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בס"ד

Outrage Committed on the Jews at Weesp, Near Amsterdam.

 

We have received from the Rev. C. W. H. Pauli, the following account of an outrage committed on the Jewish inhabitants of Weesp, in Holland, by an ignorant mob, during the Feast of Passover:

Weesp is a small country town, a few hours’ walk from Amsterdam. For many centuries, a few hundred Jews have lived there in unmolested peace; they have a small synagogue, and in ecclesiastical affairs are under the rabbies of the great synagogue at Amsterdam. On the 11th of April last, the last day but one of their Passa feast, several Jewish boys amused themselves by playing before the house of a Mr. De Vries, an Israelite residing in that village. The boys threw nut shells at him, and he felt rather amused at their playfulness, and instead of discouraging them, he became a party in their play, catching one and laying hold of another. The brother of Mr. De Vries, a dealer in reddle, also came and took part in their innocent amusement. He proposed that the boy who was caught should receive a red mark on his nose. This increased the fun, and before long, all the boys were marked, and one of them had the whole of his face reddened. Whilst these children were thus amusing themselves, an ignorant Christian woman, a baker’s wife, unfortunately came that way. She, being no great friend to Abraham’s unhappy descendants, thought that these Jewish boys, together with De Vries, were mocking the most holy subject of our Christian faith, namely, the sufferings of our blessed Redeemer. One of the boys, who had his whole face reddened, she thought, was to represent Christ; whilst the others, who had only their noses reddened, the sufferings of the martyrs; and fancied, in her frenzy, that Mr. De Vries, who was sitting in an arm-chair, before his door, intended to represent Pontius Pilate. Full of holy indignation, she ran round the corner of the street, and, meeting with a few of her female neighbours, she laid hold upon them and said, “Can you believe it possible, the Jews in our town, these bad people; who martyred our Saviour and his saints, while keeping their feast of the Passover, blasphemously mock our holy religion, and I fear they are about to fall upon us Christians to do to us as they have done to Christ. De Vries is representing that monster, Pontius Pilate.” The neighbours felt no greater love for the Jews than this ignorant woman; the further their story spread, the more horrible it became; so much so, that the last who heard it understood that the Jewish boys had besmeared their faces with the blood of a Christian child, whom they crucified before De Vries’ door. In less than a quarter of an hour, the whole place was in an uproar. A number of boys and grown-up lads assembled, and were to make a crusade against the Jews. The rabble increased, and rushed towards the synagogue, in which the Jews had just assembled for evening prayers. The rabble attached the synagogue, and threw all kinds of missiles at the windows, which were soon broken. The Jews, fancying that the whole of the Christian population was drawn out against them, were seized with the most dreadful panic. Fearing their synagogue would be set on fire, and thus they would lamentably perish, they rushed out of it, and were attacked with bats and stones on all sides. It appears that the authorities of the place must have been very slow in the exercise of the power invested in them: for the rabble was not dispersed before they had done a vast deal of mischief to the Jews; only a very few escaped who had not their windows broken. I must not, however, omit mentioning, that the worthy Dr. E. was the first at the synagogue who opposed the rabble. A young Christian female servant also behaved in a very heroic manner. Her master, a Jew, being from home, she resisted the attach on his house so successfully that she preserved it from destruction until further help arrived.

A trial for this riotous proceeding took place at Amsterdam a few days since, and the following judgments were passed: the person who first spread the evil report is to be imprisoned for three months, to pay a fine of twenty-five florins, besides costs, and to be deprived for five years of her rights as a citizen. Seventeen persons were indicted for breaking the windows at the synagogue, but as they could not be identified upon oath, the punishment they richly deserved could not be inflicted upon them. Thus ended the disturbances at Weesp.—Jewish Intelligence.