Ibn Warraq: Jews and the Crusades (Part 8)
Posted by Robert on February 4, 2013 8:55 AM
"...Fathers fell upon their sons, being slaughtered upon one another, and they slew one another- each man his kin, his wife and children; bridegrooms slew their betrothed and merciful women their only children. They all accepted the divine decree wholeheartedly and, as they yielded up their soul to the Creator, cried out: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.’ The enemy stripped them naked, dragged them along, and then cast them off, sparing only a small number whom they forcibly baptized in their profane waters. The number of those slain during the two days was approximately eight hundred-and they were all buried naked. It is of these that the Prophet Jeremiah lamented: ‘They that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills’. [Lamentations 4:5] ….May God remember them for good”.
On May 25, Emich and his men entered the city of Mainz. Despite the efforts of Archbishop Rothard to save the Jews, once again Emich’s men broke in and began two days of pillaging and murdering of Jews. Some Jews accepted conversion to Christianity and were spared, but they later regretted their moment of weakness and committed suicide. About a thousand Jews were killed in Mainz. Here we can cite a Christian primary source, Albert of Aix,  who gives an account strikingly similar to the Hebrew Chronicle: “But Emico and the rest of his band held a council and, after sunrise, attacked the Jews in the hall with arrows and lances. Breaking the bolts and doors, they killed the Jews, about seven hundred in number, who in vain resisted the force and attack of so many thousands. They killed the women, also, and with their swords pierced tender children of whatever age and sex. The Jews, seeing that their Christian enemies were attacking them and their children, and that they were sparing no age, likewise fell upon one another, brother, children, wives, and sisters, and thus they perished at each other's hands. Horrible to say, mothers cut the throats of nursing children with knives and stabbed others, preferring them to perish thus by their own hands rather than to be killed by the weapons of the uncircumcised. From this cruel slaughter of the Jews a few escaped; and a few because of fear, rather than because of love of the Christian faith, were baptized.” 
Emich and his men now headed for Cologne, but the Jews, having heard of the massacre in Mainz, hid among their Christian friends and acquaintances in the neighbouring villages. The synagogue was burnt and a Jew and a Jewess who refused to apostatize were killed. The archbishop was able to prevent further excesses.
After Cologne, Emich decided his work in the Rhineland had been successfully accomplished, and now headed for Hungary. But some of his unruly followers wanted to rid the entire Moselle valley of all Jews, and therefore broke off from the main party and made for Trier. Again the Archbishop was able to shelter the Jews in his palace. However, some Jews were very nervous and began fighting among themselves, while others jumped into the Moselle and drowned.
 “Albert of Aix (or Aachen) wrote a history of the Crusades down to c. 1120. He is the most important source for the history of the popular crusade. He wrote in the mid twelfth century and never visited the East. His History is based on eyewitness accounts and written sources.” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/albert-cde.asp
 August C. Krey, The First Crusade: The Accounts of Eyewitnesses and Participants, (Princeton: 1921), pp.54-56
To be continued.
Article printed from Jihad Watch: http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/02/ibn-warraq-jews-and-the-crusades-part-8.htmlURLs in this post: