Jewish persecution

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Adolf Hitler, a Nazi Antisemite who instigated the Holocaust.

The Jews have suffered a long history of persecution in many different lands. But more egregiously in countries that embraced communism (i.e.; Soviet Union) or National Socialism (Nazi Germany). It must be noted though that severe Jewish mistreatment (generally called the "pogroms") started well before the Russian Revolution - for Broadway's take on it, see "Fiddler on the Roof"

In 19 AD Tiberius expelled the Jews from Rome. He sent Jewish youths, under the pretence of military service, to provinces that had unhealthy climates and expelled all other Jews under pain of slavery for life if they refused to leave.

During the second century AD Bar Kokhba revolt Roman soldiers murdered many Jews.

During the first three Crusades, a series of military campaigns sanctioned by the papacy, and particularly the People's Crusade accompanying the first Crusade, attacked Jewish communities in Germany and France, and killed many Jews. Entire communities, like those of Treves, Speyer, Worms, Mayence, and Cologne, were murdered by Christian mobs.

Jews were expelled from France by kings Louis IX in 1254, Charles IV in 1306, Charles V in 1322 and Charles VI in 1394.

In 1276 King Edward I of England heavily taxed Jewish moneylenders. When the moneylenders could no longer pay the taxes, they were accused of disloyalty and abused. The occupations which Jews could practice were restricted as were their movements. Jews were also forced to wear a yellow patch. Later the heads of Jewish households were then arrested and often taken to the Tower of London to be murdered. Others were murdered in their homes. Finally, in in 1290, all Jews were banished from England and thousands were murdered or drowned while fleeing. All Jewish money and property was confiscated.

During the Black Death epidemics that devastated Europe in the mid-14th century people blamed the Jews and hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed by violence, in particular in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Holy Roman Empire. After the 1348 Papal bull, 900 Jews in Strasbourg, were burnt at the stake.

In 1492 the Roman Catholic Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile told the Jews to leave Spain or convert to Christianity. Those who remained and converted to Christianity were often tortured by the Spanish Inquisition in order to test the sincerity of their conversion. Much the same happened in Portugal from December 1496. In 1504 the Roman Catholic mob murdered up to five thousand Jews.

The 1933-1945 Nazi regime in Germany, praised by Alois Hudal a Rome-based Catholic bishop, who in 1937 published the book The Foundations of National Socialism, instigated the Holocaust murdering six million Jews by the time of liberation in 1945. After liberation an Italy-based network of Catholic clerics, including Alois Hudal, helped many Nazis escape justice to South America.