Expulsion of Jews
in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600
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The theme of this chapter is what appears to be called, in the 'modern' world, 'ethnic cleansing'. These documents describe some of the actions which were taken, in various European states, and particularly in the Iberian peninsula, as well as Bohemia and Italy, to remove the Jewish presence from their communities. The chapter then focuses on Portugal. In Portugal, 'New Christians' had to suffer a massacre in Lisbon in 1506. The chapter concludes with examples of expulsion decrees from other parts of Europe, where such measures had local rather than national effect. As Jews and converts found themselves wandering around Europe, and in particular the Mediterranean, the rabbis outside the Iberian peninsula were faced with the problem of deciding whether those who avowed their intention of returning to Judaism could be treated as Jews.


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