09.01.

1349 – Burning of the Jews in Switzerland

1349 – Burning of the Jews in Switzerland

The Jews were burned, and the surviving orphans were forcibly converted to Christianity. 

In a time when the Great Plague (“Black Death”) killed 30-60% of the population in Europe, superstitious citizens of Basel in Switzerland accused the Jews for poisoning the wells and thus causing the disease. Their proof of this was the lower mortality of Jews during the pandemic. Local guilds in Basel wanted to take revenge on the Jews, so they gathered 600 of them on an island in the Rhine in a wooden building, and then set fire to the building. Jews were burned, and the surviving orphans were forcibly converted to Christianity. The citizens of Basel forbade the Jews to live in the city for 200 years, but later withdrew from that decision because of economic necessity. Let us just mention that the medieval popes forbade such violence against the Jews, believing that they are Christians who committed such acts had been seduced by Satan.

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