“Dutch Tzedakah” - Stories of righteous ones in the Netherlands - Saving Jews from the Nazis

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Chapter 2

The years of Persecution

It is a matter of debate with many that we should forget the past and just look ahead. If this be the case, all those who love to read and study the Word of God, might just as well put down their blessed Scriptures (Bibles,) as much of it is an account of events that took place over period of almost four thousand years. Those with understanding know very well that these events were carefully written in the Scriptures that we today might learn from them. In fact, the events recorded so long ago can have a profound effect upon our lives today, and this is the very purpose of the next two chapters which deal with much pain and horror, which was forced upon the Children of Israel.

When we think of the persecution of the Jewish people, we immediately ponder the insanity of Hitler's Holocaust. In this chapter, we will not cover this Holocaust, but another, which took place between the years of 70 AD and the late sixteenth century. Countless thousands of Jews were persecuted and murdered by those who we will call, so-called “Christian” nations, in which Israel was dispersed.

The Hebrews (Jews) in Rome

It is recorded that Hebrew’s, or the Jewish People, were living in Rome as far back as 139 BC. It is believed they were part of a group sent by Simon the Maccabee. After Pompey’s conquest of Jerusalem in 63 BC, many more Jews arrived, this time as captives to be paraded through the city in the triumphant procession of the victorious general. They were then sold into slavery but most of them soon regained their freedom. These Jews had a strong missionary zeal to further the truth of the “One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Many Romans converted to the faith of Israel. Each would be known as a “Ger” … “a righteous proselyte” and these “Ger’s” where very highly regarded by all of the Israelites as one of their own! People from all walks of Roman life embraced the Hebrew faith, from a lowly street boy to Fulvia, a senator's wife, and Flavius Clemens, a nephew of the emperor Domitian. Even the empress Poppea the wife of Nero, was favourably disposed towards the Hebrew faith and was a good friend to the Jewish people. It was a time of relative peace. Then in 69/70 AD a cruel blow fell on the Jewsish population as the Holy City, Jerusalem was laid waste, but nothing could break the Hebrew/Jewish spirit. They continued to strive and live. Then a humiliating tax was levied, a special poll tax, which all Jews of the empire were ordered to pay to the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. In spite of these new hardships, Jewish life continued.

During 69/70 AD, various changes took place, changes that would have a dramatic effect on Hebrew missionary work. At that time, very few came to the faith and Jewish outreach slowly ceased. However, the followers of YahoShua (Jesus), both from Hebrew and Gentile background, now were the ones making rapid progress, as Jews and Gentiles accepted this Messianic faith. The Judaic-Messianic (although not called Christian at the time) community grew so much that it became necessary for the Jewish and Messianic residents to spread beyond the original Hebraic quarter. A second Hebraic Quarter sprang up during the reign of Domitian, outside the gate along the Apian Way.

Spain & France

By 300 AD, Jews were living in Spain. Twenty-eight years later, they are recorded to have been living along the Rhine at Cologne in Colonia Agrippina, a colony of Rome since 50 AD. This had been founded by emperor Claudius who reigned after Caligula was murdered in January 41 AD. New restrictions were imposed upon the Jews of Europe. They could not hold any public post, and were forbidden to proselytise, they denied the right to have “servants, or employing labourers who were of the Christian faith,” or “marrying a Christian.” After the fall of the Roman Empire and a new Roman style of “Christianity” was conceived, which in no way resembled the early Messianic faith, which originated in Judah, by Jews. Many of the original faithful refused to join this pagan version of the faith, now called “Christianity,” and they were dismayed at the sad state of events. Religion now became state-run, and a Papacy was set in place with unprecedented powers that would be responsible for the wholesale torture, and slaughter of countless thousands of Jews, and other followers of Messiah who decided to take another path in their faith. These believers in Messiah became known as “the Protesters” and the “Baptisers” in centuries to come.

In January 1096, the Rabbis of France called a time of prayer and fasting as threats of extinction had been made against the Jews, if they did not submit themselves to the Church of Rome. At the same time Jewish settlers who were living on the banks of the Rhine, felt quite secure as they had the favour of the emperor and local rulers. They had heard of the plight of their French brethren, and fervently prayed for their safety.

The evil Duke Godfrey of Bouillon who slaughtered Jews everywhere, yet became the “First King of Jerusalem”

Godfrey of Bouillon had vowed that in France “the blood of Christ would be avenged” by the “spilling of Jewish blood.” This kind of madness would eventually engulf all Europe. The idea was spread, that killing a Jew would secure atonement for one's sins. Certain leaders of the first crusade took an oath not to leave their country before they had first killed a Jew with their own hands. In this way, thousands upon thousands were tragically slain by men who claimed to be “Christian” and, believed that they had the right to do so, having the “Red Cross of Jesus” on their shield! “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.” YahoShua / Jesus said; “… for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Matt 26:52 KJV.

On 3 May 1096, a Sabbath day, the Crusaders surrounded the Synagogue of Spires. This time however, the worshippers were able to repel the attack. The mad mob was so angered that they turned their attention to individual Jews of the town, and slew ten as well as injuring many others. Tragically, one devout Jewish lady killed herself before she could be sexually violated and butchered by a crusader, bearing the “Red Cross of Jesus” on his attire. A local Bishop did take some measures to stop the cruelty. Those guilty, who were finally identified were arrested and punished. However, two weeks later on Sunday May 18, an much larger force under the leadership of Count Emicho attacked the Jews of Worms. A few saved their lives by confessing Roman Catholicism to be “the true faith” and were christened. However, the majority were brutally put to death as they would not accept the faith of Rome. Before Emicho’s soldiers came, many decided to die by their own hands rather than face the hideous death that awaited them. It was just like those at Mount Massada, next to the Dead Sea, so long ago when Rome tried to storm the last Jewish stronghold, when the night before the Romans invaded the top of the mountain, all had committed suicide, rather than being tortured and have the women and children being sexually assaulted and then killed as was the Roman soldiers way!.

All Jewish homes were robbed of their possessions, and destroyed. The dead were stripped of their clothes, and the corpses were piled in heaps to be left in the streets a sign of “Christian victory.” All Jewish children that survived were taken, christened, and placed in the care of the Nuns. The next Sunday, the Jews were again attacked, targeting those that found refuge the previous week. On these two Sundays, over eight hundred Jewish lives were lost. The second Sunday happen to fall on “Rosh Chodesh(the new moon) of Sivan, at which time many faithful Jews died singing the Hallel,” being Psalms 113 through to 118.

A youth by the name of Simcha Cohen, whose father and seven brothers had been brutally murdered by the crusaders, pretended that he would accept christening. He was taken to the Church. However, at the very moment he was to be sprinkled with water, he produced a hidden knife and stabbed the bishop’s nephew. Those present seized Simcha, and without hesitation cut him into many pieces and paraded parts of his body throughout the streets in triumph.

Emicho's army of madness now moved to Mayence where over one thousand more Jews were massacred with the help of the local population. Their bodies were stripped of clothes and thrown into nine ditches. The cost of the burial came from monies stolen from the Jews. This kind of persecution was to become the norm rather than the exception throughout this so-called Christian Europe. The madness had begun, which centuries later it culminated in the Third Reich with Hitler as its leader and he had found legitimacy for he had a book written by a great Christian!

Jews in England - the Good, the Bad and the really Ugly!

By the eleventh century, the Jews had arrived in England. Life at first was reasonable, until an event took place in 1144. A boy, William of Norwich, disappeared and the Jews were accused of having murdered him. A general charge was made by a Theobold of Cambridge that the “Jews killed a Christian child every year before the Passover as a sacrifice,” deciding by lot in which city the murder was to take place.

So flimsy was the evidence that no charge was ever laid. The Sheriff of Norwich decided to take the Jews under his protection, for there were many that believed Theobold's story and wished to revenge the murder of William. The story in English (so-called) Christian circles gained so mush credence that the Church heralded William as “a martyred saint.”

Consequently, there were many attacks and Jews were literally being murdered in their beds for something they had never had anything to do with. However, most of the Norwich Jews eventually fled the carnage. Two years later those very “Christian” Crusaders again went on a rampage and slaughtered Jews across Europe, whilst the English Jews at this time went unscathed, thanks to the intervention of King Stephen. Jewish life in England settled down and some individuals even rose to great opulence, and lived in houses that were so magnificent that they equalled the royal palaces. Aaron Lincoln built up a great banking empire in nine countries and many abbeys, and monasteries were built with his financial co-operation. King Henry ll was indebted to Aaron for loans. When Aaron died the king confiscated all his property, but much of the stolen gold and silver was lost at sea en-route to France. During Henry's reign, the Jewish communities were heavily taxed especially when the third crusade was in preparation. One fourth of all movable Jewish property was levied.

However, a greater storm was about to come with the coronation of King Richard l in 1189. When a Jewish deputation appeared at Westminster Abbey with a wealth of gifts on behalf of all Jews in the realm, they were refused admission. As they left, the guards deliberately mocked them. Jeering crowds enjoyed the humiliation of the Jews so much they decided to take an active part by throwing stones and rubbish at them. Then a rumour started that the king had ordered the total destruction of the Jews in England. Thus, in this once relatively safe home, now the multitudes turned into a mad, murderous mob. Twenty-four hours of terror and death followed. The King sent some nobles to quell the disorder, but even they were forced to withdraw, considering the violence being so extreme. A proclamation was posted that the Jew’s were not to be molested. However, this had little effect on the people who were so filled with Crusader “Christian” induced hatred of Jews, “the people who killed Christ.” Soon this would be followed by the infamous massacre at York on March 16, 1190. On the eve of the Great Sabbath, Crusaders, aided by fanatical priests and clergy conspired to exterminate all the Jews. Within hours, over five hundred Jewish lives were eliminated, having suffered in the most horrific circumstances before their death. The mob then turned to the Cathedral where all records of debts were in safekeeping. They were seized and burned. No one was punished for these crimes. Only the Sheriff of York was removed from office.

English Jew’s once more had to move and find a safe home, but where? Years later, many joined the French exodus to the Holy Land in 1211. A still larger exodus took place in 1218, two hundred years after the accession of King Henry III who forced all Jew’s to wear a badge. And yes, it was 700 years later that Hitler used his idea and enforced the Jews to wear a Star (shield) of David badge on their clothing.

English Jews wearing their badge

In 1222, the synod at Oxford under the leadership of the Devil himself, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, enacted new anti-Jewish legislation. There was to be no building of any new Synagogues, Jews were forbidden to mix or talk with Christians, or to have Christian employees or servants. They had to wear the Jewish badge at all times. Under those conditions, Jews decided that it was better to leave England, but ironically, they were forced to stay, as they had become a valuable source of income. All ports were closed to them. In 1230, the king levied a tax of one third of all their possessions. By 1253, an order came that worship in all Synagogues was to be carried out in a low voice, so that it would not to offend the English Christians.

With the Theobold of Cambridge affair still in the memories of many, suddenly in 1255 in Lincoln a body of a boy named Hugh was found in a well in the courtyard of a Jewish yard. Although an accident or any other possibility was never considered or looked into, the police were more than happy to accuse all the local Jews of having crucified and killed the Little Hugh. All ninety two of Lincoln’s Jews were sent to London to be tried for murder and eighteen of them were hanged on the flimsiest of evidence, and the others were forced to pay massive ransoms for their lives. In the meantime the boy became known as “Little Saint Hugh” and his body was buried with great pomp and ceremony inside the Cathedral in a crypt. To this day the Shrine and a plaque of “Little St. Hugh” is clearly in the Lincoln Cathedral commemorating his death. Little St. Hugh, who was allegedly crucified by the Jews in 1255, and still people will believe the ultimate lie that is what the Jews did this and yet there was never an investigation of any kind, except for one, “There are the Jews!”

Lincoln Cathedral - The Shrine of “Little St. Hugh”

Finally on July 18, 1290 came an expulsion order. All Jew’s were ordered to leave the realm before “All Saints day” of that year. Only personal items were permitted to be taken. King Edward I decided to seized, or simply stole all personal property from the Jews. That meant all jewels, land, homes, money and all belongings in order that they were left with nothing to leave the country with. He issued this decree of expulsion on July 18, 1290, which he had been told would coincide with the Hebrew month of the Ninth of Ab, which commemorates the destruction of Jerusalem. He must have felt really good going to mass that day and receiving his communion from his arch demon bishop!

Even with their meagre possessions. Then it was the English captains who transported them across the channel who robbed many of the refugees leaving them only with the clothes they stood in. Then there were those that were shipwrecked and drowned en route to Europe. In all, sixteen thousand left England, of which one thousand five hundred went to the Lowlands, the Netherlands, and the rest, went to France. Sadly at the time the Roman Church governed The Netherlands at the time and they certainly offered no sanctuary, thus most travelled further east, and some headed further south, to France and Spain.

Devastating outbreaks against Jews in western and central Europe were rife in the mid-fourteenth century. The Black Death, that terrible epidemic, essentially the same as bubonic plague, infested the west from India and killed more than a third of the population. In the crazed and superstitious minds of the terror-stricken masses, the notion arose that the Jews were causing the disease by poisoning the wells and rivers, which supplied the drinking water. Weird stories were circulated concerning a universal plot on the part of Jews to bring the Christian world into total chaos and destruction, thus disgracing the Church and their Messiah. (1)It was fabled that the conspiracy originated in Toledo, the capital of Castile, and that in southern France certain Jews were commissioned to compound the poison and distribute it throughout Christian Europe. The ingredients of the poison were supposed to be, spiders, lizards, frogs, human flesh and the hearts of Christians mixed with the dough of the communion wafer. After inhuman torture, some Jews actually confessed to the charge, but they would have been willing to confess anything to put a stop to their torture and suffering.

As disease raged from city to city, village, to village, the obsession gained momentum. Hatred demanded death for the dreaded “Jews” as well as destruction of all their property. From November 1348 to September 1349, two hundred and ten Jewish communities throughout Europe were cruelly butchered and wiped out. Yet, it is remarkable, even in those evil times, whilst the Jews of France, Germany, and Poland were harassed with malicious persecution, Hebraic studies and knowledge flourished.

“Jewish (Hebrew) Knowledge,” which had its roots in France and Germany, now began to ripen in Spain and Portugal, which became the new seat of Hebrew learning.

(1) Note: The same type of lies are still being circulated by ultra right wing groups including Neo-Nazis in the USA, Britain and throughout east and western Europe and the KKK, worldwide, including their branches in Australia and New Zealand. The ‘League of Rights’, the ‘Logos Foundation’ and the ‘British Israelites’ are organisation in Australia and New Zealand with similar attitudes. Sadly, all of the above actually claim to be “Christians.”

 

Please Note: Reference is made in this work regarding “so-called Christians” who persecuted and harmed the Children of Israel, including other Christians, and Gentiles alike. Most of this persecution was perpetrated by clergy and individuals of the Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Greek, Russian, and other Orthodox Churches. This work does NOT, in any way, condemn blameless individuals, who are members of these faiths, or other groups. Within these very circles, there were many individuals, who protected and saved the ‘Jewish’ people and others, at times at cost to their lives. These blessed ones are honoured by Hebrews worldwide and in the State of Israel!

 

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