Category: Days of Jewish Culture

Berlin’s Days of Jewish Culture

Considering the history of Berlin's jewish community in its totality, it would be no great feat to conclude that persecution and catastrophe have served as recurring themes. Although the first jewish grave in this region dates from 1244 in nearby Spandau (embedded in the wall of the Citadel), the first mention of jews in Berlin's city documents is in an ordinance enacted on October 28th 1295 forbidding wool merchants from selling yarn to jews. [caption id="attachment_4257" align="alignright" width="300"] The 'court jew' Lippold is executed, 1571[/caption] This act of institutionalised discrimination was to set the tone for future treatment of the jewish community, routinely blamed for failed harvests, epidemics and accused of host desecration while numerous times over the next three centuries being expelled en masse. Following the death of Elector Joachim II in 1571, the jews of the city were expelled "for all time", their property plundered and confiscated and the…