13. Them and Us
The Jews, apparently, were not pleasant neighbours. Mayor, town manager, and council requested Count Prosper Ferdinand in 1701 not to renew the protection letter in order to relieve the town of the Jewish burden. The Jews had abused the common pastures excessively, letting all kind of sick cattle graze and infect others.1
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Thus Brandeck, in his town history, reflects the residents’ vestigial perception of their Jewish denizens, a perception that survived in the population’s collective subconsciousness for over two hundred years.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Physical fights were frequent, both between Jews and between gentiles and Jews. Sometimes they led to medical consequences. For example, in 1677 Johann Schölderlin wounded Callmele Jew and had to pay 12 fl. penalty plus the medical expenses [R4704].
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 By 1624 the town council had already applied to the count to have the Jews banished and to confiscate all their silver [R1576]. In 1682 the town complained that the number of Jews by far exceeded the permitted number [R1281]. Two years later, Father Maurus of Ofteringen complained about the large number of Jews in his village . A Jewish woman was fined for washing the laundry in her house [R1342]. In 1722 the entire Jewish population was fined for its apparent lack of respect while the church bells were rung Saturday night [R3009]. The following year, Faistel (G188.8.131.52) was fined for working on a Sunday [R3741]. A large group of Jewish men were fined for straying from the common road while welcoming a newly arriving bride groom [R803].
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Stühlingen documents indicate a steady background of petty crime perpetrated by Jews during the second half of the seventeenth century. Every single one of the sixty-seven commercially active Jews between 1650 and 1700 received at least one fine or punishment or was sued. Marumb (G1.3), the most successful merchant, was by far the most frequently castigated, with thirty-six violations recorded. He seems to have owed his success, at least partially, to sharp business practices. For the half century after the Thirty Years’ War, we lack comparable data to determine whether these crime records represent general lawlessness resulting from the social upheaval, or whether such crime was specific to the Jewish population.
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0
1Brandeck, “Geschichte der Stadt und der vormaligen Landgrafschaft Stühlingen,” 89–90.
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