay one billion reichmarks ($400,000,000) for the damage.

1938 November 28, APPEARANCE DECREE (Germany)

Jews were banned from certain districts and the hours of any public appearance were restricted.

1938 December, RUSSIA

By this time Yiddish was spoken by less than one quarter of the Russian Jews.

1938 November 17, ANTI JEWISH LEGISLATION (Italy)

The Supreme Council of the Fascist Party passed extensive anti- Jewish legislation known as the "November Laws". Jewish property was confiscated and banning Jews from all positions in the civil service. All Jews who became citizens after January 1, 1919 were deprived of their citizenship and were commanded to leave Italy no later then March 1939. In addition all Jewish officers were removed from the army including General Pugliese who was head of Naval construction. One officer, Colonel Segre committed suicide in front of his men.

1938 August 13, L'Osservatore Romano

The Vatican's semiofficial newspaper, reported on the churches protective measures for Jews. But if Christians were forbidden to force Jews to embrace the Catholic religion, to disturb their synagogues, their Sabbath and their festivals, the Jews, on the other hand, were forbidden to hold public office, civil or military; and this prohibition extended even to the children of converted Jews. The precautionary decrees concerned the professions, education, and business positions.

1938 May 22, FIFTY CHILDREN ( Vienna)

Left Austria after receiving visa permits for the United States. This was conceived of and orchestrated by Gilbert and Eleanor Krauss, wealthy and well connected Philadelphian Jews who traveled to Austria and Germany in order to facilitate their escape. This was the largest private initiative to help Jewish children receive sanctuary in the USA.

1938 May 27, POPE PIUS XII

In one of his rare public references to Jews, described them at an international conference in Bucharest, as a people " whose lips curse him and whose hearts reject him". During the war and in the aftermath he never mentioned the word Jew.

1938 September 28, JOSEF LIPSKI ( Germany)

The Polish ambassador to Germany, met with Hitler who discussed the idea of helping Poland forcibly repatriate Jews to overseas colonial reservations under German administration. Lipski was enthusiastic about his idea, and reported as much to Josef Beck the Foreign minister.


Hitler divided Poland into various districts (gauen). He incorporated into Germany two districts: Danzig (Gdansk) and what became known as the Wartheland which included the provinces that had been lost in the First World War plus the Lodz district. All Jews were ordered to leave the Wartheland except for those in the Lodz ghetto where Reich Jews would also be interned. Before the war, Lodz had 233,000 Jews - one-third of the population. The district had 390,000 Jews. The ghetto was totally liquidated by the end of August 1944.

1939 January 1, GERMANY

As part of what was known as the compulsory aryanization process, all Jewish retail businesses were eliminated. All Jewish owned stocks were forbidden to be traded on the free market but had to be sold to a German competitor or association. This edict was signed just a month earlier by the Economic and Justice ministries. In addition, Jews were also forbidden to drive automobiles and their licenses had to be turned in.


A long time semi-supporter of the German government, became Pope Pius XII. In October 1941 Harold Tittman, a U.S. delegate to the Vatican, asked the pope to condemn the atrocities against Jews; Pius replied that the Vatican wished to remain "neutral." In September 1942 the Popes Secretary of State,Luigi Maglione in a reply to a query stated "that the rumors about genocide could not be verified" that same year he commented that that the Vatican was "unable to denounce publicly particular atrocities". This policy of refusal to publicly condemn Nazi atrocities continued throughout the war. Albeit, after the war Pius called for forgiveness for all, including war criminals.

1939 May 5, HUNGARY

Two-thirds of Hungary's Jews who became citizens after 1914 were denaturalized. The bill was first presented by ex-Prime Minister Bella Imredy. Jews had to leave all government related positions before the end of the year.

1939 May 15, RAVENSBRUCK (Germany)

A women's concentration camp was opened near Mecklenburg. The camp originally took in political prisoners and Gypsies and eventually resistance fighters and Jews. Many of the prisoners were used for "medical" experiments. The camp was active until April 1944 when the Red Cross negotiated the release of the survivors. Of the 132,000 women who were sent to Ravensbruck 92,000 died.


The status of the Jews was classified by Konstantin von Neurath, the Reich Protector, in agreement with German legislation. This was always the first step with any German takeover. After Jews were "appropriately" defined it was only a small step to confiscation of property and deportation. Out of the 90,000 Jews in the protectorate only 10,000 would survive.


Beginning of World War II. Out of the 3,351,000 Jews in Poland, 2,042,000 came under Nazi rule while 1,309,000 came under Soviet rule. Within two days the British and French declared war on Germany. During the war a million and a half Jews fought on the side of allied forces: 555,000 for the USA; 500,000 for the Soviet Union; 116,000 for Great Britain (26,000 from Palestine and 90,000 from the British Commonwealth); and another 243,000 for other European nations.

1939 May 14, GERMAN LINER ST. LOUIS (Germany-Cuba-USA)

Set sail from Hamburg with 930 Jewish refugees with American quota permits and special permission to stay temporarily in Cuba. Cuban President Frederico Bru declared all but 30 of the permits worthless due to new regulations. Despite exhaustive efforts by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and the depositing of half a million dollars in a Havana account, President Bru refused to budge. The U.S. also refused to take in any refugees and sent Coast Guard boats to prevent passengers from jumping overboard. After all efforts failed, The St. Louis was forced to return to Europe. The German Press gloated: "We say we don't want Jews while the democracies claim they are willing to receive them." A Gallup poll reported that 83 percent of Americans opposed the admission of a larger number of Jewish refugees.


Was opened by Adolph Eichmann. As in other offices of this kind, Jews were forced to register for emigration,and had to turn over their property as part of a "Jewish emigration tax." For the next 15 months until emigration was banned 26,629 Jews succeeded in fleeing.


First deportation of Jews to Poland.

1939 October 27, POLAND

Forced labor was instituted by Hans Frank for all Jews between the ages of 14 through 60.

1939 December 11, BRITAIN CALLED FOR VOLUNTEERS (Eretz Israel)

To join the British army. Most of the Jews boycotted the call since the British refused to allow Jews to serve in combat units.

1939 September 21, REINHARD HEYDRICH (Germany)

Invited 15 people (including Eichmann) to a conference to determine policy regarding the Jews and the Einsatzgruppen (special action groups). Their resolution (although it didn't go into details) made use of the words "First steps in the Final Solution". Heydrich ordered the segregation of all Jews into ghettos and the formation of local Jewish councils (Judenrats). The Judenrat was in Heydrich's words" made fully responsible for the exact and punctual implementation of all instructions released or yet to be released." These councils or Judenrats were designed to force the Jews to be part of the system of their own destruction by letting them think that they could save some Jews by agreeing to forget about some of the rest. Some people considered the Judenrat as collaborators and others viewed them as continuing pre-war communal work. There were 128 Judenrats in Nazi occupied Poland (or what was known as the General Government). Some heads of the Judenrats cooperated with the Nazis hoping to save the remainder. Others (about 40 of them) preferred to commit suicide rather than turn over Jews for deportation.

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.

1939 December 31, ERETZ ISRAEL

During the year 1939, 34 immigrant boats tried to break through the British blockade. Seventeen new settlements were founded and more than 100 Jews were killed by Arab terror.


And HICEM, the European affiliate of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, rescued approximately 30,000 European Jews. Despite this, or maybe because of this, the U.S. Office of censorship, in a memo dated March 1942, stated that they should be viewed with suspicion since they could be used by the Nazi's to bring in spies.

1939 September 8, GERMAN TROOPS OCCUPIED LODZ (Poland)

With over 230,000 Jews living there. By the time the Russians arrived on January 19, 1945 they found less then 10,000 Jews left.

1939 September 9, BEDZIN (Poland)

In a special operation, the Einsatzkommandos (The Nazi Special action groups which served as Mobile Killing Units) began to burn down synagogues. In Bedzin, the synagogue was set on fire and fire fighters were not allowed to put it out. The fire extended to the Jewish area and the Jews were not allowed out of their houses. Hundreds burned to death.

1939 September 17, RUSSIA

Invaded Poland. Within ten days the Polish army surrendered. Tens of thousands of Jews fled from teh German zone to the Soviet zone.

1939 September 23, GERMANY

Jews were forbidden to own radios.

1939 September 27 - 28, POLAND SURRENDERED

Warsaw fell. Poland's capital, home to 350,000 Jews, surrendered to German troops after a three-week siege. Out of over 90,000 Polish Jewish soldiers, 32,216 were killed and another 61,000 captured, most of them dying in captivity. The first stage of surrender was the forcing of all Jews into large cities and the establishing of local Jewish councils. The second stage was ghettoization (May 1940) - total separation from other populations, and the final stage (December 1941) was annihilation. At the outbreak of the war there were 3.3 million Jews in Poland. Less than 300,000 would survive.


Russia absorbed the Baltic States. Over the next 6 months, these would include Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and parts of Bessarabia, Galicia, Belarus, and Bukovina. This added 2,170,000 Jews to Russia's population of 3 million Jews. Russia would give some of the Baltic States only a vague semblance of independence which created resentment and prepared the way for their eventual welcoming of the Germans in June 1941. Around 1 million Jews were later killed in those areas, many of them by local special police who were active participants in their murder.

1939 November 11, CIRCULAR 14

Was issued by the Portuguese government, mainly due to economic considerations. In essence it ordered its consulate's not to grant transit visas to; "Stateless, Russian Citizens, Holders of a Nansen passport ( refugee travel documents) , or Jews", without prior explicit permission from Foreign Ministry head office in Lisbon. Other neutral governments passed similar regulations.


Argentinean passenger ships arrive in Buenos Aires , one with 66 and one with 27 Jews among its passengers. All but two were returned to Europe, even though they had visas. During 1939 more than 200 Jews who had sought refuge in Argentina were denied entry.

1939 May 4, HUNGARY

Enacted anti-Semitic legislation abolishing all civil rights for Jews. Jews were also barred from buying land , from all positions in culture or education, and a quota was issued regarding working in commerce and banking.

1939 September 28, IBM "International Business Machines" (USA)

Thomas J. Watson, president of IBM, agreed to transfer high-tech alphabetical sorting machines from Austria to Germany. These will be used to separate Jews from Poles in Nazi occupied territories.


Located near Lodz, became the first ghetto established by the Nazis in Poland. It was set up upon the order of Reinhard Heydrich, only 38 days after the invasion. The area which used to house 6000 people now held 28,000 Jews. By 1944 only 1,000 Jews remained. As the Soviet front drew near in December 1944, those who had survived were set to Buchenwald and Ravensbruck.

1940 September 6, KING CAROL II RESIGNED (Romania)

Bowing to German pressure. This left the way for Ion Antonescu, the former minister of defense, to take power. Now a National Socialist state with the Iron Guard, its police force began anti-Jewish programs. The Iron Guard was similar to the SS and served as a political police force. Many Romanian guards joined the SS and took part in the mass killings of Jews. In Romania approximately 300,000 people (50% of the Jewish population) were murdered.

1940 October 7, ALGERIA

French citizenship was withdrawn from all Jews by the Vichy government. They rescinded the Crmieux Decree which had secured them French citizenship since October 1870. Although two years later the allies recaptured Algeria, it took almost another full year and the personal intervention of President Roosevelt, for the Crmieux Decree to be reactivated on October 20, 1943.

1940 October 28, BELGIUM

The German military occupation defined Jews according to the Nuremberg laws and demanded that they all register. In all only 42,000 registered and between 10,000 -15,000 either refused or went into hiding. Despite the local fascist movement, the Rexists, most of the Belgium people did not support Nazi persecution of the Jews. The military Governor General Alexander Von Falkenhausen and his deputy Eggert Reeder, although unenthusiastic about Nazi racial policies, never the less cooperated with the Security office especially when it came to foreign born nationals.At their trial in 1951. although guilty of departing 25,000 Jews. They were sentenced to 12 years but ended up only spending three weeks in prison.

1940 November 15, GHETTOS SEALED (Poland)

The Warsaw ghetto, with more then 400,000 Jews, and the Krakow ghetto, with 70,000 Jews, were sealed off.

1940 August 30, "VIENNA AWARDS"

Under pressure by Germany and Italy, Romania was forced to cede Northern Transylvania to Hungary, which put 150,000 more Jews under Hungarian control. Parts of Slovakia had been added to Hungary earlier and parts of Yugoslavia (Bacska) were later added as well, adding approximately 318,000 Jews to the 450,000 already living in Hungary. One of Hungary's motivations in signing a pact with the Germans was to gain back all its territory lost in World War I.

1940 July, ARMEE JUIVE; AJ (Jewish Army) (France)

A Jewish underground resistance movement was formed by David Knout and Abraham Polonski. Originally called the Movement des Jeunesses Sionistes (M.J.S.), it eventually metamorphasized into the Organization Juive de Combat (O.J.C.) and carried out almost 2000 actions against the enemy. Many Jews fought in other units as well, often in leading positions. Among them were: Jean-Pierre Levy the founder of the Franc Tireurs, Jacques Bingen, Ze'ev Gustman and Joseph Epstein (Colonel Gilles). Jews constituted almost 15% of the underground although they were less then 1% of the population.

1940 October 3, VICHY REGIME "The Free Zone" (France)

Published the Statut des Juifs which eliminated freedom for French migr Jews in the Free Zone. This Nazi initiated, but French enacted regulation served as the basis for the denial of all foreign born Jews to French nationality or protection under French law including those who had formally become naturalized citizens (see July 22, 1940). In all, 30,000 in the occupied zone and 25,000 in the Free Zone lost their rights.

1940 October 4, VICHY REGIME "The Free Zone" (France)

The Vichy government agreed to the internment of all foreign-born Jews, who were declared stateless. 25,000 thousand German and Austrian refugees were taken to the Gurs, Les Milles or Rivesaltes concentration camps (all operated by the French) where many of them died from hunger and disease.

1940 February 8, LODZ (Poland)

Nazi Germany ordered the setting up of the Lodz Ghetto. Before the war, Lodz was the second largest Jewish community in Poland with 233,000 Jews, one-third of the city's residents. As the Germans arrived around 75,000 fled the city. By May 1st, 160,000 Jews were funneled into the ghetto renamed Litzmannstadt. Of the more than 200,000 who were to live in the ghetto, only about 10,000 would survive. The reality that Lodz was annexed by Germany and isolated from the rest of the city, and the fact that people thought that the work camps may keep them alive, all contributed to the lack of any attempt at revolt.

1940 February 12, GERMANY

First deportation of German Jews into occupied Poland.


Was formed, which in effect served as the government-in-exile that was also known as the PKP. Part of their job was to coordinate all anti-Nazi efforts in Poland. Many of the delegates - who represented various political parties - were distinctly unfriendly to the Jews.

1940 April 27, AUSCHWITZ (Poland)

Under Himmler's orders, work began on Auschwitz. The first and smallest camp was used for German criminals. Later it was used for Polish prisoners as well. It only began taking in massive numbers of Jews in March 1942. Auschwitz was to become the main killing center for European Jewry. In May, its first commandant, Rudolf Hoess, was appointed. He eventually constructed the camp at Birkenau and developed an assembly line system for murder. At its peak, Auschwitz was able to "process" 10,000 people in 24 hours. Hoess was later captured by the British and hung on April 16, 1947 on the one-person gallows outside the entrance to the gas chamber.

1940 April 27, H. F. DOWNIE (England)

The British Head of the Middle East Department of the Colonial Office stated that "the Jews are enemies just as the Germans are, but in a more insidious way", and that "our two sets of enemies [Nazis and Jews] are linked together by secret and evil bonds." A year later (March 15, 1941), he wrote " one regret[s] that the Jews are not on the other side in this war."

1940 April 30, LODZ GHETTO (Poland)

Was surrounded with barbed wire, wooden fences, and outposts making it the first ghetto to be sealed off. In the previous 8 months, more than 70,000 Jews had left the city, with 164,000 remaining in the ghetto.


Just four days after the German invasion and one day after Queen Wilhelmina fled to London, the country surrendered to the Germans. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, an Austrian lawyer who had played an important role in the Anschluss, was appointed Reich commissioner. Almost all of Holland's Jews lived in three cities with 60% in Amsterdam alone, making it very easy for the Germans to concentrate their efforts. Out of Holland's 140,000 Jews, 80% would perish in the Holocaust. Seyss-Inquart was later hung after the Nuremberg trials.

1940 June 15, LA MER ET L'ENFANT (Paris, France)

Became the first social welfare organization in occupied France. Under the guidance of David Rapoport, "Mother and Child" helped thousands of Jews. Rapoport and his wife were arrested by the Nazis in June 1943 and deported to Auschwitz where they perished. The La Mere et l'Enfant was originally founded at a day camp known as the Colonie Scolaire which was located at 26 Rue Amelot. There were also known by some as the Rebels of the Rue Amelot.

1940 June 22, FRENCH ARMISTICE (Compigne, France)

Was signed. France was divided into two sections; an occupied zone under direct German rule and an unoccupied "free" zone in Vichy. It was estimated that of the 350,000 French Jews, less than half were native born. Approximately 90,000 were murdered.


Six months after he entered his position as head of the Visa Division, he sent a memo to State Department officials with practical ideas for hampering the granting of U.S. visas. Long was a close friend of Roosevelt, and under orders to block any special efforts to help Jews, he succeeded in cutting those granted visas by half. Long (and many others) believed that any special help for the Jews would detract from the war effort. His policy was to "delay and effectively stop immigration." Long was helped by reports from Laurence Steinhardt, U.S. attorney and diplomat, who considered Jewish refugees undesirable. Ironically this same Steinhardt, later ambassador to Turkey, was effective in trying to save the remnant of Hungarian Jews through the War Refugee Board.

1940 June, - 1942 November, LE CHAMBON SUR LIGNON (near Lyon, France)

Pastor Andre Trocme encouraged the inhabitants of this small village to help as many Jews as possible. An estimated 5,000 Jews were given refuge. Trocme is one of the over 19,100 people honored as righteous gentiles at Yad V'shem in Jerusalem.

1940 July 22, VICHY GOVERNMENT (France)

In its first anti-Jewish decree, it revoked the citizenship of naturalized Jews.

1940 July 31, - August 28, CHIUNE (SEMPO) AND YUKIKO SUGIHARA (Kaunas/Kovno, Lithuania)

The Japanese Consul-General began issuing travel visas to Japan through Russia so that Jews could get to Curacao and Dutch Guiana where one would not need entrance visas. Despite the Japanese official policy to deny any such visa to Jews, Chiune and his wife Yukiko, sat for many hours writing and signing visas by hand. They issued 300 visas a day which would normally take one month's worth of work for the consul. After the Soviet Union annexed Lithuania he was forced to move on to Germany. It is estimated that he saved well over 3,000 lives. Both were later honored by the Israeli government at Yad Vashem as righteous gentiles.rnrn

1940 July 3, MADAGASCAR PLAN (Berlin, Germany)

Adolph Eichmann prepared a detailed plan for the transfer of four million Jews to Madagascar to be paid for by Jewish confiscated property. The idea was to rid Europe of its Jews and at the same time use them as "hostages" to insure the "correct behavior" of world Jewry. The plan itself dates back to the German anti-Semitic nationalist Paul de Lagarde in 1885. The Germans needed French acquiescence which was predicated on a peace treaty which in turn depended on the end of hostilities with England. On February 1, 1942 the plan was discarded and replaced with the Endloesung, or the "Final Solution". The plan had previously been considered by the Polish government and its foreign minister Josef Beck (see 1937).


Theodor Dannecker of Reich Security (RHSA), reported in a memo that due to the number of Jews in German-controlled territories, "solving the Jewish Problem through emigration has become impossible." Dannecker, a captain in the SS, worked with Eichmann He helped organized the roundup of Jews in France, Bulgaria and Hungary and was considered an expert in the final solution. Dannecker was arrested by the Americans but committed suicide in prison before his trial.rn

1941 September 28, ROUNDUP OF JEWS IN KIEV (Ukraine)

Two thousand notices were posted around Kiev ordering all Jews to appear the next day with documents, warm clothes and valuables. These roundups were known as Aktions and referred to all forced gathering of Jews for the purpose of deportation or extermination. In this case, although rumors were rife that the Jews were being rounded up to be sent to a labor camp, the result of this aktion was the Babi Yar massacres in which, according to German records, 33,771 Jews were slaughtered in a ravine outside of Kiev by SS Colonel Paul Blobel. The massacre is immortalized in Yevgei Yevtushenko's poem "Babi Yar." The monument placed on the site does not mention Jews. After WWII a dance hall was erected on the site of the massacre despite international protests. Flooding caused by severe storms washed away the dance hall before it could be opened, and caused many skeletons of the massacre's victims to be unearthed.rn

1941 November 24, THERESIENSTADT, (Czechoslovakia)

A ghetto was set up in the old barracks and then in the walled town itself. All the 3,700 local inhabitants were moved out. Although Theresienstadt was set up as a "model settlement," its death rate reached fifty percent in 1942 through starvation and epidemics. During an investigation by the Red Cross in June 1943 the Germans changed the external appearance of the town and deported many so that there would be less overcrowding. All the interviews were carefully orchestrated and immediately after the visit most of those interviewed were deported. In all, 140,937 Jews were sent to Theresienstadt, of whom 33,529 died in the ghetto and 88,196 were deported to death camps. There were 17,247 persons left in the ghetto when it was liberated.

1941 June 1, FARHUD POGROM(Shavuot) (Baghdad, Iraq)

After the defeat of the pro-German Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gailani by the British, organized riots broke out often joined by the police. Approximately 180 Jews were killed and nearly 2000 wounded, 586 Jewish-owned businesses were looted and hundreds of Jewish houses destroyed. This marked a turning point for Iraq's Jews. Eventually, in 1948 after their rights were canceled, and many fired from their jobs, they were left with little choice other than a mass exodus.

1941 January 23, LAW FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE NATION (Bulgaria)

1941 January 23, LAW FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE NATION (Bulgaria) rnWas passed by Parliament (Sobranie) and then signed into law by King Boris. Unlike Germany, the definition of a Jew did not include native Bulgarian Jews who converted, which led to many fictitious conversions. Bulgaria's Prime Minister Bogdan Filov, and Minister of Interior Petar Gabrovski were eager to please the Germans, especially when it came to anti-Jewish measures. They were met with opposition by many in the Church, politicians, and many common people ,as it pertained to Bulgaria proper. This did not apply to Jews in Macedonia and Thrace where many German measures had full effect, including confiscation of property, ban on travel and eventual deportation. Of the 64,000 Jews in Bulgaria, 14,000 were murdered. Almost all were from Macedonia and Thrace (see March 1943) which had been added to Bulgaria by Hitler in March 1941.rnrn

1941 January 21, THE IRON GUARD (Romania)

Revolted against Antonescu and the army. During the short lived revolt, the Iron Guard attacked Jews in Bucharest, killing 120 people. Some of them were hung on meat hooks with a sign placed on them reading "Kosher meat."

1941 February 22, AMSTERDAM (Netherlands)

First initial deportation, in which 389 Jewish hostages were sent to Buchenwald and then the quarrying camp at Mauthausen. This was ostensibly for resistance to the anti-Jewish riots organized by the Nazis. They were later joined by another 230 Amsterdam Jews. By 1942 only eight were alive and by the end of the war only one Jew, Max Nebig, who had managed to survive by volunteering for medical experiments. The actual deportations began in July of 1942 and almost all of them to Auschwitz and Sobibor.


The Commissariat of Jewish Affairs was established. Headed by Xavier Vallat, it became the main authority behind anti-Jewish measures. Surprisingly, when the Germans decided to force the Jews to wear the yellow star in the Vichy zone in June of 1942, he refused to agree to this measure believing it was against French interest and was replaced.

1941 April 10, CROATIA

Declared its independence from Yugoslavia. Ante Pavelic, head of the Ustache party, initiated anti-Jewish measures within a few weeks, and held wealthy Jews for ransom. His troops, together with a Bosnian Muslim division, took part in the destruction of synagogues and cemeteries. The Muslim division was personally blessed by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the former mufti of Jerusalem. Within a month he established his country's first concentration camp at Danica.


To Germany and was divided between Italy, Germany, Hungary, and Bulgaria with the remainder becoming the new state of Croatia. The status of the Jews depended upon who controlled their area. There were 71,000 Jews in Yugoslavia before the war. About 10,000 survived, many of them from the Italian or Bulgarian zones which were usually less then enthusiastic about implementing German racial laws.

1941 May 14, PARIS (France)

Thousands of foreign-born Jews were arrested by French police.

1941 June 22, OPERATION BARBARROSA (Russia)

Germany attacked Russia. Within a few weeks millions of Jews fell under Nazi rule. The official Soviet radios only reference to the German's successful incursion was to warn Jews to leave certain areas. Approximately 500,000 Jews fought under the Soviet flag and almost half of them were killed during the war. Many Jews served with valor and won 160,000 medals, including 145 "Heroes of the Soviet Union", the Soviet Union's highest award.

1941 June 2, GREECE

Was occupied and was broken into three zones German, Italian and Bulgarian. Germany occupied eastern Thrace, Salonika and Crete. Italy occupied "old Greece" ,and Bulgaria annexed western Thrace, Macedonia and the Ionian islands. Salonika which had been occupied by the Germans on April 9th immediately began to institute anti-Jewish measures. The areas occupied by Italy did not institute any harsh measures until the Nazi occupation ( see Sept. 1943) The Bulgarians only "cooperated" after strong German pressure and then only in Thrace and part of Macedonia (March 9, 1943). Thirteen hundred Jews, 300 of them former soldiers join the partisans. Out of Greek population of 70,000 Jews 58,000 were murdered.

1941 June 22, FINLAND

Joined Germany and invaded its old nemesis, Russia. In the following months, Himmler tried to induce the Finns to deport their 2000 Jews. The Finns and their Foreign Minister Rolf Witting flatly refused.

1941 June 22, HUNGARIAN ARMY

Joined Germany in its surprise attack on the Soviet Union. Hungary joined in the attack. Its regular army was accompanied by 50,000 Jews who were sent as forced labor battalions. Over 40,000 died.

1941 June 27, BIALYSTOK (Poland)

Was occupied by the Nazis. Some 50,000 Jews lived in the city, which was a major textile center. It was this factor that led the head of the Judenrat, Ephraim Barash, to believe that Jewish work was too important to the German war effort for them to be annihilated. An underground was formed, with the tentative backing of Barash. It was totally disunited.

1941 June 28, JASSY MASSACRE (Romania)

Romanian and German troops murdered thousands of Jews and deported the rest with the active participation of local residents. It is estimated that there were 12,000 victims. Jassy had been considered the capital of Romanian anti-Semitism during the late 19th century when Alexander Cuza, the Romanian nationalist and anti-Semite, taught at the university. After the Antonescu government seized power in November 1940, Jassy became the "capital of the Iron Guard."

1941 June, JOSIP BROZ TITO (1892-1980) (Yugoslavia)

Revolutionary and statesman, he began his revolt against the Germans once they attacked Russia. About 2000 Jews fought together with Marshall Tito including one of his senior lieutenants, Mosa Pijade. The head of his Russian Battalion was a Jew, Pyotr Oransky.


Issued its first proclamation calling for partisan action against the Germans although in reality it was the following May that partisan action became operational. Until that time most Jewish partisan units operated at their own initiative and alone. It is estimated that 20 - 25,000 Jews joined various partisan units in the German occupied areas during the war.

1941 July 21, - 1944 July 24, MAJDANEK/Maidanek (Lublin, Poland)

Concentration and death camp. It was originally established as a camp for prisoners of war and only became a death camp in the beginning of 1942. It was the largest concentration camp in the General Government and had one of the highest rates of natural deaths. At least 130,000 Jews were murdered in the camp, which was run by Anton Thumann. He was sentenced at the British Neuengamme Trials in March 1946 and executed October 8th 1946.

1941 August 7, MARSHAL PETAIN (France)

Asked the Vatican for guidance regarding upcoming anti-Jewish actions. French Ambassador Leon Bernard consulted with Pope Pius XII, who quoted Thomas Aquinas: since Jews are destined to perpetual slavery, anti-Jewish measures may be enacted. The Vatican also had no desire to argue with the Vichy government over "the Jewish statute."


Filling in for the ailing archbishop, forbade the Lithuanian clergy to help the Jews in any way.

1941 November 28, HAJ AMIN al-HUSSEINI, MUFTI OF JERUSALEM (Berlin)

Met with Hitler and called him the "Protector of Islam." Hitler promised the Mufti that, after the Wehrmacht reached the southern gates of the Caucasus, “Germany’s objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere.” Husseni later commented that he praised the Germans " because they “know how to get rid of the Jews".


6,000 Jews of Saloniki were deported along with 85% of the Jewish Greek population totaling 65,000 Jews.

1941 December 8, - 1945 January 18, CHELMNO/KULMHOF (Poland)

The first camp to be created specifically as a death camp was opened using the exhaust from mobile vans. Herbert Lange was the first commandant, followed by Hans Bothmann. Approximately 340,000 people were murdered there. Death camps or extermination camps were created for one purpose - to kill Jews and dispose of the bodies as efficiently as possible. The Nazi need to find more direct ways to implement their goal of a "Jew Free" Europe increased as a result of the influx of Jews from the East. In addition to Chelmno, there were five other main death camps: Belzec, Sobibor, Majdanek, Auschwitz, and Treblinka. Other smaller death camps were established near Vilna, Riga, Minsk, Kovno, and Lvov. In 1963, twelve of the camp's SS officers were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 1 to 20 years. Bothmann hanged himself in April 1946 after his arrest. There is no information on the whereabouts of Lange.


Formed their own groups calling it "The Committee for Jewish Defense." Aside from anti-German actions, they campaigned against voluntarily appearing for deportation to "work camps" which were published by the Judenrat, and saved Jews by hiding 3000 children and 10,000 adults.

1941 December 31, ERETZ ISRAEL

Due to the war and British restrictions, only 4,600 Jews made it to Israel (the lowest number in 10 years) and only five new settlements were established.

1941 December 7 - 9, RIGA (Russia)

Within two days 80% of the Jews living in the ghetto (25,000 people) were shot including the famous historian Simon Dubnow. On December 8, at age 81, Dubnow was shot by a former student of his, now a Gestapo officer. His dying message to fellow Jews was: "Yidn, shreibt un farshreibt!" ("Jews, write and record!").

1941 October, VAAD EZRA V'HATZALAH (Hungary)

The Relief and Rescue Committee was established by Joel Brand, Samuel Springmann, and Rudolf Kasztner. Later, in January 1943, the organization took on a more official role and Otto Komoly became its chairman.. Their goal was to find ways to save Jews (usually though bribes). Under Komoly they also began to organize non-Jewish protests, against Nazi policies in Hungary, especially among the clergy and politicians. Komoly was murdered in 1945 by members of the Hungarian fascist movement, the Arrow Cross.


Was founded. The UGIF was to function similarly to the Judenrats in Poland and Germany. Officially the Jewish administrative body, its real purpose was to make it easy for the Nazis to keep track off all the Jews in preparation for their deportation to the east.

1941 November 15, - December 5, GERMAN ATTACK ON MOSCOW (Russia)

One of the turning points of the war. Many Jews played important roles in Moscow's defense, including Jacob Kreiser who attained the rank of general.

1941 October 23, BERNHARD LICHTENBERG (1875 -1943) (Germany)

A Catholic priest was arrested by the Gestapo. Up until his arrest, Lichtenberg continued to publicly pray from his pulpit in the St Hedwig Cathedral for the both Jews and Jewish Christians, as well as other victims of the Nazi regime . He was imprisoned in May 1942 and offered a deal to be freed in return for his ceasing of all preaching in favor of the Jews he refused . While being deported to Dachauconcentration camp be became ill and died on November 5, 1943. rn

1941 October 22, ODESSA (Russia)

After a partisan explosion in the Romanian military building, Ion Antonescu ordered that 200 people be killed for each officer killed and one hundred for each soldier. Although only several dozen Romanian were killed, 19,000 Jews were doused with gasoline in the city square and burned alive. An additional 16,000 were massacred the next day by Romanian officers.

1941 October 19, GENERAL FRANZ BOHME (Belgrade, Yugoslavia)

The German military governor, ordered 100 civilians to be executed for each of the twenty one German troops that had been killed by Serbian partisans. He specifically chose 1500 Jews from the Belgrade ghetto. This marked the first time that a Wehrmacht general initiated a mass execution. Bohme killed himself in 1947 rather than stand trial.

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.

1941 October 16, ODESSA (Russia)

Was occupied by the fourth Romanian army. Romanian troops, with a little help from Einsatzgruppe D (Action Unit D), (see May 1941) killed 8,000 Jews, about ten percent of the Jews living there.

1941 October 15, POLAND

As part of its plan to concentrate all Jews in one region, a regulation was enacted enforcing the death penalty for anyone leaving any district of the general government.


Began. Jews were sent east to Polish ghettos. Out of the 240,000 Jews living in the Greater Reich in September 1929, only 30,000 survived. Many of those had been considered "privileged" and had been sent to Theresienstadt.

1941 October 16, WERNER SCHARFF (Germany)

A Jewish electrician began his campaign against the Nazi regime. Scharff was active in helping Jews with hiding and changing identity. He was arrested twice and each time succeeded in escaping, even from Theresienstadt. Together with Frieda Wiegal he formed a group called "Union for peace and liberty" which, as the outcome of the war became evident, tried to encourage other Germans to join against the Nazi regime. Scharff was betrayed by an informer. Though tortured he refused to reveal any information and was shot at Sachsenhausen on March 16 1945 - six weeks before the end of the war.

1941 September 8, SERBIA (Yugoslavia)

Felix Benzler and Edmund Veesenmayer, high ranking German officials, demanded that the Foreign Office help them get rid of the 8000 Jews in the Belgrade ghetto, proposing that they be sent down the Danube to Romania. Foreign Minister Ribbentrop replied that it was unacceptable to unload Jews on Romanian territory without their permission. Martin Luther, the head of Special Department DIII also responded, telling them to handle it themselves as "the Military commander is responsible for the elimination of those 8000 Jews." In reality, over 2000 had already been killed. Each day groups of 100-300 Jews, were taken out to "work in the fields" near Jajinci and shot. In less then a year Serbia was "Jew Free."

1941 September 9, SLOVAKIA

Over 270 anti-Jewish regulations were passed, including wearing the yellow star, forced labor and evictions. Deportation began six months later. Of more than 90,000 Jews in Slovakia before the war, only 15,000 survived.

1941 September 1, HUNGARY

Einsatzkommandos, with the help of some Hungarian militia, murdered 11,000 Jews. In August, Hungary had pushed 17,000 stateless Jews across the border to Kamenets-Podolski in the Ukraine. The German army protested that the large number of refugees interfered with the war effort and Hungary took a few thousand back as slave laborers, leaving the rest in the hands of the Germans. There were no survivors.

1941 August 24, MOSCOW (Russia)

A meeting with "representatives of the Jewish world" was called to encourage Jews all over the world to help the Soviet Union in its fight against Hitler. This eventually led to the establishment of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in April of the following year.

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.

1941 June 23, Lithuania

Archbishop Juozapas Skvirecks (1873-1959) the papal prelate, sent a public greeting and prayer to the German forces and Adolf Hitler. When asked to intercede in the ongoing massacres of Jews by Lithuanians - he refused. Within 24 hours of the German invasion over150 Jewish communities were destroyed by locals, before German forces even arrived. There were 200,000 Jews were living in Lithuania when the Germans invaded. Less than 10,000 survived, making it one of the highest victim rates in Europe.

1941 July 21, MINSK

Forty five Jews bound together were ordered to be buried alive by 30 Russian army prisoners. The Russians refused and all 75 (Jews and Russians)were shot.

1941 July, BRATISLAVA WORKING GROUP (aka Jewish Center)

Was founded, with its goal being to help prevent or at least slow down, (usually though bribes) the deportation of Slovakian Jews. It was unusual, in that it was headed by Gisi Fleischmann (1894-1944), leader of the Women's International Zionist Organization, and an orthodox rabbi, Michael Dov Weissmandl. Later their plan was expanded into what became known as the "Europe plan" (see September 1942). After the Slovak revolt, in 1944 Rabbi Weismandel succeeded in jumping from a train on the way to Auschwitz. Gisi Fleischman as a result of her work was shot as soon as she arrived in Auschwitz at the request of Eichmann's deputy Rolf Gunther.

1942 January 20, WANNSEE CONFERENCE (Berlin,Germany)

This conference was meant to coordinate the activities of the ministries involved with the Nazi Party and SS agencies in carrying out the "Final Solution". The conference was convened by Heydrich and assisted by Eichmann. Heads of the Gestapo and other government offices worked on the bureaucratic details of the methods and logistics needed in carrying out the "Final Solution". Included in the discussions were plans for the mass sterilization of Jews who had mixed marriages, as well as the most efficient methods of mass killings. Their target was the Jewish population in 34 countries which they put at 11 million.

1942 March 26, AUSCHWITZ, POLAND

The first Jewish transport arrived under the command of Rudolf Hoess, containing 1000 Jews from Slovakia and 1000 women from Ravensbruk. According to a conservative estimate, from March 1942 until the liberation on January 27, 1945 over 750,000 Jews were gassed within its gates. Hoess himself estimated it at 1,135,000.

1942 August 25, RESISTANCE IN THE SARNY GHETTO (Ukraine)

Was organized after being informed that deportations would soon begin. On the day of the revolt, the Judenrat ordered the organizers to cease all activities, claiming that resistance would be harmful since they would only be deported for work camps. Most of the inhabitants allowed themselves to be convinced, and the revolt was postponed. Between August 27-29, most of the 14,000 Jews were murdered. Only a few succeeded in escaping to the forest.

1942 April 13, SERGEANT ANTON SCHMID (Lithuania)

Serving in the Wermacht was executed by the Nazis. Schmid was accused of disobeying orders after saving over 250 Jews near Vilna. In 1964 he was awarded the title "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Israeli government. In May 2000, the German government renamed a military base, Feldwebel Anton Schmid Kaserne, in his honor.

1942 April 20, ZDZIECIOL GHETTO (Dyatlovo, Belarus)

Alter Dworetsky and all the members of the Judenrat were forced to flee after their activities on behalf of the partisans became known to the Germans. Dworetsky tried to organize an attack on the Germans in the city but the Russian partisans refused to join them and later killed him. Dworetsky's efforts paid off when 800 people succeeded in escaping the ghetto and joined the Orlinski detachment of Russia partisans as a Jewish unit under Hersch Kaplinski. Dyatlovo was the birthplace of Israel Meir HaCohen (the Chafetz Chayim) as well as Jacob Wolf Kranz of Dubno (the Dubno Maggid). By August there were no Jews left.

1942 April 10, PARTISAN UNIT (Minsk, Belarus)

Was set up by Israel Lapidus who fled the ghetto with 20 men. His unit, known as the Kutuzov detachment, became very active in the area, bombing German supplies even in Minsk itself. Two weeks later, another group under Nahum Feldman also fled the ghetto establishing the Budyonny detachment, of whom many of its guides were 10 -13 years old. All of the units set up became mixed with non-Jews, although many Jews remained in command. The main force behind these efforts was Hersh Smolar (Smoliar), a Communist activist from Bialystok who managed to survive the war and later immigrated to Israel. All of them received direct help from local Belarusns. It is estimated that out of the approximately 10,000 Jews who succeeded in fleeing the Minsk ghetto, more than half survived.

1942 January 16, SENITSA VERSHOVSKY (Ukraine)

The mayor of the city of Kremenchug was shot for protecting Jews. Kremenchug had over 30,000 Jews before the war, who made up over 40% of the population.

1942 January 31, ESTONIA

Franz Stahlecker, commander of Einsatzgruppe A , in a report to Himmler, affirmed that there were no more Jews in Estonia and only a few thousand left in Latvia. By the end of the war, 90% of all Jews in the Baltic countries had been eliminated. Stahlecker was killed by Estonian partisans two months later.

1942 January, HUNGARIAN TROOPS (Yugoslavia)

Massacred several thousands Jews in the Bacska region of Yugoslavia under their control. Although this was not official policy, the perpetrators were able to flee to Germany.

1942 February 1, VIDKUN QUISLING (Norway)

The head of the pro-Nazi National Union Party (Nasjonal Smaling) was appointed prime minister by Josef Terboven, the Nazi commissioner. Quisling initiated anti-Jewish measures including confiscation of property and the establishing of labor camps. Half of Norway's 1,600 Jews were deported to Auschwitz on October 25, 1942.

1942 July 23, - 1943 October 14, TREBLINKA II (Poland)

Death camp went into operation with the first transport of Warsaw's Jews. (Treblinka II was different from Treblinka I which was a labor camp and also housed political prisoners). Over 750,000 Jews were murdered there. The camp was closed and dismantled after a revolt.The camp was organized by Odilo Globocnik. Those that ran it included Joseph (Sepp) Hirtreiter and Kurt Franz, who were sentenced to life imprisonment, and Franz Stangl, who was caught in Brazil and sentenced in 1971 to life imprisonment but died the same year.

1942 February 16, COMMITTEE FOR A JEWISH ARMY (New York, USA)

Led by Hillel Kook (alias Peter Bergson) took out an ad in the New York Times: "For Sale to Humanity, 70,000 Jews, Guaranteed Human Beings at $50 a Piece." Written by Ben Hecht, a famous Jewish playwright, it brought to the forefront the plight of Jews in Romania and demanded that the United Nations play a role in the rescue of European Jewry. The following week, Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado echoed the demand.

1942 March 2, - 1943 April, BELZEC (Poland)

The second death camp (and former labor camp) became operational. Over 600,000 Jews, mostly Polish, were murdered in the camp before it was closed by the Germans. Odilo Globocnik was its first commandant. Globocnik was appointed by Himmler to be in charge of the European sector of the "Final Solution" and was involved in organizing Belzec, Sobibor, Majdanek, and Treblinka. He took poison in May 1945. Christian Wirth, another commandant, was killed by Tito's partisans. When the camp was abandoned, local villages were attracted to the site and dug for valuables. In order to obliterate the site, the Germans plowed it over and turned it into a farm run by one of the Ukrainian guards.


The chief representative in Eastern Europe for the Joint, held a press conference. He estimated that the Nazis had already killed 250,000 Jews in the Ukraine and that the Jews of Slovakia would probably begin to be deported very soon. Their deportations actually began within a few weeks.

1942 March 14, VATICAN (Italy)

Sent a letter to a Slovak official protesting the deportation of Slovakian Jews. The reply by Foreign Minister Vojtech Tuka assured the Vatican that the Jews were being settled in labor camps and that their conditions were "humane." Eichmann and his lieutenant, Dieter Wisliceny, organized "letters" from those deported, to be sent upon their arrival to Auschwitz. They also organized an "inspection" by Fritz Fiala, a pro-Nazi Slovak editor whose report and pictures (censored directly by Himmler) were published in the Slovak and Romanian press.

1942 March 16, The PALESTINE POST (Eretz Israel)

Printed a small article at the bottom of the page entitled "Warsaw Jews Threatened, Quarter million Jews massacred." Most papers in Eretz Israel refused to print the reports, considering them exaggerated. They also did not wish to "alarm the world."

1942 March, - 1945 January 17, AUSCHWITZ (Poland)

The largest concentration and death camp began to take in Jews. Auschwitz was divided into three camps. Auschwitz I held both Jews and non-Jews. Auschwitz II, better know as Birkenau, was the main extermination camp. Auschwitz III was used for Jewish slave labor. Over 1,000,000 Jews were exterminated in Auschwitz.

1942 May 15, SLOVAKIA

Passed legislation exempting any Jew who converted prior to March 14, 1939 (the date of the establishment of the Slovakian state) from being deported. During the previous year, thousands of Jews had tried to convert, hoping that despite the Nuremberg Laws, their conversion would save them.

1942 May 27, YELLOW BADGE (Belgium)

The Belgium administration refused to disseminate the order for Jews to wear the yellow badge, and the Germans were forced to do it themselves.

1942 June 7, YELLOW BADGE (France)

Jews were ordered to wear a yellow badge in the occupied section of France. Many Jews marched down the streets of Paris wearing their war medals together with the star and were applauded by the crowds. Xavier Vallat, Commissariat of Jewish Affairs, told the Germans that he would not enforce the regulation and was replaced by Darquier de Pellepoix . A month later, Jews were banned from public places and only allowed one hour a day for shopping.

1942 June 22, GENERAL ERWIN ROMMEL (Egyptian border)

With Rommel's approach from the south, a general draft was instituted in Eretz Israel. Twenty thousand Jews joined the army.

1942 June 25, ARTUR SAMUEL ZYGELEBOYM (London, England)

And his compatriot, Dr. Ignacy Schwartzbart, arrived in London and released the most comprehensive account of confirmed massacres to date. Known as the Bund Report, it gave detailed information according to date and location. The report estimated that 700,000 Jews had already been murdered and concluded that the Germans planned to "annihilate" all the Jews in Europe. The Boston Globe published the information the next day, making it the first American newspaper to carry the report.


Pierre Laval, the new premier of Vichy France (April 1942), agreed to a German request to expel 100,000 Jews from France. Laval conditioned it on limiting it to "foreign born Jews" further stating that neither was he concerned with their children. Within a month, 50,000 foreign born Jews were handed over to the Germans for deportation. Laval was executed for treason October 15, 1945 in France.

1942 July 16 - 17, LARGEST AKTION OF FRENCH JEWS (Paris, France)

12,884 people, among them 4,051 children, were arrested and imprisoned in the Paris Velodrome d'Hiver cycling stadium. The action had been postponed so as not to conflict with Bastille Day. People were kept there for five days without almost any food and water. In general, the French police would only participate in roundups of foreign Jews, while the Gestapo itself would act against French Jews.

1942 July 19, - October 6, OPERATION (AKTION) REINHARD (Poland)

Was ordered by Himmler and carried out by Odilo Globocnik. It included mass deportations of Jews within what was known as the General Government in Poland, from small towns to 7 major ghettos. All this was to make it easier for their eventual deportation in the "Final Solution."

1942 July 22, ARMED RESISTANCE IN NESVIZ (Belarus)

A small town in former Russian territory with less then 6,000 Jews prior to the war. Four thousand had been killed on October 30, 1941 after which the head of the Judenrat, Magalif, began to work with the underground. When the final Aktion came, all those left attacked the Germans with knives, hatchets, sticks, and home made incendiary devices. They then set the ghetto in fire. Only 25 Jews succeeded in reaching the forest and joining the partisan units. Over 40 Germans were either killed or wounded. Many similar incidents occurred in small ghettos in this region, such as Kletsk (on the same day), where 400 people broke out of the ghetto.

1942 July 22, THE GREAT LIQUIDATION (Warsaw, Poland)

Began. Each day, between 5-6,000 Jews were brought to the Umschlagplatz (literally 'transshipment square')on Stawki street and sent to Treblinka in cattle cars. This continued until September 12, 1942.

1942 June 31, BELGIUM

Four Jewish partisans dressed as Gestapo officers entered the Judenrat known as the Association de juifs de Belgique (AJB) and destroyed the records and lists of Jews, thus hampering the German effort at deportation.


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 August 5, THE GHETTO SPEAKS (USA)

A publication of the Jewish Labor Bund in the United States disclosed information on the murder of 700,000 Jews at Chelmno. Neither the American press - nor for that matter the Jewish press - were prepared to believe the reports.

1942 August 9, MIR REVOLT (Belarus)

Only 850 Jews were left in the town after the Nazis killed 1500 on November 9, 1941. They were transferred to the old Mirski fortress where many began to plan a revolt. Informed of an impending Aktion, two hundred young people decided to escape and join the partisans rather than try to fight the Germans in the town. Over 15,000 Jews fought under the Russians partisans alone. A few days later, on August 13, all those who were left were murdered.

1942 August 11, MOSCOW RADIO BROADCAST (Russia)

Described how Jews were forced to dig their own graves in the Nazi-occupied Minsk region.

1942 August 24, FRANCE

Handed over to the Germans around 15,000 foreign-born Jews. By the end of the month, 25,000 Jews were deported, although not from the "free" zone.

1942 August 26, MARIE-ROSE GINESTE (Montauban, France)

Traveled well over 100 km by bicycle to hand deliver to other churches, copies of an appeal from Monsignor Pierre-Marie Theas (bishop of Montauban), condemning the deportation of Jews and urging defiance of German orders. Four days later, he proclaimed from his church "all men Aryan or non Aryan are brothers being created by the same God."

1942 September 2 - 3, LACHVA / LACHWA (Belarus)

German troops, together with Belarusn police, surrounded the ghetto which still had 2,000 people. Dov Lopatin head of the Judenrat refused the German request to line up for deportation. Although many of the town's elders were against taking any initiative, Lopatin and the youth leaders decided to resist even without weapons. As the Germans entered, most of the town attacked them, equipped with axes, sticks, and Molotov cocktails. Between 600 to 700 Jews were killed fighting, and a further 600 succeeded in reaching the forests after killing or wounding about 100 Nazis. The rest were shot by the Germans. Many of those who reached the forests were killed by local police units. Approximately 90 people survived the war.

1942 September 3, JACOB ROSENHEIM (USA)

President of Agudat Israel received a telegram from Israel Sternbuch, his representative in Switzerland, confirming the mass murder of 100,000 Polish Jews. Rosenheim sent the letter to President Roosevelt, James G. McDonald, the president's advisor on political refugees, and Stepen Wise. McDonald also forwarded it to Eleanor Roosevelt. There was no reply from either Roosevelt.

1942 September 12, MORDECHAI TENENBAUM - TAMAROFF (Poland)

A member of the Dror youth movement and the Jewish Fighting Organization was asked to organize the underground in the Bialystok ghetto. He also was active in organizing the Warsaw ghetto uprising and served as a contact with Anton Schmid, the Austrian soldier who helped Jews. Tenenbaum probably committed suicide after the failed uprising.

1942 September 12, WARSAW (Poland)

Only 60,000 Jews remained in the the ghetto.

1942 September 23, TUCHIN/TUCZYN UPRISING(Ukraine)

Up till then, around 3000 Jews survived by working in the local tannery and cotton mill. After the Germans and Ukrainians surrounded the town, the heads of the community decided to resist and almost the entire town decided not to submit. Among the principal organizers of the resistance were the chairman of the Judenrat Gecel Schwarzman, and his deputy, Meir Himmelfarb. While some were burning down the ghetto, others rushed and flattened the barbed wire fence. Almost 2,000 people succeeded in getting to the forests. Unfortunately, there were no partisans operating in that area and local Ukrainians gave many of them away. Starving and with little hope, 500 of them believed a Nazi promise and returned to the ghetto where they were shot.

1942 October 12, PHILIPPE ETTER (Switzerland)

The former president of Switzerland persuaded the Red Cross not to adopt any resolution which related to "certain nationalities" ... (who suffered) attacks on their lives for acts they did not commit. On the other hand, Carl Burckhardt, another Red Cross official, helped pass information on the plight of the Jews to the American Legation in Switzerland that same month.

1942 October 15, BEREZA KARTUSKA (Belarus)

The Germans began to liquidate the A camp (non-productive workers). In response, the Jews set fire to the camp. The local Judenrat was then ordered by the Nazis to hand over Jews for deportation. At their last meeting, many of the members chose to commit suicide rather then help the Germans. While many Jews were killed in the camp itself, over 18,000 were shot outside the town.

1942 October, HUNGARY

Germany pressured the government of Miklos Kallay to adopt German actions against Hungarian Jews. Kallay, though not against anti-Jewish legislation, balked at the idea of deportation.

1942 October, COUNCIL FOR HELPING JEWS (Poland)

Was formed by two Polish women Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowiczowa. For their efforts, Kossak-Szczucka was sent to Auschwitz (where she was ransomed) and Krahelska was denounced by the "Polish National Armed Forces" and died in the hands of the Gestapo. This was one of the few Polish organizations which tried to help the Jews. Unfortunately, by the end of 1942, most of Poland's Jews had already been killed.

1942 November 2, MARCINKONIS Marcinkance/Marcinkonys (Lithuania)

After a demand that the Jews report for "transfer," Aaron Kobrovsky, head of the Judenrat, realized that there was little hope, and publicly called on all the Jews to fight or flee. Some attacked the Nazis while others broke down the fence and fled. Those who reached the forest, including some of the fourteen Kobrovsky siblings (nephews of Aaron). Moyshe, Leyb and Jacob, and Yitzkhok, set up a small unit and managed to purchase some weapons. They later joined the famous "Davidov Company" of partisans and were known for their daring and courage. Most of them survived the war and live in Israel today.

1942 November 7, CAPTURE OF ALGIERS (Algeria)

Allies landed. Of the 377 resistance members who took Algiers - 315 were Jews. Many of the rebels' leaders were from the Aboulker family, including Jos 1920-2009)who was one of its founders.. The Americans found it hard to believe that the group had actually taken the town and decided to negotiate with the Vichy leaders, Admiral Darlan and General Juin, for their tactical surrender, leaving the Vichy government in place.


Later known as the Joint Emergency Committee on European Jewish Affairs, was established by Stephen Wise. It was made up of the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Jewish Labor Committee, B'nai B'rith, World Jewish Congress, Synagogue Council of America and Agudat Israel of America. Though often at odds with each other, they managed to contact important non-Jews, asking for their help, and to pressure the press to cover the genocide. They also sponsored a national day of mourning and managed to get the only meeting about the Holocaust between Roosevelt and Jewish leaders during the war.


After submitting to friendly pressure by Stephen Wise, who stated that refusal to meet with them may be "gravely misunderstood," met with Jewish leaders of the Temporary Committee for half an hour. Roosevelt spoke 80% of the time and mostly about issues unrelated to the plight of the Jews. After hearing the evidence he confirmed its veracity, stating the U.S. was "well acquainted with most of the facts." Despite his acknowledgement of the planned annihilation of European Jewry his only concession was to agree issue a war crimes warning. The entire holocaust part of the conversation lasted less then two minutes. This was his only meeting with Jewish leaders concerning the Holocaust. His only other meeting to discuss the issue was with 7 Jewish congressmen on April 1 1943.


Published a report confirming that the Nazis had made Poland "One vast center for murdering Jews."

1942 December 21, VARIAN FRY (USA)

After his return to the U.S., he tried to warn of the impending disaster for the European Jews in an article in The New Republic entitled "The Massacre of the Jews."

1942 December 20, ALPES MARITIMES (Maritime Alps -Italian occupied Vichy France)

The local French Prefect ordered all foreign-born Jews to leave and relocate in German-occupied areas. Encouraged by Angelo Donati (an influential half Jew), the Italian government, especially its generals, countered the order despite the efforts by Ribbentrop and even Himmler. Thus, the Italian zone became a haven of sorts for Jewish refugees up till September 1943 when the Italian zone was overrun by the Germans.

1942 December 17, FRANCE - SPAIN

The first organized group of young French Jews left to try crossing to Spain. Upon arrival, they were arrested and spent the next 2 months in the prison of Pampeluna. Only later the next year, under pressure from both England and the United States, did the Spanish government allow refugees to move into boarding houses provided that the funds would come from abroad. Until that time, many of the refugees were kept in camps under appalling conditions. The Spanish government, although rarely turning away people at the border, did its best to discourage refugees crossing over from France.


From France. Many of the 1100 prominent foreign Jews had been arrested the previous December. Some had been held in the Drancy camp, others in the camp at Compiegne.

1942 December, CHAIM MORDECHAI RUMKOWSKI (Lodz, Poland)

Despite evidence to the contrary, continued in his belief that it is the work of the ghetto that protects the Jews. In a speech, he declared: "our children and grandchildren will proudly remember the names of those who contributed... labor opportunities which grated justification to live".

1942 July 2, PIERRE LAVAL (Vichy, France)

The premier of Vichy France reinstated in April 1942, agreed to a German request to expel 100,000 Jews from France. Laval conditioned it by limiting it to "foreign-born Jews," further stating that he was also not concerned about their children. Within a month, 50,000 foreign-born Jews were handed over to the Germans for deportation. Laval was executed for treason on October 15, 1945 in France.

1942 July 1, OBERTYN (Ukraine)

As the Russians withdrew in advance of the German offensive, the local party secretary urged the Jews to join them. The Jews decided to remain, believing the promises of the Ukrainian nationalists that Hitler only wanted them to work. The next day, Ukrainian mobs rounded up all the Jews from the neighboring towns, tied theirs hands with barbed wire and threw them off the ferry into the Dniester river. There were two survivors.


In response to the allied invasion of North Africa, Germany and Italy occupied all of France. Nazis began to round up Jews in Marseilles. Many Jews in the Vichy areas fled to southern France (which was still occupied by Italy). Ninety thousand French Jews, mostly foreign-born, were deported. Father Pierre-Marie Benoit began to organize the transfer of Jews to the Italian occupation zone. He printed thousands of counterfeit baptismal certificates. For his actions Father Pierre-Marie Benoit was recognized in 1966 as "Righteous Among the Nations" by the State of Israel.

1942 February 7, GIADO (JADU) CONCENTRATION CAMP (Libya)

After the retreat of the British army, Benito Mussolini, ordered the Jews living in Cyrenaica ( the eastern half of Libya) to be deported to an interment camp at Giado, 235 kilometers (146 miles) south of Tripoli. Eight months later approximately 2,600 were transferred to the camp hundreds more were sent to other camps (Sidi Azaz and one in the Tobruk area). Within 3 months 500 Jews died mostly from hunger and sickness, others were shot trying to escape. The British returned in February 1943 but due to the inmates poor health it took months for the camp to be closed down.


Archbishop of Toulouse, issued a public letter of protest upon receiving information regarding the first deportation of Jews to the Dracy transit camp . All the priests in his diocese read out his letter from their pulpits. They included Bishop Theas of Montauban, Bishop Delay of Marseilles, Cardinal Gerlier of Lyon, Bishop Vanstenbergher of Bayonne, and Archbishop Moussaron of Albi. In November of the previous year he also objected to the treatment of Jews under the Vichy government. rnrn


The Vichy governor of Tunisia, Admiral Jean-Pierre Estva (1880-1951), had succeeded in postponing their implantation for two years and even now did what he could to ease the restrictions. Estva had visited the ancient synagogue of Ghriba at Djerba in May, 1941 and had made donations to the Jewish poor before Passover. On the eve of WWII there were about 85,000 Jews in Tunisia (2.7% of the general population). More than half of them lived in the capital Tunis.


For six months, from November 1942 through May 1943. Within the first two weeks they arrested the leaders of the Jewish community, and demanded 3,000 Jews for forced labor. SS Colonel Walther Rauff also ordered all to Jews wear a yellow star on their backs. Jewish property was confiscated, and heavy fines imposed on the community. Thirty two forced labor camps for Jews were set up across Tunisia. The largest of these, were the camps in Bizerte and Mateur, where tens of Jewish prisoners died from disease, labor, punishment by the German guards, and Allied bombings.

1942 July 31, MINSK GHETTO

Moshe Jaffe the leader of the Judenrat refused to hand over list s of Jews to the Germans They forced him together all the Jews in the town square, but when he saw the entrance of gas trucks he called out. "Jews the bloody murderers have deceived you – flee for your lives!” He was shot together with the ghetto police chief. His predecessor Eliyahu Myshkin had also refused to cooperate with the Germans and had been hanged.


"According to officials of the Jewish community, the number of Jews remaining legally in Warsaw is 34,000, together with those in hiding 50,000. More than 300,000 Jews have been exterminated in the course of seven and a half weeks...Jewish Warsaw now has the air of a cemetery." Lewin (1893-1943) was an educator, who worked with the underground archive " Oneg Shabbat ". His wife Luba was sent to Treblinka in August 1942, and he and his daughter in early 1943. His diary was published after the war as " A cup of tears".

1942 January 20, ESTONIA

Was declared Judenfrei (free of any Jews) at the Wannsee Conference, making it the first country to be declared as such. Most of the Jewish population had been able to flee to the USSR before the Germans occupied the country. Of those remaining (less than 1000) almost none survived. A further 10,000 foreign Jews from central Europe were transferred there and murdered, many at the Kalevi-Liiva execution site.


The Polish parliament in exile, demanded that the allies intervene to stop the extermination of Jews in Poland. This call as well as others, were reported in the New York times and other media. Coupled with with the defeat of the Germans in Stalingrad, it may have helped change slightly the position of some of Germany's allies ( e.g. Romania Slovakia and France ), as to their active participation in the holocaust during 1943.


An underground group dedicated to helping Jews was established by Henryk Wolinski, and was run by both Jews and non Jews, with the general backing of the Polish government in exile. Despite the fact that received very little official financial support, it managed to provided help to some 4000 polish Jews in the form of food, medical aid ,and documents. Although its role was often exaggerated after the war , Zegota also helped place some several thousand children in homes and catholic institutions. In Warsaw it's children's department was headed by Irene Sendler (See October 1943) .


The Head of the Greek Catholic church in southeast Poland, asked Himmler to stop using Ukrainian police in the killing of Jews. Later that year in November he issued his epistle “Thou shalt not kill,” in which he forbade anyone from participating in the murder of Jews . This despite that as one of the heads of the Ukrainian nationalist movement he had warmly received the Nazi occupation of the Ukraine and did did not protest his movements overt anti Semitism. Sheptytsky (1865--1944) helped hide about 150 Jews including the children of the chief Rabbi of Lvov ,Yechezkel Lewin. The Rabbi himself refused to leave his community and was shot by the Ukrainian militia.

1942 September, EUROPA PLAN

Was developed by Gisi Fleischmann and Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandl as an outgrowth of the Bratislava working group (see July 1941). The idea was to offer an initial bribe to Dieter Wisliceny, Eichmann's emissary to Slovakia, to agree to "ransom" Jews. A figure of 2-3 million dollars was discussed for the rescue or rather non-deportation of 1 million Jews. As the figure was impossible to raise the plan was reduced to $ 200 000 for 1000 children who would be transferred from Auschwitz to Thereisienstadt and eventually to Switzerland. The U.S. government put pressure on the JDC stating that it was illegal to transfer money to Germany and the negotiations fell through. Although the effort though unsuccessful, it led to the “Blood for Goods” plan to rescue Hungarian Jewry (see June 1944).


Arrived in Athens under the command of Walther Rauff, who had served on Heydrich's staff. Hans Weise an SS officer, who also served as the liaison with the Mufti, set it up. Rommel, under whose command the unit was attached, did not offer any objections. Its goal was to eliminate the Jews in the Middle East, after the conquest of the Suez Canal by the Nazis.

1942 October 6, OSLO NORWAY

All male Jews were detained. A month later ( November 25) the woman and children were arrested as well. Their citizenship taken away and all were deported. Around 900 succeeded in escaping to Sweden or England. Although the resistance had advanced knowledge given to them by Helmuth James von Moltke, a German military intelligence officer, they decided not to warn the Jews in advance. Von Moltke who opposed the Nazis was later killed by the Gestapo. Of the 767 Jews deported only 26 survived.

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.

1943 October 14, SOBIBOR REVOLT (Poland)

Led by Alexander Pechersky, a former Red Army officer, and a few other Jewish members of the Red Army, a revolt broke out in the Sobibor death camp. Prevented from fleeing through the gates, approximately 80 Jews died trying to escape through the mine fields Prisoners, remaining in the camp, were rounded up and shot. Twelve SS guards were killed, and another 38 guards were killed or wounded. The number of prisoners to initially escape Sobibor was 320 but 170 of them were soon captured and executed. . Of the remaining 150 escapees, 50 joined up with partisan units and the Red Army, of whom 5 were killed, while 92 were killed in hiding, mostly by hostile native elements, Only 53, survived until the liberation. Told of the revolt, Himmler was furious and ordered the camp closed immediately and plowed under by Jewish laborers who were in turn shot when the job was finished. Semyon Rozenfeld, one of the revolt leaders, survived, and was the soldier who carved on the Reichstag wall "Baranovichi-Sobibor-Berlin."


In the largest action of its kind in Italy, over one thousand Jews were rounded up and deported directly to Auschwitz by SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer (Lieutenant-Colonel) Herbert Kappler, the head of the Gestapo on Rome. Out of Italy's approximately 40,000 Jews, 8000 Jews or 20% were annihilated. Over 2000 Jews joined various partisan units. Despite the silence of the pope, the help offered by local clergy and the Italian people in general, played a major role in the low number of deportations.

1943 November 14, ITALIAN JEWS KILLED (Ferrara, Italy)

Italian fascists killed 3 Jews in cold blood in broad daylight. They were not arrested or prosecuted in any way.

1943 December 6, MILAN JEWS DEPORTED (Italy)

In one of the last major Italian deportations, 212 Jews from Milan were sent to Auschwitz. In all, out of a population of 35,000 before the war, approximately 8500 Jews were killed. An estimated 2000 Jews fought with the partisans, five of them winning Italy's highest medals for bravery.

1943 December 13, VLADIMIRETS-VOLYN (Ukraine)

As the SS began its extermination of the local population of Vladimiretz-Volyn, they were attacked by 30 armed Jews. A number of the SS officers were killed as well as half of the attacking force. The remainder fled to the forests to join the partisans. The Voroshilov Detachment and (Anton) Brynsky's partisan battalion were made up mostly of Jews who played an important role fighting against Ukrainian Nationalists and Germans, and later helping the Russians as they advanced.


Vice-president of the Bulgarian Parliament, Dimitar Peshev protested to Minister of Interior Gabrovski, against planned deportations of Jews. Peshev and 42 fellow members of the National Assembly, presented a petition to the prime minister that successfully held off their deportation. Consequently, Peshev was dismissed as vice president. 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.

1943 May 24, CYRIL AND METHODIUS' DAY (Sofia)

A parade on this national holiday turned into a protest against the governments evacuation orders, which had forced 20,000 Jews to leave their homes as a way of appeasing the Germans. It was lead by Rabbi Daniel Zion and supported by politicians , Metropolitan Stefan and others. The Metropolitan then, took the chief rabbi into his house for protection.

1943 July 2, ALOIS BRUNNER (France)

Described by Eichmann as "one of my best men", took over Drancy, the main transit camp in France. During his 14 months in France, he sent an estimated 25,000 men, women and children to their deaths. Brunner was an assistant to Eichmann and was responsible for the deaths of over 128,000 people including 200 Americans. Brunner also masterminded the deportation of Thessaloniki's 50,000 Jews to death camps. Brunner was one of the most wanted war criminals and succeeded in finding refuge in Syria, which steadily refused to give out any information on him.

1943 July 13, YITZHAK (ANTEK) ZUCKERMAN (Antek, Poland)

A former leader of HeHalutz HaTzair, he became the leader of the ZOB after Mordechai Anielewicz died. He appealed to the Polish Home Guard to allow Jews to join them or at least provide them with arms. His requests were denied. During the uprising, he was assigned to the Polish sector in order to maintain contacts, which he made good use of. He headed the Jewish Fighters Unit of the Polish uprising of August, 1944. After the war, he and his wife Zivia Lubetkin were among the founders of Kibbutz Lohamei Hagetaot.

1943 July 16, FATHER PIERRE-MARIE BENOIT / PADRE BENEDITTI (Italian Occupied France)

Known in Marseilles as "the Father of the Jews." Pledging himself to protect Jewish refugees, he met with the Pope Pius XII. Marie-Benoit realized that it was only a matter of time before the Germans took over France and asked the pope to help convince Mussolini to allow 30,000 safe passage through Italy and settle them in North Africa. Unfortunately, with the fall of the Badoglio government and the occupation by the Germans of northern Italy, the plan came to naught.


Took over from Mussolini who had been ousted a few days earlier. The Allied invasion of Sicily two weeks earlier began to change Italy's position in the war. Badoglio's short-lived government tried to hamper Nazi efforts to deport Jews to what was known as the "Italian zone" in France.

1943 December, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT

Issued a new visa application which was four feet long. The waiting period for processing was now nine months. In addition Jews in Nazi held territories had no way of making visa applications since there were no American consulates. Any refugee who succeeded in reaching countries that had an American consulate (Spain, Portugal) was now considered "not in acute danger" and was therefore denied a visa.

1943 August 15, FATHER MARIE-BENOIT (Italian Zone, France)

And Angelo Donati devised a plan to save over 30,000 Jews in the Italian zone by taking them through Italy to North Africa. They won support from the Allies with the entire expense covered by the JDC (Joint Distribution Committee).

1943 September 3, BELGIUM

Despite a promise made by military Governor General Alexander Von Falkenhausen to the Queen Mother Elisabeth and Cardinal Van Roey that Belgium Jewish citizens would not be deported, nevertheless, hundreds of Jews were taken for deportation. After a strong protest by the Queen Mother and the Cardinal, they were released. Although there were transports to Auschwitz of Belgium Jews, it was never done en mass.


In a speech to the House of Lords, called upon the British government to "end its procrastination" and establish a temporary refuge for the Jews. "We at this moment have upon us a tremendous responsibility," he said. "We stand at the bar of history, of humanity, and of God." The British government responded by calling for a conference, afraid that if successful they may be flooded with alien immigrants. That same day Himmler received a report that 1,500,000 Jews had already be exterminated.rnrn


The Germans immediately invaded Italy and reached Rome. Italy was divided into two parts. The Nazis under Otto Wachter placed Mussolini back in the government. Jews were now going to be deported. The Germans also took over all of France, dashing any hopes of rescuing Jews by transferring them through Italy to North Africa. Angelo Donati was forced into hiding as he was wanted by the Gestapo.

1943 September 16, GOLDMANN PLAN (USA)

Nahum Goldmann proposed a plan to send $10 million (partially funded by Jewish contributions) worth of medicines and food to those Jews still alive in Poland, the Balkans and Czechoslovakia. The aid was to be sent though the Red Cross. Breckenridge Long, the Assistant Secretary of State, ostensibly agreed to the idea but proposed to first send it to a discussion by the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees - which according to officials was tantamount to "tossing it in the waste paper basket".

1943 September 20, ATHENS (Greece)

Rabbi Eliyahu Barzilai was ordered by Eichmann's deputy, Wisliceny, to provide him with a list of all Athenian Jews. Instead, Barzilai warned them all to flee and did so himself.

1943 September 30, SONDERKOMMANDO BABI YAR REVOLT (Ukraine)

Led by Vladimir Davidov and Fyodor Yershov (a Russian soldier). Over 50 of the 275 men in the Sonderkommando unit succeeded in picking the locks. They then overpowered the guards using their bare hands, hammers and screw drivers. Fourteen of them (11 of whom were Jews) succeeded in surviving until the Red Army arrived on November 6, 1943. Davidov was an important witness at the Nuremberg trials and helped bring their story to the world.

1943 October 7, ARCHBISHOP DAMASKINOS (Greece)

Ordered all monasteries to shelter any Jews who approached them. This was in response to Hoherer SS- und Polizeifuhrer, (HSSPF) (Higher SS and Police Leader) SS General Jurgen Stroop's order for all Jews to register on penalty of death.

1943 October 20, IRENA SENDLER (Warsaw, Poland)

A Polish Catholic, was arrested by the Gestapo. Irena had worked for the Council for Aid to Jews, (Zegota), an underground unit in which Catholic democratic activists gathered to assist Jews. At great risk, Irena (1910-2008) rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto and placed them with Christian families. She buried jars containing their real and assumed names in the garden, so that they could be reunited with their own families after the war. During her torture she refused to divulge any information regarding her activities Although sentenced to death, she managed to escape from prison and survived the war. In 1965 she was awarded with the title Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem and in 1991 she was made an honorary citizen of Israel. A play was also written about her life entitled "Life in a Jar".rnrn

1943 October 23, FRANCESKA MANN (Auschwitz)

A beautiful, young dancer from Warsaw who performed at the famous Melody Palace nightclub, arrived at the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau along with about 1700 other Polish Jews. As she was preparing for the gas chamber, one of the SS men, Josef Schillinger, stared at her as she undressed. Mann threw her shoe at him. As he drew his revolver she wrested it away from him, shooting him twice and killing him and shooting another SS man, Emmerich, as well. The Germans opened fire with machine guns and forced the survivors into the gas chamber.

1943 November 3, OPERATION HARVEST FESTIVAL (Erntefest) (Poland)

Partly in response to Jewish resistance including the revolt on Sobibor. Himmler ordered Jakob Sporrenberg to eliminate all the Jews in the Lublin area where most of them were in forced labor camps. In one day, 10,000 Jews from the Trawniki labor camp and 8,000 Jews, from Maidanek were machine-gunned after digging their own graves. In the Poniatowa camp 15,000 were killed the next day. During the operation, the Germans killed almost 43,000 Jews.

1943 December 24, NINTH FORT (Kunas, Lithuania)

Considered almost escape proof, 64 Jews broke out on Christmas eve when most of the guards were celebrating. Most were caught in a massive manhunt by Germans and Lithuanian police. Only fourteen made it to the partisans.

1943 January 30, VICHY MINISTER JOSEPH DARNARD (Vichy, France)

Formed the Milice, a militia unit which was officially recognized by the Nazis. His units worked with the Germans to capture Jews for deportation. Darnard was executed for treason in October 1945.


Sent by Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles to all American consulates "suggested" that they not to accept any " private messages" or reports regarding the German actions against Jews. This effectively closed off almost all reports regarding the Holocaust from even reaching the United States. Although reportedly Welles may have been personally sympathetic to the "Jewish problem", he totally identified with the State Departments policies and carried them out with alacrity.

1943 February 13, ROMANIA

Offered to "sell" 72,000 Jews and permit them to be transferred to Eretz Israel on ships flying a Vatican flag for a price of $130 a person. Although Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau brought this offer to the attention of the President Roosevelt , it was shuffled back to Sumner Wells at the State Department who decided without checking on the facts that the proposal "was without foundation."

1943 February 26, BERLIN (Germany)

Was declared Judenrein (free of all Jews).

1943 February, STATUS REPORT (Europe)

Out of the approximately 2,700,000 Jews in areas occupied by the Germans since June 1941, less then 10% were still alive.

1943 March 15, SALONIKA (Greece)

The first transport 2,800 Jews left for Auschwitz under the direction of Eichmann's deputy, Dieter Wisliceny. By August 7, the last of the 19 transports left Salonika. Of the 46,091 Jews deported, only only 2,469 survived. Wisliceny, who also served in Greece and Hungary, later surrendered to the Allies, presenting them with invaluable evidence. He was hanged in Bratislava in 1948. By the end of the war, out of 77,000 Greek Jews, 60,000 were murdered during the Holocaust.

1943 March 20, MUSSOLINI (Italy)

Pressured by Germany for the lack of enthusiasm of the Italian army in France to act against Jews, Mussolini set up the Polizia Razziale (Racial Police). He appointed Guido Lospinoso as the commissioner of police. Lospinoso soon proved to be a master at evading German instructions. Father Pierre-Marie Benoit, persuaded him to help delay any deportation orders. Together they succeeded in preventing any mass deportations in the Nice area until the Germans took over in September.

1943 March 25, MATHAUSEN (Austria)

A Bavarian Catholic priest reported that an estimated 10,000 Dutch Jews had already been murdered in poison gas experiments at the Mathausen concentration camp. The report was confirmed by the Dutch government-in-exile on April 5, and by an American diplomat on June 8. Despite this, no action was taken by the American State Department or the British government.


Sent in his report, "A Jewish Quarter in Warsaw no longer exists." His final action was the destruction of the Great Synagogue on Tlomacka Street. Stroop reported 56,065 Jews captured, 13,929 killed and 631 bunkers destroyed. Though it is impossible to know the exact amounts, Polish estimates place the numbers of German dead to well over 1,000, with many more wounded. Some fighters escaped to the Aryan side of the city through sewage tunnels and others fled and tried to join Polish underground forces. Despite the official end to the uprising, small groups knows as "rubblemen" continued to attack German troops until mid-September.


Issued a new visa application which was four feet long. The waiting period for processing was now nine months. In addition, Jews in Nazi-held territories had no way of making a visa application since there were no American consulates. Any refugee who succeeded in reaching countries which had an American consulate (Spain, Portugal) was considered to be "not in acute danger" and was therefore denied a visa.

1943 February 27, "FABRIK-AKTION" FACTORY-ACTION (Berlin, Germany)

The last 10,000 Jews still working in "vital war production" were taken directly from their factories to be deported. Seven thousand of them were sent to Auschwitz, others were sent to Theresienstadt. More than 100 Jews labeled as Mischlinge (half-breeds) or living in a Mischehe (racially mixed marriage) were held separately. After a mass protest (the only one of its kind) by thousands of relatives and friends, the Nazi released them. During the war, over 50,000 Berliner Jews were deported to the East. A few thousand, most of them with non-Jewish spouses, managed to survive with many of them hiding the entire war in the city.

1943 January 14, RABBI MENACHEM ZEMBA (Warsaw, Poland)

One of the leading Rabbis called on the Jews of Warsaw to revolt, "we must resist the enemy on all fronts". He also warned that "we are prohibited by Jewish law from betraying others...". Zemba was killed (19 Nissan) a few days after the revolt began. He had refused the offerof Catholic priests to help him and flee with another two rabbis, believing that he must remain until the end with his fellow Jews. Zemba had published over 20 manuscripts, many others were destroyed in the ghetto.

1943 January 17, CASABLANCA MEETING (Morocco)

Two months after liberation, a meeting was held between President Roosevelt, General Patton, the U.S. envoy Robert Murphy, and General Nogues representing the non Vichy government. In response the Jews demand for the right to vote, Roosevelt encouraged the postponement of free elections. He also recommended limiting the number of Jews being allowed to practice law, medicine etc. to their percentage of the entire north African population. This he stated would eliminate specific and understandable German complaints that fifty% of the lawyers doctors teachers etc in Germany were Jews. Later that day he proposed the same idea regarding the Jews of Algeria to the French army commander General Henri Giraud.


Their first act was to ask to a list of all the Jews. The mayor Loukas Karrer and the Metropolitan Bishop Chrysostomos replied by returning a paper with only their names on it. The 275 Jews were dispersed into the local villages until the Germans left in October 1944. No Jew was deported. They were honored by Yad Vashem in 1978 with the title of "Righteous among the Nations. Statues of the Bishop and the Mayor celebrate their heroism on the site of the towns historic synagogue, destroyed in the Earthquake of 1953

1943 March 11, MACEDONIA

Jews from the three major cities Skopje, Bitola and Stip were taken by the Bulgarian police to the Monopol tobacco factory which was being used as a temporary camp. In three transports over 7000 people were taken to Treblinka. Of the total Jewish population in Macedonia 98% were annihilated. about 200 ( 74 families) of Sephardic origin were recognized as Spanish citizens and freed


Sent Prime Minister Constantinos Logothetopoulos a letter protesting the treatment of Jews . The next day he sent a similar one to the German ambassador , an act which earned him a death threat. With the help of the Athens chief of police Angelos Evert, many Jews received fake documents, others were given refuge in monasteries. Despite of this, only 10,000 out of the prewar population of an estimated 67,000 survived . Archbishop Damaskinos was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.

1943 June 2, POPE PIUS XII

Speaking to the Sacred College of cardinals, he deplored those who suffer " for reasons of nationality or decent". Never once during the war did he mention Jews by name stating to American diplomat Harold H. Tittmann, that " If I denounce the Nazis… and Germany loses the war… Germans would feel that I contributed to their defeat… I can't afford the risk of alienating so many of the faithful. "

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.


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.


Arrived in Bosnia from Berlin at the request of Himmler to help recruit Moslems for the Waffen SS “Hanjar" (Handschar) division the largest of the Muslim SS divisions. The unit volunteered to hunt down Bosnian Jews. By the end of the war 12,000 of Bosnia's 14,000 had been murdered.

1944 April 15, PONARY (Lithuania)

During the years from July 1941 until July 1944, approximately 100,000 people (mainly Jews) were murdered in the forests of the resort town, Ponary in Lithuania. As the Russians approached, a group of 70 Jews and 10 Russians were given the task of burning all the bodies to cover up the mass murder. Realizing that at the end of their work they too would be killed they dug a tunnel thirty meters long with spoons over a period of three months. On the night of April 15 they escaped. Only 13 reached safety alive.

1944 January 16, HENRY MORGENTHAU JR. (1891-1967)

Secretary of the Treasury, presented a personal report to President Roosevelt accusing the State Department of actively preventing the rescue of European Jewry. The State Department's antagonism toward any help for European Jewry stemmed from both incompetence and a fear of "what to do with the Jews if they do get out". The Department was totally against a more liberal attitude toward its own anti-immigration policy and fully supported the British position of not allowing more Jews into Eretz Israel.

1944 March 16, ADMIRAL MIKLOS HORTHY (Hungary)

Promised Hitler to dismiss the Kallay government which had been making overtures to the Allies and had refused to deport Hungarian Jews.

1944 March 19, OPERATION MARGARET (Hungary)

Germany moved into Hungary. At the time of the occupation 63,000 Jews had already died or been killed. Eichmann, as the head of S.S. officers of the R.S.H.A. (Reich Security Main Office), arrived in Budapest along with SS Major Dieter Wisliceny and Edmund Veesenmayer who was to be in charge of "Jewish Affairs".

1944 March, BRICHAH ORGANIZATION (Rovno, Ukraine)

A month or so after the liberation of Rovno, Eliezer and Abraham Lidovsky, together with Pasha (Isaac) Rajchmann, decided that there was no future for the Jews in Poland. They officially formed an artisan guild to cover their activities. During that summer they sent a group to Cernauti Romania to explore escape routes. Yet it was only after Abba Kovner and his group from Vilna joined in January 1945 that the organization which was known as Brichah took shape.

1944 March, ROSWELL McCLELLAND (Switzerland)

Was assigned to run the War Refugee Board in Switzerland. McClelland had lived in occupied France working for the American Friends Service Committee and had vast experience dealing with these issues. With the financial backing of the Joint, he succeeded in producing thousands of false identity cards, work permits and birth certificates, as well as shipping emergency aid to those who hid Jews in their homes or in convents.

1944 April 5, BUDAPEST JEWISH LEADERS (Hungary)

Dr. Rudolf Kastzner and Joel Brand met with Dieter Wisliceny and proposed to ransom Hungarian Jews in what became known as Blut fuer Ware ("Blood for Goods"). Eichmann, with Himmler's approval, allowed Brand to go to Istanbul in order to broker the deal with the Allies. It is theorized that Himmler was trying to prepare for the inevitable Allied victory by "showing" that he was really in favor of Jewish emigration rather than annihilation.


After an emotional meeting with three old Rabbis, Morgenthau pressured Secretary of State Cordell Hull to help Jews in Vitel, France who possessed Latin American passports and were in danger of deportation to Poland. George Tait, the first secretary in Bern, strongly objected. The State Department succeeded in stalling for 7 weeks by which time the 214 Jews held in Vitel were deported.

1944 April 25, VRBA–WETZLER REPORT, (Auschwitz Report)

Was written by Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler who had escaped from Auschwitz Auschwitz. Oscar Krasniansky, an engineer, translated it from Slovak into German. They were able to produce a detailed report on the structure, workings, and methods of the camp - including the entire annihilation process. A copy did reach George Mandel- Mantello a Jewish diplomat in Geneva who published them throughout the Swiss press and churches. Copies were also sent by Rabbi Dov Weissmandl (see July 1941) as part of the Bratislava working group Jewsh leaders and the American Delegation in Bern as well. It took Roswell McClelland of the American delegation in Switzerland almost six months to forward the full text of the report to the State Department. Weissmandl appealed for the bombing of the camps, but was rebuffed.

1944 April, IRA HIRSHMAN (USA)

An executive at Bloomingdale's and the representative for the War Refugee Board (WRB) in Turkey succeeded in convincing the Romanian ambassador to Turkey, Alexander Cretzianu, to move Jews from Transnistria, which the Germans still occupied, to Romania itself, thus saving 48,000 people.

1944 May 15, HIMMLER

Offered Rudolf Kasztner to keep 30,000 physically fit Hungarian Jews "on ice" in an Austrian labor camp at a price of $200 per head plus maintenance. The committee could only find around 10,000 dollars. Eichmann took the money and sent them to Auschwitz.

1944 May 14, - July 8, HUNGARIAN JEWS DEPORTED (Hungary)

Mostly to Auschwitz. According to German reports, 437,402 Jews were deported in 55 days on 148 trains.


Was attacked by partisans led by Haim Vito Volterra. Several hundred Jews were able to escape. This was the only time in Western Europe that Jewish and non-Jewish partisans joined in attacking a Jewish concentration camp.

1944 June 17, CHANIA (CANEA) (Crete)

The Jewish community of Chania (Canea), Crete dating from Roman times, came to an end when the Nazis occupying the island of Crete ordered Chania's remaining 269 Jews into the Etz Hayyim (Tree of Life) synagogue. In the morning, they were forced to board the ship Danai on the first leg of a journey to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Halfway to the mainland, the vessel was hit by British torpedoes and sank. There were no survivors, including 600 other Greek and Italian prisoners. At the beginning of the war there were 322 Jews in Crete. Only 7 Jews survived.

1944 June 25, MONSIGNOR ANGELO ROTTA (Hungary)

The papal nuncio (ambassador) in Budapest, at his own initiative, delivered a letter of protest from the pope over the deportation of Hungarian Jews. This letter, combined with a warning from Secretary of State Cordell Hull regarding reprisal for the Hungarian actions, forced Regent Horthy to stop the deportations.

1944 June 30, BLUT FUER WARE ("BLOOD FOR GOODS") (Hungary - Switzerland)

Hungarian Jewish leaders Joel Brand and Rudolf Kastner working together with the Jewish Agency and the War Refugee board concluded a deal with Adolph Eichmann. It became known as Blut fuer Ware ("Blood for Goods"). This date marks the first of three transports with 1,658 people to Switzerland. Included in this transport were 80 prominent Jews including the Satmar Rebbe (Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum), the Debreziner Rav, Rabbi Jonathan Steif, and Adolph Deutsch, head of the Budapest Agudah. This transport was held up in Bergen-Belsen for six months and only reached Switzerland in December. There were two other transports; one on August 18, with 318 people and the last on December 6, with 1,368 people. A total of 3,344 Jews were sent at a price of 1,000 dollars per head. The deal was the subject of much controversy and after the war, Kastner was accused by Malkiel Grnwald of collaboration with the Nazis and of testifying for an SS officer Kurt Becher who had negotiated with him on behalf of Eichmann. Much of the resentment had to do with the selection made for the transports. He was accused of helping only those who were either wealthy, had a personal connection to the committee, or were politically acceptable. Although the Supreme Court in Israel (on an appeal) cleared his name on January 17, 1958, it came too late for Kastner who had been shot and killed in March, 1957 in Tel Aviv by Ze'ev Eckstein, a Hungarian survivor.


Published an article concerning the murder of 400,000 Hungarian Jews. It was put on page twelve while page one was dedicated to problems with the July 4th holiday crowds.

1944 July 9, RAOUL WALLENBERG (Hungary)