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1171—The Killings in Blois and Their Aftermath

1171—The Killings in Blois and Their Aftermath

In 1171, roughly 30 Jews were burned alive in the French city of Blois. Accusations of ritual murder had occurred in England in recent years, and this was the first time this anti-Semitic calumny came to continental Europe. Jews in France then had a debate: how should we remember what happened to our neighbors? Ultimately, in contrast to what happened after the Crusades, Jews across Europe chose to commemorate the Jews of Blois in a national fast day on the 20th of Sivan.

In 1171, roughly 30 Jews were burned alive in the French city of Blois. Accusations of ritual murder had occurred in England in recent years, and this was the first time this anti-Semitic calumny came to continental Europe. Jews in France then had a debate: how should we remember what happened to our neighbors? Ultimately, in contrast to what happened after the Crusades, Jews across Europe chose to commemorate the Jews of Blois in a national fast day on the 20th of Sivan.