Lisbon massacre

The Lisbon massacre, alternatively known as the Lisbon pogrom or the 1506 Easter Slaughter was an incident in April, 1506, in Lisbon, Portugal in which a crowd of Catholics, as well as foreign sailors who were anchored in the Tagus, persecuted, tortured, killed, and burnt at the stake hundreds of people who were accused of being Jews and, thus, guilty of deicide and heresy. This incident took place thirty years before the establishment of the Inquisition in Portugal and nine years after the Jews were forced to convert to Roman Catholicism in 1497, during the reign of King Manuel I.

Lisbon Massacre
Massacre de lisboa
A German woodcut depicting the massacre, one of the few woodcuts that survived the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the fire at Torre do Tombo
LocationChurch of São Domingos, Lisbon
Date19 to 21 April 1506
Deaths1900+

Background

In the years that followed the banishment of the Jews from Castile and Aragon in 1492 by the Catholic Monarchs, thousands of Jews took refuge in neighbouring Portugal. King Manuel I was by far more tolerant toward the Jewish community but, under pressure from Spain, made their conversion to Roman Catholicism compulsory in 1497.

The massacre

Manuel - Epistola de victoria contra infideles habita, 1507 - 4592250
Epistola de victoria contra infideles habita, 1507

The massacre began, as it is reported, in the São Domingos de Lisboa Convent on Sunday, 19 April 1506. The faithful were praying for the end of the drought and plague that swept the country when someone swore they had seen the illuminated face of Jesus on the altar — a phenomenon that could only be explained by the Catholics present as a message from the Messiah, a miracle.

A New Christian, one of the converted Jews, thought otherwise, and voiced his opinion that it had been only the reflection of a candle on the crucifix. The men gathered for Mass, hearing this, grabbed the man by his hair and brought him outside the church where he was beaten to death by the crowd and his body was burnt in Rossio Square, one of the main squares of central Lisbon.

From that point the New Christians, who were already not trusted by the population, became the scapegoats for the drought, famine and plague. Dominican friars promised absolution for sins committed over the previous 100 days to those who killed the "heretics", and a crowd of more than 500 people (many of them sailors from Holland, Zeeland and the Kingdom of Germany) gathered and killed all the New Christians they could find on the streets, burning their bodies by the Tagus or in Rossio. That Sunday, more than 500 people were violently sent to their deaths.

The Court and the King had earlier left Lisbon for Abrantes in order to escape the plague, and were absent when the massacre began. King Manuel I was in Avis when he was informed of the event in Lisbon, and dispatched magistrates to try to put an end to the bloodbath. Meanwhile, in Lisbon, the small group of authorities present were unable to intervene, as the crowd grew and the violence spread.

By Monday, 20 April, more locals had joined the crowd, which carried on the massacre with even more violence. The New Christians, no longer found on the streets, were dragged from their houses and from churches and, along with their wives, sons and daughters, were burnt in the public squares alive or dead. Not even infants were spared, as the crowd ripped them to pieces or threw them against the walls. The crowd proceeded to loot the houses, stealing all the gold, silver and linens they could find. More than 1000 people were killed on the second day. There is also record that more than Jews were killed that day. Some accused their neighbours of heresy, and these unfortunates met the same fate as the New Christians.

On Tuesday, members of the court arrived at the city and rescued some of the New Christians. João Rodrigues Mascarenhas, the King's Squire, was killed by mistake in the massacre, and this triggered the arrival of the Royal Guard. The death count had, however, already reached more than 1,900. Aires da Silva and D. Álvaro de Castro, head of the Lisbon Freguesia and Governor, respectively, were among those who tried to stop the crowd, and they were backed by the Prior of Crato and D. Diogo Lopo, Baron of Alvito, who had special powers from the King to execute members of the crowd.

Aftermath

Homenagem aos Judeus - Massacre de Lisboa de 1506
Monument in Lisbon in memory of those lost. It reads: "In memory of the thousands of Jews who were victimed by intolerance and religious fanaticism, killed on the massacre that started on 19 April 1506, on this square". The base has a verse from the Book of Job etched onto it: "O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place."

Some Portuguese were arrested and hanged, while others had all their possessions confiscated by the Crown. The foreigners returned to their carracks with their plunder and sailed away. The two seditionist Dominican friars who had incited the massacre were stripped of their religious orders and were burnt at the stake.

There are reports that the São Domingos Convent was closed down during the eight years that followed, and all the representatives of the city of Lisbon were expelled from the Council of the Crown—Lisbon had had a seat in the Council since 1385, when King John I gave the city that privilege.

Following the massacre, a climate of suspicion against New Christians pervaded the Kingdom of Portugal. The Portuguese Inquisition was established thirty years afterward; many families of Jewish ancestry either escaped or were banished from the country. Even banished, they still had to pay for their emigration; they had to leave or sell their properties to the Crown, traveling only with the luggage they could carry.

After the massacre, New Christians of Jewish ancestry still felt deep allegiance to the Portuguese monarch.[1]

References

  1. ^ Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Elisheva Carlebach: Jewish History and Jewish Memory: Essays in Honor of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, 1998, UPNE, ISBN 0-87451-871-7, p. 6–7

Bibliography

1033 Fez massacre

In 1033, following their conquest of the city from the Maghrawa tribe, the forces of Tamim, chief of the Zenata Berber Banu Ifran tribe, perpetrated a massacre of Jews in Fez in an anti-Jewish pogrom. The city of Fez in Morocco had been contested between the Zenata Berber tribes of Miknasa, Maghrawa and Banu Ifran for the previous half century, in the aftermath of the fall of the Idrisid dynasty.

Tamim's forces killed over six thousand Jews, appropriated their belongings, and captured the Jewish women of the city. The killings took place in the month of Jumaada al-Akhir 424 AH (May–June 1033 AD). The killings have been called a "pogrom" by some recent writers. Sometime in the period 1038-1040 the Maghrawa tribe retook Fez, forcing Tamīm to flee to Salé.

1506

Year 1506 (MDVI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

1517 Hebron attacks

1517 Hebron attacks occurred in the final phases of the 1513–17 Ottoman–Mamluk War, when Turkish Ottomans had ousted the Mamluks and taken Palestine. The massacre targeted the Jewish population of the city and is also referred to as a pogrom.

1934 Constantine Pogrom

The 1934 Constantine pogrom was an anti-Jewish riot that erupted in the Algerian city of Constantine.

1934 Thrace pogroms

The 1934 Thrace pogroms (Turkish: Trakya Olayları) refers to a series of violent attacks against Jewish citizens of Turkey in June and July 1934 in the Thrace region of Turkey. According to Corry Guttstadt, a "crucial factor" behind the events was the 1934 Turkish Resettlement Law passed by the Turkish Assembly on 14 June 1934.

Aktion Erntefest

The Aktion Erntefest (German: Operation Harvest Festival) was a World War II mass shooting action carried out by the SS, the Order police, and the Ukrainian Sonderdienst formations in the General Government territory of occupied Poland. The operation aimed at extermination of Jews pressed into forced-labour at the camps of the Lublin reservation including Majdanek concentration camp and all its subcamps. It was closely linked with the liquidation of the ghetto in Lublin. Aktion Erntefest took place on November 3 and 4, 1943. On the orders of Christian Wirth and Jakob Sporrenberg, approximately 42,000–43,000 Polish Jews were killed simultaneously. Virtually the entire Jewish workforce was eliminated, thus concluding Operation Reinhard.Operation Harvest Festival was the single largest German massacre of Jews in the entire war. It surpassed the notorious massacre of more than 33,000 Jews at Babi Yar outside Kiev by 10,000 victims. It was exceeded only by the 1941 Odessa massacre of more than 50,000 Jews in October 1941, committed by Romanian troops.

April 21

April 21 is the 111th day of the year (112th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 254 days remain until the end of the year.

Kamianets-Podilskyi massacre

The Kamianets-Podilskyi massacre was a World War II mass shooting of Jews carried out in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa, by mobile killing squads of Nazi German Order Police Battalion 320 along with Jeckeln's Einsatzgruppen, the Hungarian soldiers, and the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police. The killings were conducted on August 27 and August 28, 1941, in the Soviet city of Kamianets-Podilskyi (now Ukraine), occupied by German troops in the previous month on July 11, 1941. According to the Nazi German reports a total of 23,600 Jews were murdered, including 16,000 who had earlier been expelled from Hungary.

Kaunas massacre of October 29, 1941

The Kaunas massacre of October 29, 1941 also known as the Great Action was the largest mass murder of Lithuanian Jews.By the order of SS-Standartenführer Karl Jäger and SS-Rottenführer Helmut Rauca, the Sonderkommando under the leadership of SS-Obersturmführer Joachim Hamann, and 8 to 10 men from Einsatzkommando 3, murdered 2,007 Jewish men, 2,920 women, and 4,273 children in a single day at the Ninth Fort, Kaunas, Lithuania.The Nazis destroyed the small ghetto on October 4, 1941, and killed almost all of its inhabitants at the Ninth Fort. Later that same month, on October 28, SS-Rottenführer Helmut Rauca of the Kaunas Gestapo (secret state police) conducted the selection in the Kaunas Ghetto. All ghetto inhabitants were forced to assemble in the central square of the ghetto. Rauca selected 9,200 Jewish men, women, and children, about one-third of the ghetto's population. The next day, October 29, all of these people were shot at the Ninth Fort in huge pits dug in advance.

Kaunas pogrom

The Kaunas pogrom was a massacre of Jewish people living in Kaunas, Lithuania that took place on June 25–29, 1941 – the first days of the Operation Barbarossa and of Nazi occupation of Lithuania. The most infamous incident occurred in the Lietūkis garage, where several dozen Jewish men were publicly tortured and executed on June 27, most of them killed by a single club-wielding assailant nicknamed the "Death Dealer." After June, systematic executions took place at various forts of the Kaunas Fortress, especially the Seventh and Ninth Fort.

Kielce cemetery massacre

The Kielce cemetery massacre refers to the shooting action by the Nazi German police that took place on May 23, 1943 in occupied Poland during World War II, in which 45 Jewish children who had survived the Kielce Ghetto liquidation, and remained with their working parents at the Kielce forced-labour camps, were rounded up and brought to the Pakosz cemetery in Kielce, Poland, where they were murdered by the German paramilitary police. The children ranged in age from 15 months to 15 years old.During the ghetto liquidation action which began on 20 August 1942 approximately 20,000-21,000 Jews were led to awaiting Holocaust trains and sent to Treblinka extermination camp. By the end of 24 August 1942, there were only 2,000 skilled workers left alive in the labour camp at Stolarska-and-Jasna Streets (pl) within the small ghetto, including members of the Judenrat and the Jewish policemen. In May 1943, most Jewish prisoners from Kielce were transported to forced-labour camps in Starachowice, Skarżysko-Kamienna, Pionki, and Bliżyn. The 45 Jewish children murdered at the cemetery were the ones who stayed behind at the liquidated camp.

Kunmadaras pogrom

The Kunmadaras pogrom was a post-World War II anti-Semitic pogrom in Kunmadaras, Hungary.

The pogrom resulted in the killing of two and wounding of fifteen Jews on 22 May 1946. According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, four Jews died.The riot started in the marketplace as a spontaneous protest against a suspected profiteer. Since traditional occupation of the Jews in the area was trading, the image of a profiteer was conflated with that of a Jew. Therefore the riot grew into an anti-Jewish pogrom. The frenzy was further instigated by the rumors that the Jews were stealing Christian children. The historian Péter Apor made a peculiar observation about the subsequent trial of the pogromists: "The People's Tribunal managed to produce a narrative of an anti-Semitic pogrom without involving the Jewish victims." The pogrom was portrayed as a resurgence of fascism pitched against the nascent people's democracy.

Mass murders in Tykocin

The Mass murders in Tykocin occurred in August 25, 1941, during World War II, where the local Jewish population of Tykocin (Poland) was killed by German Einsatzkommando.

Proskurov pogrom

The Proskurov pogrom took place on 15 February 1919 in the town of Proskurov during the Ukraine Civil War, (now, Khmelnytskyi) which was taken over from under the Bolshevik control by the Haidamacks. In mere three and a half hours at least 1,500 Jews were murdered, up to 1,700 by other estimates, and more than 1,000 wounded including women, children and the old. The massacre was carried out by Ukrainian People's Republic soldiers of Ivan Samosenko. They were ordered to save the ammunition in the process and use only lances and bayonets.

Rintfleisch massacres

The Rintfleisch or Rindfleisch movement was a series of massacres against Jews in the year 1298. The event, in later terminology a pogrom, was the first large-scale persecution in Germany since the First Crusade.

Szczuczyn pogrom

Szczuczyn pogrom was the massacre of some 300 Jews in the community of Szczuczyn carried out by its Polish inhabitants in June 1941 after the town was bypassed by the invading German soldiers in the beginning of Operation Barbarossa. The June massacre was stopped by German soldiers.

A subsequent massacre by Poles in July killed some 100 Jews, and following the German Gestapo takeover in August 1941 some 600 Jews were killed by the Germans, the remaining Jews placed in a ghetto, and subsequently sent to Treblinka extermination camp.

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is a novel by American-Portuguese author Richard Zimler. It was first published in Portuguese translation in 1996, after having been rejected by many American publishers. After reaching No. 1 on the Portuguese bestseller list, the book found success in other countries and has been a bestseller in 13, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Brazil and Australia. It has been published in 23 languages.Based closely on the events of the Lisbon Massacre of 1506, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon is – at its most accessible level – a locked room mystery crossed with historical fiction regarding Jews in Portugal.

Warsaw pogrom (1881)

The Warsaw pogrom was a pogrom that took place in Russian-controlled Warsaw on 25-27 December 1881, then part of Vistula Land in the Russian Empire, resulting in two people dead and 24 injured.

Wąsosz pogrom

The Wąsosz pogrom was the World War II mass murder of Jewish residents of Wąsosz in German-occupied Poland, on 5 July 1941.

1st – 11th century
12th – 19th century
20th century
21st century

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.