Anti Semitism In Europe

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Anti Semitism In Europe A Necessary Ingredient For The Final Solution

Anti Semitism In Europe A Necessary Ingredient For The Final Solution


The history of calling Jews "unjust" begins with no less a figure than Paul. Now this predates the existence of an organized Christain church, so might well be considered an internicine squabble, between those Jews that had accepted Christ and those who hadn't. But this begins a pattern of acrimony that is still with us. (Hertzberg, 1998, 84)


By the year 380, Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire. It was no longer a matter of one Jewish sect differing from another; it was now two different religions. Bishop Ambrose opposed the granting of basic rights to Jews under the Empire and said "Whom do [the Jews] have to avenge the synagogue? Christ whom they have killed, whom they have denied? Or will God the Father avenge them, whom they do not acknowledge as Father since they do not acknowledge the Son?" (Bennett, 2005, 119-21) The thrust was that a Christian (or pagan for that matter) could do what he would to a Jew without fear of divine retribution. Some Popes like Gregory I wanted to see Jews protected, with the ultimate goal of conversion. But it was not until Vatican II in the 1960's that the Church took this as an official position. (Ben-Sasson, 1969)

In 626 King Dagobert expels the Jews from France. In 694 the Jews of Spain must choose between slavery and conversion. Bands of warriors en route to the Crusades often stop to pillage Jewish settlements. 1180 sees King Philip Augustus of France imprison and ransom the entire Jewish population of France. 1235 German Jews are accused of Blood Libel at Fulda Germany. German Jews, fleeing the persecutions there, flock to Poland.

European Jews had been forced to flee to the East. They found a temporary home in Poland, where Jewish thought flourished. It was, however, also in Poland that saw the famous walled ghettos, referring to the parts of the city where Jews were confined. The origin of the word ghetto is in the name of an island near Venice, where Jews were confined. It is amazing that the separation of Jews from the general populace was so prevalent that we had to coin a special word for it. 1447 sees King Casimir the Fourth restore all rights to Jews in Poland; 1454 he revokes the decree. (Ben-Sasson, 1969)

Then comes the Protestant Reformation. Marin Luther urges his followers "(Bennett, 2005, 119-21)... to deal kindly with the Jews and to instruct them to come over to us." (Bennett, 2005, 119-21) The anticipated Jewish conversion never comes and in 1544 he publishes About the Jews and Their Lies which states that his followers should "Set their synagogues on fire... Their homes should be likewise broken down... Their rabbis must be forbidden to teach under the threat of death." (Ben-Sasson, 1969) Not to be outdone, Pope Paul IV says in his Papal ...
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