aish.com > Day in Jewish History

Iyar 25

December 16, 2009 | by Aish.com

In 1096, Christian Crusaders reached the city of Cologne, only to find the city gates locked by order of the bishop. The Crusaders were en route to liberate the Holy Land from the "infidels," and turned these Crusades into campaigns of slaughter, rape and pillage. This large-scale mob violence, directed primarily against European Jews, served as the model for later pogroms. Muslims were also victims of the Crusaders, which historians believe planted a deep-seeded hatred of the West. In this first Crusade, an estimated 40% of the Jewish community of Europe was slaughtered; only the Jews of Cologne, with their locked city gates, were completely spared.




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