In the Year 1096: The First Crusade and the Jews

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Email Address. Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. Email address:. Please provide an email address. Categories of Interest: Select All. Current Affairs. Historical Fiction. True Crime. Profession: Author. Event Coordinator. In the second part he surveys the Jewish perception of over the ages, including both the neglect of these events in some quarters and their emphasis in others; he places within the lengthy history of anti-Jewish actions and thinking, and examines theunusual behaviors of the Rhineland Jews within the context of historic Jewish responses to persecution.

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To ask other readers questions about In the Year , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Jul 19, Michael Lewyn rated it it was amazing. A good though somewhat basic discussion of the massacres of German Jews by Crusaders.

By and large, most of the book told me what I already knew, since I was already familiar with the basic story: a small minority of would-be Crusaders decided to massacre local Jews before heading off to the Holy Land, despite the opposition of Christian clergy and kings.

In the year 1096

Some Jews let themselves be massacred or accepted forced conversion; others decided to kill each other and their families, believing th A good though somewhat basic discussion of the massacres of German Jews by Crusaders. Some Jews let themselves be massacred or accepted forced conversion; others decided to kill each other and their families, believing that their resistance to forced conversion would earn them the same eternal salvation that their murderers thought that they would earn by killing Jews.

The massacres tended to occur in places where central authority was weak; in England and France, where kings were more powerful, there were no massacres in this time period.


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However, I did learn a few interesting details: for example, Chazan points out that only about Jews were murdered, mostly in three cities Worms, Mainz and Cologne. In other cities, local authorities were more successful in defending or hiding Jews. And because western European Jews continued to become more numerous over the following century or two, it is not clear that the First Crusade had much long-run impact.

Indeed, medieval Jewish historians did not always mention these incidents. So why do people write more books about the massacres than about other anti-Jewish atrocities that were more lethal? Chazan seems to think that begins a pattern of murderousness.

Sep 18, Eliyanna Kaiser rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. Robert Chazan is particularly good at making thousand-year-old contemporaneous accounts of calamity digestible. I only wish this book gave greater context of the First Crusade itself.


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It is a perfect book, however, for anyone with foreknowledge of the First Crusade who is looking for a window into the Jewish experience, particularly in the Rhineland.

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