Do Loans Lead To Death? Essay

1087 words - 5 pages

Additionally, the Christians hated moneylending because it was often that powerful people in the community such as clerics, kings, Popes and nobles who were borrowing the money from the Jewish. In fact, evidence of farmers receiving loans from moneylenders is very scarce. I would say the reason we are lacking that evidence is because after killing the Jews, all of the commoners set fire to their debts. Salo Baron explains this theory well when he says, “resentments grew as many clerics and novels made large profits by acquiring Jewish bonds…at substantial discounts because they were able to collect outstanding debts more readily” (Baron 139). Because the wealthier Christians were able to ...view middle of the document...

Throughout years of research, historians have deemed peasants during the Black Plague as opportunists. They took the opportunity to get rid of their debts and did so by the extermination of Jews. Samuel Cohn puts it best when he says, “by murdering Jews, they could steal their property and cancel their debts. As with other periods of Jewish history…Jewish wealth and Jews as usurers inflamed the wrath of artisans and peasants, and that Jews had ruthlessly exploited these groups with exorbitant rates, taking their pound of flesh” (Cohn 22). Not only did the Christian peasants massacre the Jews, but they also stole their property and burned all reminisce of the European Christian population’s debt.
Knowing that Christians had had a long history of problems with Jews, it is even less surprising that they were so eager to murder the hundreds of Jews that they did during the Bubonic Plague. It has been established that the Christians labeled the Jews as the, “evil men, sons of the Devil” (qtd. d’Agramont in Bryne 82) and “Christ killers” (Bryne 81) for bringing the Plague to Europe. Because they were allies with Christianity’s enemies, especially Islam. Joseph Bryne, a scholar, describes the First Crusade by saying, “dozens of Jewish communities in Germany were attacked by members of the People’s Army who decided that Europe should be cleansed of nonbelievers. At various times Jews were accused of…ritual murders of children, mistreatment or desecration of the Eucharist …and the poisoning of wells” (Bryne 82). If Christians had already had such a violently abusive history with the Jews, it makes it more comprehendible that they indeed murdered the Jewish population during the Bubonic Plague as a result of their venom for the Jews as well as being indebted to them. In other words, the Christian hatred towards the Jews was not only caused by the fact that they were Jewish and not Christian, but because they also owed Jews money.
Thousands of Jewish mothers, husbands and children were violently burned, drowned and murdered during the Black Death owing to the fact that Christians had a lengthy and immense hatred for the Jews. The Christians then justified their actions by accusing the Jews...

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