Medieval W. Christendom
A Jewish Murder in Neuss, 1186

In the year 4946 [= 1186], on the seventh of first Adar, on a Monday, the Lord
caused harm to his people through a deranged Jew, who assaulted a Christian girl in
Neuss and publicly slaughtered her. When the uncircumsized saw this, they killed him
immediately; subsequently they killed six of the remaining Jews and plundered their
homes. They took them [the dead Jews] outside the town in order to raise them onto
wheels of carts. They displayed them publicly as a reproach and a humiliation to the
Jews. Subsequently, at the end of five days, on the twelfth day of the month, on the day
of rest [the Sabbath] they[the Christians] did not give them [the Jews] rest. They seized
the mother of the dragged Jew and her brother. The mother sanctified and declared the
unity of the Name, and they buried her alive. They drew and quartered her brother on a
wheel and set him up with the righteous ones outside of town. They forcibly baptized a
Jewess and her three daughters in their wicked and accursed waters. The bishop
punished the Jews who remained alive one hundred sixty talents. The bishop and the
barons punished the rest of the Jews of the rest of the diocese ad took fro them much

Subsequently, the [Jewish]communities gave money to the bishop, and he gave
them permission to remove the pious ones from the wheels on the night of the
seventeenth of the month of second Adar. They put them in a boat below the town of
Xanten, and they buried them there near the righteous ones who were buried there during
the persecution of 4856 [= 1096]. The Jewess who had been forcibly converted returned
to the true faith prior to Purim.

These are the names of the righteous ones who were killed for the sanctification
of the Divine Name in Neuss- R. Isaac ha-Hazan ben Gedaliah; R. Samuel ben Nathan
and his son R. Nathan; R. Isaac ben Samson, who declared the unity of the Divine Name
exceedingly; R. Samuel ben Natronai; and Baruch ben Joseph. May the avenging Lord
avenge them speedily. Amen.

Blessed is the God of Israel, who saved me from this test and this humiliation.
For I then lived in Neuss. But I had come to Cologne three days before the disaster.
However I lost much of my wealth. May my Creator restore my loss.