Towards the end of this time period, around the 1 7th and 18th century, Jews were not treated as badly thanks to the Enlightenment. In the documents you can see the ideas of hurting the Jews, singling out the Jews, and preaching tolerance of the Jews. In Europe, many people discussed and sought to hurt Jews. In a wood panel (Document 5), a Jewish family is burned at the stake for the “Desecration of the Host. ” In “On the Jews and Their Lies,” by Martin Luther (Document 8), the author advises people to set fire to Jewish synagogues and schools and to esters their houses.
He also says to cut off a Rabbi’s limb if he tries to teach. Martin Luther said this because he was a part of the clergy of the Catholic Church, which means that he wanted to keep the congregation Catholic so that they would go to church and allow him to keep his job. Another example of hurting the Jews is in the account of Rabbi Nathan of Hanover of the massacres of Polish Jews by Cossacks and Tartars during the Checking Revolts (Document 12). He tells that all four death penalties: stoning, burning, deadheading and strangling were used against the Jews.
Hurting the Jews was common in the documents. Singling out the Jews was another treatment against them. In a 1 SST century engraving (Document 1), the picture depicts the Jews being singled out by having to wear a special hat to distinguish them. The law was probably made because of the sheer amount of the Jews in Frankfurt, Germany. They didn’t want to have them take over. In a painting of a Jewish coupe from Worms Germany (Document 7), the couple is not only evicted as greedy, but a huge circle was sewn on the front of their clothes.
This happened because the Christians Of Worms wanted to mark the Jews to differentiate from them. In a papal bull of Pope Paul IV (Document 9), the pope says to make the Jews live in a different part of town and they have to wear a hat or obvious marking so they cannot be concealed or hidden. The author said this because he was the leader of Catholics, which were Christians. He wanted to oppress the Jews and make sure that none of the Christians converted.
In a contemporary etching by George Keller (Document 1 1 the artwork depicts the expulsion of the Jews from Frankfurt, Germany. This document shows yet another example of the harsh treatment of the Jews. Singling out and isolating the Jew was a common treatment of the Jews in this time period. Although during the beginning of the time period Jews were mistreated, towards the end they received much more tolerance. In the Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire (Document 15), it says that we should be tolerant of one another because we are all weak and liable to error.
The author said this because he was a man of the Enlightenment, where some of the main ideas during that period were liberty, equality, tolerance, and peace. Another example is in the Tolerance’s of Joseph of Austria (Document 17). It says that everyone whatever their religion is should be tolerated and share in the public welfare. The author said this because he was an enlightened ruler. An Enlightened ruler would believe in the ideas of the Enlightenment and try to maintain peace and keep the people happy under his rule.
The last example f tolerance is in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, approved by the National Assembly of France (Document 18). It says that no person should be disquieted on account of his or her religious views. The author said this because the National Assembly of France was in France which was the center of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment’s main themes were liberty, equality, and tolerance, which you can see in this document. Tolerance was promoted in the later part of the time period.
During the 15th through the 18th centuries, there were many social issues grading Jews. In the early part of the time period, Jews were persecuted and singled out. The attitudes and beliefs about, and the treatment of the Jews were awful. The coming of the Enlightenment brought peace to many Jews that had suffered in times before. Attitudes, beliefs, and treatments of the Jews in Europe were much nicer. The Jews got tolerance in most areas of Europe. The attitudes and beliefs about, and the treatments of Jews changed considerably from the 15th century to the 18th in a positive way.