In a nutshell – What to expect here
The story of an antisemitic inscription right in the middle of Judenplatz.
Where can you find this place?
The Whole Story behind the Inscription:
There are track records of a Jewish community in Vienna, all the way to the 12th Century when the last members of the Babenberg dukes granted them privileges. This created what is now known as the Jewish Quarter. There was a Synagogue (Or Saura Synagogue) and flourishing networking around the area.
This changed under the reign of emperor Albert II (1438-39) and his order to appropriate all Jewish property to balance a poor harvest. This resulted in the first Geserath (a temporary rabbinical decree issued as a preventive measure to meet the needs of the time). The synagogue was burned down and the Jewish population was forced to take baptism with the consequence of punishment for those who refused. The punishment consisted of burning them alive on the Erdberg, throwing them into the Danube, or jail/expulsion sentences.
This fact is marked right at number 2 Judenplatz with a plaque expressing this feeling. It reads:
“By baptism in the River Jordan bodies are cleansed from disease and evil, so all secret sinfulness takes flight. Thus the flame rising furiously through the whole city in 1421 purged the terrible crimes of the Hebrew dogs. As the World once purged by the flood, so this time it was by fire“
Upon construction of the Holocaust Memorial, the remains of the Old Synagogue were discovered and made public to visit now via the Judenplatz Museum at number 8 in the same square.
The statue of playwright author Gotthold Ephraim Lessing that was removed by the nazis due to his tolerant and humanist views, is now back in the square.
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