The Black Death and the Burning of the Jews

Title

The Black Death and the Burning of the Jews

Description

This woodcut depicts a Christian throwing wood on a fire pit in which Jews are being burned alive in fourteenth-century Bavaria. During the plague, Christians often suspected Jews of poisoning wells and food in order to spread disease, and burning was a common means of punishment for this supposed crime.

Despite the fact that Jews were protected by the Pope and by many heads of state, fear of the unknown and the terror of the plague convinced some Christian leaders to persecute Jews and others considered to be outsiders. These people would be tortured until they confessed to the crime and then they were thrown in pits, like the one depicted, and burned to death. There are even some accounts of Jews being beaten back into the flames if they tried to escape. The entire Jewish population of many cities would be put to death in this manner in the time of the Black Death.

Creator

Michel Wolgemut
Wilhelm Pleydenwurff

Source

Nuremburg Chronicle

Date

1493

Contributor

Emily Howard

Format

Woodcut

Type

Still image

Coverage

pre-1450

Files

burnig the jews omeka.jpg

Citation

Michel Wolgemut and Wilhelm Pleydenwurff, “The Black Death and the Burning of the Jews,” Disaster History Archive, accessed November 20, 2019, http://disasterhistoryarchive.cynthiakierner.org/items/show/70.

Output Formats

Geolocation