As European politics, society, economy and religion underwent epoch-making changes between 1400 and 1600, the treatment of Europe's Jews by the non-Jewish majority was, then as in later periods, a symptom of social problems and tensions in the Continent as a whole. This book discusses the history and background of the Jewish presence in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe. As far as the late medieval Church was concerned, the basis for the treatment of Jews, by ecclesiastical and secular authorities, was to be found in the decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council of the Roman Church, which were issued in 1215. The book is concerned with Jewish economic activities for their own sake, and Jews' financial relations with Christian rulers. It then concentrates on other aspects of the dealings which went on between European Jews and their Christian neighbours. The book includes the Jews' own economic presence and culture, social relations between Jews and Christians, the policies and actions of Christian authorities in Church and State. It draws upon original source material to convey ordinary people's prejudices about Jews, including myths about Jewish 'devilishness', money-grabbing, and 'ritual murder' of Christian children. Finally, the book demonstrates from the outset that much of the treatment of European Jews, in the period up to the Reformation and thereafter, was to be a practical result of the controversies within 'Christendom' on the subject of authority, whether ecclesiastical or secular.

Manchester and the rescue of the victims of European fascism, 1933–1940

Between 1933 and 1940, Manchester received between seven and eight thousand refugees from Fascist Europe. They included Jewish academics expelled from universities in Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy. Around two hundred were children from the Basque country of Spain evacuated to Britain on a temporary basis in 1937 as the fighting of the Spanish Civil War neared their home towns. Most were refugees fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. As much as 95% of the refugees from Nazism were Jews threatened by the increasingly violent anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime. The rest were Communists, Social Democrats, Pacifists, Liberals, Confessional Christians and Sudeten Germans. There have been several valuable studies of the response of the British government to the refugee crisis. This study seeks to assess the responses in one city—Manchester—which had long cultivated an image of itself as a ‘liberal city’. Using documentary and oral sources, including interviews with Manchester refugees, it explores the work of those sectors of local society that took part in the work of rescue: Jewish communal organisations, the Society of Friends, the Rotarians, the University of Manchester, secondary schools in and around Manchester, pacifist bodies, the Roman Catholic Church and industrialists from the Manchester region. The book considers the reasons for their choices to help to assesses their degree of success and the forces which limited their effectiveness.

In various respects, the division of material between this chapter and the previous one is somewhat arbitrary, as it is hardly possible to make an effective separation between social and economic matters. Nonetheless, whereas chapter III is primarily concerned with Jewish economic activities for their own sake, and Jews’ financial relations with Christian rulers

in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600

case of a Jewish alchemist in Germany, the rest of the documents in this chapter originated in Italy. They show everyday interaction between Jews and Christians (and, in the case of document 48, Spanish converts from Judaism as well), in such disparate areas as the disposal of Christian art-works in a house newly owned by Jews, and Jewish contributions to the famous Roman

in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600
Abstract only

. The story begins with the reaction of the king of Castile, Henry III, to the attacks on all the major Jewish communities in the kingdom. After the event, the king ordered the punishment of the ringleaders, but, in the succeeding decades, many Spanish Jews converted to Christianity. Although the letter translated here was addressed specifically to the city council in Burgos, it

in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600

This may well appear to many to be the most conventional and least unexpected section of the present work, in that there is generally an unconscious or else admitted assumption that, as the Reformation changed so many things for Europe’s Christians, it must therefore have had a similar effect on Jews. As a prelude to the all too familiar works of Martin

in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600

There are two main aspects of the involvement of Jews in the European economy of the late medieval and early modern periods which have to be considered here. In all western European countries with Jewish populations in this period, there were restrictions on the economic roles which Jews might fulfil. These were justified on theological as much as economic

in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600

As the very foundation of the medieval Church’s attitude to the Jews was Scripture, it is proper to begin with some of the texts which particularly influenced the teaching given to Catholics. Included here are some verses from the Gospels and from one of Paul’s epistles. These passages are presented in the Latin of the Vulgate Bible, in which they would

in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600
The Catholic Church in Salford and refugees

10 ‘Not because they are Jews’: the Catholic Church in Salford and refugees [The Quakers have] done golden deeds for the refugees here and the helpless victims of totalitarian brutality abroad … But why, in heaven’s name, do we time and again find these services of elementary good fellowship left only to the Quakers? Do no other religions feel any obligations …? Or are they all so sanctimonious that they can’t do a good turn without wanting to stuff a hymn or sermon down the recipient’s throat in return? From an article on the Manchester Quakers in the Manchester

in ‘Jews and other foreigners’

[ Dracula ] anticipates the mass destruction of both European Jews and sexual deviants at the hands of Nazi racial hygienists. The teutonic Dr. van Helsing’s surgical assault on the supine, immobile, and vulnerable form of Dracula, in a ritual murder outside conventional morality, without the

in Dangerous bodies