The Persecution of Jews in Überlingen

In Überlingen the mutilated corpse of a small boy reported missing by its parents was found in a stream. The parents wailed throughout the city and blamed the Jews as being responsible for the desecration. The type of wounds, as well as their opening and bleeding when the corpse was carried past the houses of the Jews seemed proof enough. Under the guise of pretending to save them the frightened Jews were summoned into a high house made of stone, but the citizens set a pyre ablaze which had been secretly set up on the ground floor. The Jews fled from floor to floor, and some of them climbed on the roof. To no avail! The entire house, into which the faithlessness of the Christians had lured about 300 Jews, went up in flames along with its prisoners, who threw down stones, knives, swords, and beams of the burning house into the gaping mob in desperate fury. Some of them jumped out of the windows to escape the fire, but they were caught by the mob and butchered, and their brains splattered against the walls.

Source: Schwab, G. Der Bodensee nebst dem Rheinthale von St. Luziensteig bis Rheinegg. 1840, p. 178.

Commentary: This certainly paints a vivid picture of the fear and desperation of the Jewish victims, as well as the bloodthirstiness of the mob. The deception used to lure the Jews of Überlingen to their doom comes across as a premonition of the various deceptions the Nazis used in the Holocaust - all the way to the fake “showers” in the gas chambers of the death camps.

From: Two Thousand Years of Slander - Jews in German Folklore