Speyer / Shapiro

Speyer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In 1294 the Emperor granted Speyer the rights of free imperial city, ending the rule of the bishops.

In the shadows of these great historical events the first Jewish community emerged in Speyer under the special protection of Emperor Henry IV. Through the centuries the Speyer Jewish Community was among the most important of the Empire and, in spite of pogroms, persecution and expulsion, had considerable influence on the spiritual and cultural life of the town.

Around 1090 Bishop Rudiger Huzmann was the first to officially allow Jews to settle in a defined area next to the bishops’ district near the cathedral. The centre of their settlement was the Jew’s Court (Judenhof) with the Men’s and Women’s synagogue and the Mikveh (Judenbad). The ruins of the Speyer Synagogue are the oldest visible remnants of such a building in central Europe. The Mikveh, first mentioned in 1126, has remained almost unchanged to this day and is still supplied by fresh groundwater.

In January 1349 the populace killed Jews thinking them responsible for the Black Death, then encased their bodies in wine casks and rolled them into the Rhine.[1][2]

The Yiddish surname Shapiro is allegedly named after Speyer. […MORE]

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