¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 The concomitant narrowing of occupational choices led inevitably to a progressive professional specialization. The only occupations left to the majority of Jews were peddling, trading in animals and grain, moneylending, and pawnbroking. In analogy to biological evolution, excessive specialization can make a population highly vulnerable to environmental changes. The economic, occupational, and social marginalization of the Jews was anchored by the Catholic Church in canons 67–70 of the Fourth Lateran Council (AD 1215).17
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Initially, the emperors’ offer of protection may have been generous in intent, but it quickly degenerated into a scheme to extract more and more protection taxes from the Jews, to the point where the emperors virtually owned the Jews (Kammerknechtschaft).18 As the logistics of collecting the protection tax across the empire gradually became too cumbersome, the emperors simply subcontracted the taxation of Jews to local rulers.19 The system of Schutz- und Satzbrief (letters of protection and obligations) established itself firmly.20
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Of the Jews who diffused from the cities into the country, some found their way into the region east of the Black Forest. The earliest Jewish traces were actually found in Tiengen, some twenty-two kilometres southwest of Stühlingen; in 1454 a deeply indebted knight, Willhelm of Heudorf, borrowed money from two Jews in Tiengen. His tenant farmers from the little village of Aichen in the Black Forest acted as warrantors. However, the loan default in 1488 created a great uproar.21
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Despite the fact that some Jewish inhabitants helped to defend Tiengen against a a group of Swiss soldiery in 1499,22 the citizens of Tiengen appealed to their lord, Count Johann of Sulz, to evict the five resident Jewish families from the town in 1544. Instead, the count granted the Jews a letter of protection in 1546.23
17Halsall, “Medieval Sourcebook.”
18Willoweit, “Verfassungsgeschichtliche Aspekte,”
19Battenberg, “Von der Kammerknechtschaft zum Judenregal,” 70.
20Rauscher and Staudinger, “Widerspenstige Kammerknechte,” 313 – 363; Kerler, “Zur Geschichte der Besteuerung.”
21Petri, “Die Tiengener Juden,” 106 – 129.
22Kayserling, “Ein jüdischer Schütze.”
23Petri, “”Die Tiengener Juden,”