|Mainz, Germany today. In 1012, the Jews were expelled but soon returned. They received protection then from the arch-bishop when crusaders came in 1096. Even so, hundreds were murdered.|
|Kingdom of Germany, Carolingian dynasty, Conradine dynasty, Ottonian dynasty, Arnulf, Louis IV,Conrad I, Henry I, Otto I|
Jews were not allowed to own land anyplace. They were labeled as Christ Killers in the Holy Roman Empire. Jews were not allowed to follow any profession, and about the only thing they were allowed to do was to loan money. This was because it was considered a despicable business for the Christians, who were kept from it by their church. Jews had been traders even when living in their holy land of Judah and many had dealt with trading on the Silk Road, taking them to far corners of the earth. When Jerusalem fell in 70 CE, Jews were not even allowed to continue trying to live in Jerusalem or its suburbs since it was burnt down by the Romans. They couldn't come back in and refurbish their own city. Anyway, most were taken as slaves to Rome. From there, some lucky ones finally made their way next door to France and then of course, Germany by the 1000's.
|Jews of Germany and their forced clothing for identification|
|3rd Crusade was in 1189 to 1192 had wide support in England where Jews were attacked. , especially in York in 1190.|
|In 1320 was the shepherds' Crusade with widespread attacks on the Jews in southern France and northern Spain. They reestablished it only to see it destroyed again in 1349 during the Black Death outbreaks where they were blamed for it.|
|Jewish Moneylenders as depicted in Spain in 1300s.|
|How Jews were depicted|
Bavaria was another southern German state. Jews came to live in there during the same period as Wurttemberg. from at least the 10th century. Major Jewish communities there were in Nuremberg, Augsburg, Regensburg, Furth, Munich, Pasau and Bamberg. Jews were excluded from Upper Bavaria in 1276 and also suffered severely in the Rindfleisch massacres of 1298.. In the city of Armleder they suffered from persecution from 1336 to 1338 and were almost exterminated at the time of the Black Death in 1348 to 1349. They were excluded altogether from 1551 to the 18th century. In the early 19th century under most unfavorable conditions, many Jews left to go to the United States. After all the horror of the Holocaust from 1939 to 1945, Jews returned and in 1990, 5,600 Jews were living in Bavaria.
|King Edward I who expelled Jews from England in 1290-1655 for 365 years.|
This is how the kingdoms prospered on the lives of Jews. The Jews of Ulm, for example, had to pay for protection with large sums to the municipal council, to the citizens, and to the counts of Helfenstein. The money taken from the Jews became a bone of contention among the German cities, the emperor and the counts. They all wanted money from Jews. These inter-Gentile arguments led to renewed plundering of the Jews.
The Jews by this time had some friends in high places, however, and some counts and rulers united against the plunderers. Then the big man himself, the emperor, demanded his share in their plunder in 1374 and he was ignored.
|Emperor and King of Bohemia Charles IV/Wenceslaus|
By 1385, the federation of cities declared void all promissory notes held by the Jews within its jurisdiction. In some cases the city released the Christian debtors from paying interest on their loans while in other cases it annulled part of the debt. In 1387 the federation issued a decree that no German or Italian merchant could have money transactions with Jews. Emperor Wenceslaus then canceled in 1390 all debts owing to the Jews, and demanded that the citizens owning money pay him instead!
Their excuse in treating Jews so horribly was that they said that Jews, both their body and souls, were the property of the emperor so he could do with them as he pleased. He therefore said that the usury of the Jews had become intolerable. The counts of Wurttemberg felt differently. They permitted the Jews to live in Stuttgart in 1434; Kirchheim in 1435; Tubingen in 1459; Cannstadt and Goppingen in 1462, but on definitely stated conditions and of course, upon payment of large large taxes for protection. They couldn't let the cash cow slip through their fingers, could they. Count Ulrich (1433-1480) was commissioned by the emperor to protect the Jews, but at the same time to rigorously suppress their usury. The fines imposed were to be sent to the imperial treasury, another way of milking the Jews out of the money. So, money flowed into the coffers of the count AND of the emperor.
Again in 1498 Jews were expulsed from the land. Count Eberhard im Bart (1459-1496) was pronounced an enemy of the Jews. He forced Jews out from Tubingen in 1477; and again in 1495-3 years after the Spanish edict of 1492, he decreed they were to be expelled from his lands. He followed it up with his decree of June 14, 1498 and the Jews of Ulm who happened to be wealthy and educated, had to leave by August 6th of 1498. The Jews could not take any property with them, and the emperor demanded that the people of Ulm had to mention him in their prayers because he had delivered them from the Jews.
The Jews living in Ravensburg was a bad one, also. A blood accusation was brought against them caused Emperor Sigismund to burn some Jews at the stake and to expel others in 1438. Then years later in 1448 they were again admitted in and then expelled again in 1490. Jews living in Heilbronn by 1414 were expelled by 1469. 7 years later the city council insisted on a general expulsion even though there was an imperial order to protect the Jews. Jews were expelled from cities scattered among the villages and then often they would return to the urban communities.
Jews therefore were living in Gmund and Reutlingen in 1433; in Brackenheim and Nersheim in 1434; in in Giengen in 1486; and in Lauterburg, Pflaumloch and Uzmemmingen in 1491.
Between the late 1400s to 1806, no Jews lived in Ulm again. Individual Jews were permitted to enter Ulm on a temporary basis, and the citizens were warned against having any business transactions with them.
When Wurttemberg (part of the German Federal Republic today) became a dukedom, the treatment of the Jews was the same. All money transactions with them were forbidden. These ordinances were renewed and enforced.
Josel of Rosheim, a great Jewish advocate for his people, could travel through the country. Strict ordinances were issued regarding the Jewish commercial and religious status. In 1536 Jews traveling through the country were under great stresses and attacks, and no attention was paid to the repeated imperial edicts for their protection. Josel was able to regulate the convoy charges of traveling Jews, but Duke Christoph, who gave him the agreement, was so much of an enemy to the Jews that in the Reichstag of Augsburg in 1559, he advocated their expulsion from Germany.
Frederick I (1593-1608) faced the most violent opposition against establishing a Jewish mercantile association under the direction of Abraham Calorno and Maggino Gabrieli but failed miserably. It never came about.
Eberhard Ludwig reigned (1677-1733) who had a good attitude towards Jews. He permitted them to go to the fairs in 1706 and to trade in horses in 1707. The Countess of Wurben got free trade for the Jews of Freudenthal in 1728 and for those of Gochsheim in 1729.
|Joseph ben Issachar Susskind or Joseph Suss Oppenheimer|
Oppenheimer's subserviency to the duke caused him the enmity of the people. When the duke died in 1737, he was in trouble. He was disgraced and executed in 1738 by hanging in Stuttgart, accused instead of having sexual relations with Christian women, something strictly against the law. He refused to save his own life by accepting baptism to Christianity. . The next year, all Jews were mercilessly expelled but soon permitted to return. Jews had been there since 1521 and then expelled by law and came and resettled again at the end of the 1600s. However, they were severely restricted in their Judaism as well as in their business. People were warned against from having any dealings with them concerning money. Court factors were treated more leniently, and important government contracts were given to them in 1759, 1761, 1764 in spite of objections from the masses. it took until 1864 that Jews of Wurttemberg received equal rights with gentiles. In 1933, there were 10,023 Jews living in Wurttemberg and then, the Holocaust starting strongly by 1939. By 1990 there were only a few hundred Jews there.
Karl Eugen, Ludwig (1793-1795) and Friedricfh (1795-1797) treated Jews considerately. These rulers were the last of the line of Catholic dukes. Under the succeeding Protestant regime, a new era dawned for the Jews of Wurttemberg, and all of Germany.
Resource: Jewish Encyclopedia on Wurttemberg by Isidore Singer and Theodor Kroner
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia