WELL AUTHENTICATED CASES IN EARLY AND MEDIEVAL TIMES 1171 TO 1510
IN this, and subsequent chapters, I place
descriptions of cases in chronological order, in which there seems to me to be no
reason whatever to dispute the historical accuracy of the facts given.
In this Chapter, I record such cases between 1171 and 1510 inclusive; and I would point out to the reader the great importance of the murder of St. Simon of Trent in 1475 and of the Toledo case in 1490; in fact, should the reader be one of those who approach the subject as unbelievers, I recommend that he should read about these two cases first, and the others after.
The following abbreviations are used in this Chapter among the references to authorities:
Magd. Cent. for Magdeburg Centuries, a Protestant History of the Christian Church compiled at Magdeburg, sixteenth century.
Chron. Hirsaug. for Chronicon Hirsaugiense, a history produced by Abbot J. Trithemius, 1514.
Cosm. Munst. for Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia Universalis, 1544.
Spec. Viva. for Vincent of Beauvais's Speculum Historiale, of 13th century.
1171 Blois, France. At Passover, a Christian child was crucified, his body drained of blood and thrown into the river. A number of Jews were executed. Authority: Monumenta Germania Historica, VI, 520; Magd Cent., 12, C. 14 and 13, C. 14.
1179. Pontoise. The authorities for this case are the Bollandists (Acta, Vol. III, March, 591); Madg. Cent., 23, c. 14; Spec. Vinc, 129, C. 25; and Cosm. Munst., 23, C. 14. A boy named Richard was tortured, crucified and bled white. Philip Augustus's chaplains and historians, Rigord and Guillaume l'Armoricain, attested this case. The body of the boy was taken to the Church of the Holy Innocents in Paris and he was canonised as St. Richard.
Under date 1080, Haydn's Dictionary of Dates, 1847, p. 282, says: "Thinking to invoke the divine mercy, at a solemnisation of the Passover, they (the Jews) sacrifice a youth, the son of a rich tradesman at Paris, for which all the criminals are executed and all Jews banished France."
1192. Braisne. Philip Augustus attended to this case personally, and had the criminals burnt. It was a case of the crucifixion of a Christian sold to the Jews by Agnes, Countess of Dreux, who considered him guilty of homicide and theft. Authority: Histoire des Ducs et Comtes de Champagne, IV, 1st part, p. 72, Paris, 1865) by A. de Jubainville; Sped. Vinc., 129, c. 25; Gaguin. L. 6, De Francis; Magd. Cenf., 12, C. 14, col. 1670.
1235. Fulda, Hesse-Nassau. Five children murdered; Jews confessed under torture, but said the blood was wanted for healing purposes. Frederick II exonerated the Jews from suspicion, but the Crusaders had already dealt with a number by putting them to death. Frederick II called together a number of converted Jews, who denied the existence of Jewish ritual murder. But Frederick's bias is evident in his own words when, in publishing his decision, he gives his objects in calling these people together, "although our conscience regarded the innocence of the aforesaid Jews adequately proved on the ground of several writings." Had Frederick II lived today, he would have relied little upon religious literature in deciding whether Jewish Ritual Murder exists or not. Authority: Chron. Hirsaug., and Magd. Cent., 13, C. 24.
1247. Valreas, France. Just before Easter, a two-year-old girl's body was found in the town moat with wounds on forehead, hands and feet. Jews confessed under torture that they wanted the blood of the child, but did not say that it was for ceremonial purposes. Pope Innocent IV said that three of the Jews were executed without confessing, but the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1903, Vol. III, p. 261, says they confessed.
1250. Saragossa. A boy crucified, afterwards canonised as St. Dominiculus. Pius VII, 24th Nov., 1805, confirmed a decree of the Congregation of Rites of 31st August, according this canonisation.
1261. Pforzheim, Baden. An old woman sold a seven-year-old girl to the Jews, who bled her, strangled her and threw the body into the river. The old woman was convicted on the evidence of her own daughter. A number of Jews were condemned to death, two committing suicide. Authorities: Bollandists, Acta, Vol. II, p. 838; Rohrbacher, L' Histoire Universelle de l'Eglise Catholique, Vol. XVIII, pp. 697-700; Thos. Cantipranus, De ratione vitae Vol. II, xxix. The child was canonised as a saint.
1287. Berne. Rudolf, a boy, was murdered at Passover in the house of a rich Jew called Matler. Jews confessed that he had been crucified; many were put to death. The boy was canonised as a martyr, and his name can be found in several martyrologies. Documental authorities: Bollandists, Acta, Vol. II, April; Helvetia sancta (H. Murer); Karl Howald, Die Brunnen zu Bern, 1848, p. 250; Cosm. Aims., 13, p. 482. But a stone monument still exists in Berne commemorating the crime. It is called The Fountain of the Child-Devourer, and is now on the Kornhausplatz. It represents a monster, with a Jewish countenance, eating a child. The figure wears the Judenbut, the hat prescribed for the Jews to wear by decree of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. This monument was first placed in a street of the Jews' quarter as a reminder of the monstrous crime and as a punishment for the whole of Berne Jewry. Later, it was removed to its present situation.
1288. Troyes, France. Some Jews were tried for a ritual murder and 13 were executed by burning. Authority: Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906, Vol. XII, p. 267.
1286. Oberwesel, on the Rhine. A boy named Werner was tortured for three days at Passover, hanged by the legs and bled white. The body was found in the river. This boy was beatified in the diocese of Treves, and his anniversary is on 19th April. A sculptured representation of this ritual murder is still to be seen in the Oberwesel Church. Authorities: Aventinus, Annals of Bavaria, 1591, 17, p. 576; Chron. Hirsaug., Magd. Cent., 13, c. 14.
1462. Rinn, Innsbruck. A boy called Andreas Oxner was bought by the Jews and sacrificed for his blood on a stone in the forest. The body was found by his mother in a birch-tree. No Jew was apprehended because, the border being near, they had fled when the crime was made known. The Abbe Vacandard, defender of the Jews, says there was no trial. Well, of course there wasn't. Even in 1937 there is no trial for a crime where the criminals have escaped! The boy has been sanctified by Pope Benedict XIV in his Bull Beatus Andreas, Venice, 1778, which says he was " cruelly assassinated by the Jews in hatred of the faith of Jesus Christ." This last is admitted by Pope Clement XIV, who wrote his report on the investigation he made into the matter of Jewish Ritual Murder when, as Cardinal Ganganelli, he had been commissioned by Pope Benedict XIV to go into the matter; and in this report, he says "I admit the truth of another fact, which happened in the year 1462 in the village of Rinn, in the Diocese of Brixen, in the person of the Blessed Andreas, a boy barbarously murdered by the Jews in hatred of the faith of Jesus Christ." No one questions the historical occurrence or this case. An engraving on wood representing the Ritual Murder still exists in the church.
1468. Sepulveda, Segovia, Spain. The Jews sacrificed a Christian child on a cross. The Bishop of Segovia investigated the crime, and ordered the culprits to Segovia, where they were executed. It is important to know that this Bishop was himself son of a converted Jew; Jean d'Avila was his name. Colmenares's History of Segovia records the facts of the case, which was juridically decided by a man of Jewish blood. That may be the reason that one finds no mention of it in Strack's book in defence of the Jews, The Jew and Human Sacrifice.
1475. The Case of St. Simon of Trent. In 1475, a three-year-old boy named Simon disappeared in the Italian town of Trent; the circumstances were such that suspicion fell upon the Jews. Hoping to averr this suspicion, they themselves "found" the child's body in a conduit where they afterwards confessed to having thrown it. Examination of the body, however, revealed that the boy had not been drowned; there were strange wounds on the body, of circumcision and crucifixion. About seven Jews were arrested; they were tortured and confessed that the boy had been ritually murdered for the purpose of obtaining Christian blood to mix with the ceremonial unleavened bread; these confessions were made separately and agreed in all essential details. The Jews were tried and were ultimately executed. The officer in charge of the investigation of the crime, Jean de Salis de Brescia, had before him a converted Jew, Jean de Feltro, who described how his father told him that Jews of his town, Lanzhat, had killed a child at Passover to get the blood of which they partook in wine and cakes.
No one has ever dared to try and deny the historical events of this case; only the Jews invent "reasons" why it was not Ritual Murder! But there is no escape from the opposite conclusion. In 1759 in answer to a Jewish appeal from Poland, the Inquisition sent Cardinal Ganganelli (later he became Pope Clement XIV) to investigate and report on the whole subject, with particular reference to the many cases then being reported in Poland; although this man went out with a biased mind in favour of the Jews (in his report, he says: "With my weak faculties I endevoured to demonstrate the non-existence of the crime which was imputed to the Jewish nation in Poland," hardly the spirit in which to enter upon such an investigation, he actually says of this Trent case (see Report of Cardinal Ganganelli, in C. Roth's The Ritual Murder Libel and the Jew, 1935, p. 83): "I admit then as true the fact of the Blessed Simon, a boy three years old, killed by the Jews in Trent in the year 1475 in hatred of the faith of Jesus Christ (although it is disputed by Basnage and Wagenseil); for the celebrated Flaminio Cornaro, a Venetian Senator, in his work On the Cult of the Child St. Simon of Trent (Venice, 1753) disposes of all the doubts raised by the above-mentioned critics."
The Jews try to throw discredit on the judges who condemned the Jewish murderers by quoting Pope Sixtus IV who refused to sanction the cult of St. Simon; but the reason for this was that the cult was not then authorised by Rome, but was a popular movement without authority and contrary to Church discipline; this same Pope later expressed his approval of the verdict on the Jews in the Papal Bull XII Kal. July, 1478.
We have not only the testimony as to the correctitude of the proceedings from Sixtus IV; but also that of several other Popes; such as Sixtus V, who regularised the popular cult of St. Simon by ratifying it in 1588, as cited by Benedict XIV in Book I, Ch. xiv, No. 4 of his On the Cononisation of the Saints; also by this same Pope Benedict XIV in his Ball Beatus Andreas of 22nd February, I755, in which he confirms Simon as a saint, a fact omitted from the arguments of that advocate for the Jews, Strack (The Jew and Human Sacrifice); Gregory XIII recognised Simon as a martyr, and even visited the shrine; and, as already stated, Clement XIV was obliged to recognise that it was a case of Jewish murder in hatred of Christianity.
St. Simon's shrine is in the Church of St. Peter, Trent; relics of him are still shown, among them the sacrificial knife.
In short, the Ritual Murder of St. Simon at Trent is supported by such evidence that those who doubt it are thereby condemning without reason high juridical and ecclesiastical authorities whose probity and intelligence there is not the slightest excuse to deny.
1480. Venice. This case, as admitted in the Jewish Encyclopedia, I906, Vol. XII, p. 410, was settled by trial. Three Jews were executed.
1485. Padua, Italy. The victim in this case was canonised as St. Lorenzino, Pope Benedict XIV mentioning him as a martyr in his Bull Beatus Andreas. This case was attested by the Episcopal Court of Padua
1490. Toledo. This is a most important case, the circumstances of which have been clarified for us by W. T. Walsh in his interesting book on Isabella of Spain, 1931 (Sheed & Ward), in which he devotes pp. 441 to 468 to his researches on this Ritual Murder charge. Had it not been for Mr. Walsh, I might have been influenced by the Jewish Encyclopedia's statement (1903, Vol. II1, p. 262) that "Modern historians even deny that a child had disappeared at all" in this case! Strenuous efforts were made by Loeb and H. C. Lea to clear the Jews from guilt of this murder; as also by Abbe Vacandard. Walsh shows that on 17th October, 1490, a Jew named Yuce confessed to having been present at the crucifixion of a boy called Christopher at La Guardian near Toledo. He made this confession without the "aid" of any torture; he was not even threatened with that for one year after his confession. On 19th July, 1491, Yuce was promised immunity from punishment for himself and described the whole crucifixion and gave the names of his accomplices. On 25th October, 1491, a jury of seven noted Renaissance scholars who occupied the Chairs at Salamanca University examined the case and were unanimous in finding Yuce guilty. Not until after this did Yuce undergo torture. This torture was applied to make him say for what reason the boy Christopher had been crucified instead of being killed in any other way; but no "leading" questions were employed in the examination. After this, the case went before a second jury of five learned men of Avila, who considered the evidence concerning Yuce's accomplices, who had been arrested and under examination; they unanimously declared them guilty. Eight Jews (some of them Marranos. or pretended converts to Christianity) were executed.
Writing of the efforts made to discredit the trials in this case, Walsh says (p. 464): "Must we assume that they (the two learned juries) were all murderous fanatics, willing to sacrifice innocent men, and that Dr. Leob, Dr. Lea, and on the Catholic side the somewhat too credulous Abbe Vacandard were better qualified to weigh the evidence after the lapse of four centuries?"
Walsh is not an "anti-semite." He is a historian, and has not suggested that ritual murder is part or any official Jewish ceremony. But he says: "The historian, far from being obliged to make wholesale vindication of all Jews accused of murder, is free, in fact, bound to consider each individual case upon its merits."
Walsh states (p. 441) that this case of Ritual Murder was "one of the chief factors, if not the decisive one, in the decision of Fernando and Isabel" (for the expulsion of the Jews from Spain). He shows that the complete record of testimony in the trial of one of the accused has been available since it was published in 1887 in the Bulletin of the Royal Academy at Madrid (Vol. XI, pp. 7-160), from the original manuscript. (This was, of course, before the Red revolution!)
Walsh charges Lea, the pro-Jewish author, of intellectual dishonesty (p. 628) in writing in his Inquisition in Spain decrying the influential men who were jurors in this case.
"If the Inquisitors sent eight men to a shameful death without being convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of their guilt, the honest verdict of history cannot shrink from finding not only Torquemada and his judges, but King Fernando and Queen Isabel, Cardinal Mendoza and several of the most illustrious professors of Salamanca University guilty of complicity in one of the most brutal judicial murders on record?" (Walsh, p. 442.)
Those who shrink from charging the Jews with the practice of Ritual Murder thereby condemn some of the finest characters on the stage of European history.
Finally, we must record that the murdered boy was canonised as St. Christopher on the authority of Pope Pius VII.
1494. Tyrnau, Hungary. A boy was bled white and killed. The Jew culprits were betrayed by the confession of women, who were persuaded to do so by the sight of some instruments of torture, which however were not applied to them. The Jews, arrested after this confession, themselves confessed that this was the fourth child they had killed for the blood, but they said they wanted this for medical purposes. Authority: Bollandists, Acta, April, Veil. II, 838.
1510. Brandenberg. Several Jews were accused in Berlin of buying a small Christian boy, bleeding him and killing him. They confessed, and 41 were executed Authorities: Richard Mun, Die Juden in Berlin; Sir Richard Burton, The Jew, the Gypsy and El Islam, 1898, p. 126.