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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in the Netherlands 01: Middle Ages

Middle Ages - Black Death persecutions - expulsion in the 16th century

from: Netherlands; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 12

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)

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<NETHERLANDS, THE  (Holland), kingdom in N. W. Europe.

In the Middle Ages.

It is not known when Jews first settled in what is now the Kingdom of the Netherlands but it can be assumed that Jewish merchants followed the Roman armies into the southern regions of the country, then divided into many counties and duchies. The fact that capitularia de Judaeis (wrongly attributed to Charlemagne) were issued in *Nijmegen and *Aachen does not necessarily prove that Jews lived in those cities at that time (ninth century). Documentary evidence dates from the 12th century only: the earliest record is of Jewish moneylenders in Rolduc (Limburg) in 1146. More details are available (col. 973)

from the 13th century, especially for the provinces of Brabant, Gelderland, Overijssel, and Limburg. In his will (1261) Duke Henry II ordered that all Jews be expelled from Brabant but his widow obtained a declaration from Thomas *Aquinas stating to what extent it was permissible to benefit from the Jews. In 1309 John II took a large number of Jews under his protection in his castle of Genappe (Brabant) against the mob, but in Born (Limburg) 110 Jews were murdered by the people.

[1349 / 1350: Black Death persecution of the Jews - Jewish schools]

In 1349 and 1350, the majority of the Jews were the victims of the *Black Death persecutions. A platea Judeorum existed in Maastricht (Limburg) in 1295 and in the 14th century there was a scola Judeorum (perhaps a synagogue), which probably disappeared in 1350. In the period from 1332 to 1349 a group of Jews originally from Germany lived in Overijssel as bankers and moneylenders, but this group too disappeared during the persecutions of 1349 and 1350.

[Jews in Holland - expulsion end of the 16th century]

There is a great scarcity of material covering the next two centuries. Bills of the duke of Gelderland show that there were Jews living in several places in this province, and there were settlements in Limburg too. However, toward the end of the 16th century Jews were expelled from (col. 974)

Gelderland and it seems that they also disappeared from other areas when the fanatic Philip II succeeded his father Charles V (1556). As far as it is known no Jews lived in the provinces which rebelled against Spanish rule in the second half of the 17th century.

[Anti-Jewish medieval literature]

In spite of their small numbers in the country, the Jews occupy a prominent place in medieval Dutch literature: stories about Jews and Mary are imbued with an intense hatred for the Jews, as are the legends telling of the conversions of Jews. This hatred is also expressed in the poems of the two most important poets of the Middle Ages, Jacob van Maerlant (c. 1225-c. 1291) and Jan van Boendale (1280-1365).> (col. 975)

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Sources
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 973-974
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 973-974
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 975-976
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 975-976
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 977-978
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 977-978
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 979-980
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 979-980
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 981-982
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 981-982
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 983-984
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 983-984
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 985-986
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 985-986
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 987-988
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 987-988
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 989-990
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 989-990
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 991-992
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 991-992
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol.
                    12, col. 993-994
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Netherlands, vol. 12, col. 993-994



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