From the New-York Daily Tribune, an article dated November 26, 1905.


In All Ages and Countries, Save America and Turkey.

The Reign of Terror in Russia.


A riotous mob parading the streets ready to murder the Jews and plunder their houses.
(The Graphic.)

The recent massacres of Jews at Odessa, Tomsk, etc., in which thousands of helpless men, women and children were slaughtered by mobs under the very eyes and protection of the Czar's police and military, have justly aroused the protests of every American. The world stands aghast at the horrors of these massacres, and yet Russia might well apply to all those who now express horror at her murderous and atrocious deeds the well-known words: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Indeed, with the exception of America and, curiously enough, he realm ruled by the "unspeakable Turk," all civilized countries are in a greater or less degree guilty of similar crimes. Jews have been the victims of persecutions by so-called Christians in all lands and ages. The only unusual fact about the recent slaughter is that it has taken place at this sate of the world's civilization. In all other respects the Odessa massacre is simply a reproduction of the treatment of Jews by Christians ever since the latter became a religious body of power sufficient to persecute.

The story of massacre is an old, old story. For centuries the Jews have wandered, oppressed and stricken by the brutality and hatred of the followers of Him who gave up His life to save the world. For centuries they had to defend themselves against the lawless rapacity and wanton hostility of the Christian multitude, being robbed and kicked and cuffed and spat upon like outcasts having no rights and feelings to respect. Time after time, in course of the passing centuries, they have been visited with the most awful manifestations of concentrated ill will on the part of believers in the Gospel of "peace on earth and good will to men." Even down to our day, bloodshed and persecution beyond power to depict have been the Jew's share of fortune since the tie when the gospel of love began to be preached in the world.


In the year 51 of the Christian era twenty thousand Israelites were massacred at Jerusalem, and in the year 69 eighty thousand more were there killed. In the seventieth year of the first century the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus exceeded in horror all other records of human suffering. It was the great annual festival of the Passover, and a million souls were gathered in the city. The slaughter that raged among this multitude was enormous. Besides the 1,113,800 Israelites who on this occasion perished in Palestine, the Greeks killed fifty thousand in Antioch and fifty thousand more in Alexandria. In the year 116 again sixty thousand were killed at Alexandria. In 412 Bishop Cyril of Alexandria, a great father of the Christian Church, persecuted the Jews, plundered their possessions and one day expelled every one of them from the city.

In Spain the Jews have had numerous colonies since the time of Hadrian, but even eight centuries before the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, their fortunes were confiscated and their bodies were tortured. In the seventh century again they were persecuted and massacred, and 90,000 of them were converted by force to the religion of love. In the year 1066 4,000 were killed. In the persecutions of the thirteenth century 12,000 Jews were killed in various Spanish cities. By the middle of the fourteenth century, the general hatred against the Jews had spread alarmingly in all countries of Europe, in consequence of the terror which the Black Death caused throughout that portion of the globe. The bloody persecution was actually begun at Seville in 1391. These were outbursts of priestly and popular violence, and had no sooner started in that city that Cordova, Valavera, Catalonia and the island of Majorca followed in its train; immense numbers of Jews being murdered and wholesale thefts being perpetrated on their possessions by the religious rabble. The number of enforced baptisms is reckoned at no less than 200,000, and the killed numbered more than 100,000.


In 1412-14 the Jews had to endure another bloody persecution throughout the Iberian Peninsula, and by the middle of the fifteenth century we read nothing in their history but persecution, violent conversion, massacre and the tortures of the Inquisition. From the period of its introduction in its later form in Spain (1481) to the time of its abrogation (1808) the Inquisition, according to the estimate of Liorente, once its secretary had burned alive 31,912 Jews, had burned in effigy 17,659, and had inflicted severe punishments of other kinds on 391,458. In one year 280 Jews were burned to death in Seville alone. At length the final horror came in 1492, when Ferdinand and Isabella issued an edict for the expulsion of all who refused to become Christians. About 300,000 Jews resolved to abandon the country which their ancestors had inhabited for more than fifteen centuries and to whose greatness, wealth and culture they had contributed so much.

The incidents that marked their departure are heartrending. Almost every land was shut against them. Of the 80,000 who obtained an entrance into Portugal on payment of eight gold pieces a head, but only for eight months, to enable them to obtain means of departure to other countries, many lingered after the expiration of the appointed time, and the poorer were sold as slaves. In 1495 King Emanuel commanded them to quit Portugal, but at the same time issued a secret order that all Jewish children under fourteen years should be torn from their mothers, retained in Portugal and brought up as Christians. Agony drove the Jewish mothers to madness; they destroyed their children with their own hands, and threw them into wells and rivers, to prevent them from falling into the hands of their persecutors. Neither were the miseries of those who embraced Christianity, but who, for the most part, secretly adhered to their old faith, less dreadful. These so-called Marranos fell victims to the Inquisition, and a great number were burned alive. Autos-da-fé of suspected converts took place in Spain as late as 1655, in Portugal as late as 1776, and in South America as late as 1812.


In Italy similar persecutions have been endured by the Jews. Especially when the weak Carlovingians began to rule, and the Church to advance with imperious strides, the great periods of humiliation and suffering of the Jews in that country began. Kings, bishops, feudal barons, and even the municipalities joined in a carnival or persecution, and the history of the Jews became nothing less than a successive series of massacres. Under Pope Paul, in the sixteenth century, the Jews were reduced to the utmost misery. Indeed, upon one occasion this Pope, it is said, had given orders to one of his nephews to burn at night the quarter inhabited by the Jews, but Alexander Farnese, hearing of the infamous proposal, succeeded in frustrating it. Pius V directed his persecutions against the Jews of Bologna, many of the wealthiest Jews being imprisoned and placed under torture in order to force them to make false confessions, and finally he expelled the Jews from Rome and Ancona.


In France the persecutions of the Jews began as early as the sixth century with violent conversion to Christianity, and was relentlessly carried on during the seventh and eight centuries. In the ninth century many Jews were expelled from the country. Many were killed by the soldiers of the Crusades in the eleventh century, and in 1080 they were banished from the country. It is alleged against them that in the celebration of the Passover at Paris they sacrificed a youth, the son of a rich merchant, for which may were executed. In the twelfth century we read of thirty-seven men and women being burned alive in Blois, and a great number of Jews massacred in other French cities. In 1182 Philip II expelled the Jews from France after confiscating all their property. In 12909 three thousand Jews were massacred at Bordeaux. Under Louis IX (1226-1270) the murderer of a Jew, if he were a Christian, went unpunished! When, in 1321, a religious epidemic known as the Rising of the Shepherds, seized the common people in Languedoc and the central regions of France, they indulged in horrible massacres of the hated race; so horrible, indeed, that in one place, Verdun, on the Garonne, the Jews in the madness of their agony threw down their children to the Christian mob from the tower in which they were gathered, hoping, but in vain, to appease the demoniacal fury of the assailants. In whole provinces every Jew was burned. At Chinon, in Touraine, a deep ditch was dug, an enormous pile raised and a hundred and sixty Jews of both sexes were burned together, while the richer Jews were imprisoned until their property was discovered, and the sum of 50,000 livres transported to the king! At last, in 1594, they were again banished from France and the sentence was rigidly executed.


In England, where the Jews are first mentioned in 740, it is the same old story of persecution, pillage and massacre. A raid against the Jews was there a favorite pastime of the nobles. Thus, at the enthronement of Richard I (1189), the Crusaders, on their departure for the Holy Land, began their warfare by a pillage and massacre of the Jews in London. In 1190 five hundred Jews were besieged by the knights of England in the castle of York and, finding resistance useless, cut one another's throats rather than fall a prey to the Christian knights. In 1204 Jews of both sexes were imprisoned, their eyes or teeth plucked out and numbers butchered by King John. In 1262 seven hundred Jews were slain in London, and in 1278 fully 1,200 Jews were hanged and quartered. The reign of Edward I (1272-1307) brought suddenly to an end the frightful condition of the Jews by a wholesale expulsion from England (1290), after a vain attempt to convert them to Christianity, preceded by a wholesale confiscation of their property. About sixteen thousand Jews left the inhospitable shores, which, however, hater, after their return under Rabbi Manasseh, became a place of refuge for the unfortunate race. As early as 1753 a Jews' naturalization bill passed the Houses of Parliament.

In Germany, Jews were regarded as the sovereign's property (kammerknechte--chamber servants), and were bought and sold. During the Crusades a wholesale slaughter of the "enemies of Christianity" was instituted. Treves, Metz, Cologne, Worms, Strasburg and other cities were deluged with the blood of the "unbeliever."


The word "Hep!" (said to be the initials of "Hierosolyma est perdita"--"Jerusalem is destroyed"), throughout all the cities of the empire, became the signal for massacre, and if a monk sounded it along the streets it threw the rabble into paroxysms of murderous rage. The choice of death or conversion was given to the Jews, but few were found willing to purchase their lives in that way. Rather than subject their offspring to conversion, fathers presented their breasts to the sword after putting their children to death, and wives and virgins sought refuge from the brutality of the soldiers by throwing themselves into the rivers, with stones fastened to their bodies, says Gibbon. In Munich 180 Jews were burned alive. The "Black Death" in particular occasioned a great and widespread persecution (1348-50), the Jews being accused of poisoning the wells. They were murdered and burned by the thousands. In Strasbourg 1,300 Jews were burned in a single day. In Worms 400 were burned, in Mayence 6,000, and in Erfurt 3,000 were killed, all in the same year. In Switzerland the entire Jewish population of most cities were exterminated. No less than 17,000 were supposed to have perished in the German empire during these persecutions. When the race had almost disappeared in Germany, those who survived were expelled by force from the principal cities.

Modern times have witnessed the hatred of the Jew in these countries change into toleration, until Russia stands practically alone in her murderous attitude toward them. In the nature of things, it cannot be many years before the Jew will be treated as well in Europe as he is in America.





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