Medieval W. Christendom
A Purported Jewish Murder in Boppard, 1180

In the year 4940 [= 1180], a boat with Jews came from Cologne. As it
approached Boppard, there was another boat behind it. Those pulling it [the second boat]
and its sailors found a Christian girl dead on the bank of the Rhine River. It was not
known who smote her. Some of the Jews on the first boat were walking along the river
bank. The Christians called out after them- “Why have you killed this Christian?” They
[the Christians] proceeded after them, calling out all the while, until the town of Boppard.
They [the Christians] grabbed them and wounded them and threw them into the Rhine—
them and the Jews who were still on the boat. They [the Christian attackers] entreated
them [the Jews] to abandonthe living God and to attach themselves to the dead deity.
But they did not wish to do so and martyred themselves. Emperor Frederick took from
the [Jewish] communities five hundred silver talents as a result of this incident, and the
bishop took from the Jews of this diocese forty-two hundred silver talents. Of these
[sums], we here in Bonn provided four hundred, for there were then here wealthy [Jews].

If the Lord of hosts had not provided a remnant, we would be been like Sodom,
for the disaster continued. They dragged Judah ben Menahem of blessed memory—one
of those killed—by his feet both through the Rhine waters and dry land from town to
town and from domain to domain. In Cologne as well, they dragged him throughout the
entire city. All our enemies almost arose to swallow us up alive, were it not for the
mercies of God—may his holy Name be blessed—who gave our wealth as redemption
for our lives and saved his people.