History of the Jews and the Crusades  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The history of the Jews and the crusades became a part of the history of antisemitism for the Jews in the Middle Ages. The call for the First Crusade touched off new persecutions of the Jews that would continue on and off for centuries.


In the First Crusade, flourishing communities on the Rhine and the Danube were attacked by Crusaders, yet many were spared due to the efforts of the Papacy (see German Crusade, 1096). In the Second Crusade (1147) the Jews in France suffered especially. Philip Augustus treated them with exceptional severity during the Third Crusade (1188). The Jews were also subjected to attacks by the Shepherds' Crusades of 1251 and 1320.

The attacks were opposed by the local bishops and widely condemned at the time as a violation of the crusades' aim, which was not directed against the Jews. However, the perpetrators mostly escaped legal punishment. Also, the social position of the Jews in western Europe distinctly worsened, and legal restrictions increased during and after the crusades. They prepared the way for anti-Jewish legislation of Pope Innocent III. The crusades resulted in centuries of strong feelings of ill will on both sides and hence constitute a turning point in the relationship between Jews and Christians.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "History of the Jews and the Crusades" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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