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Charles IV°


CHARLES IV ° (Charles of Luxembourg ; 1316–1378), king of Germany and Bohemia 1347–78; Holy Roman Emperor from 1355. The *Black Death and accompanying massacres of the Jews occurred during his reign. Charles ineffectually offered his protection to the Jews in *Bohemia, *Moravia, and *Silesia, and ordered the municipalities in *Luxembourg to protect their Jewish residents. He joined the pope in denying allegations that the Jews had poisoned the wells. In other regions in Germany, however, he unscrupulously utilized the massacres and expulsions to divide among his adherents the spoils taken from the victims. Anticipating anti-Jewish riots in *Nuremberg and *Frankfurt, he transferred his rights over the property of the future victims to the city councils. He sold pardons to cities where massacres of Jewish inhabitants had taken place, conducting only a perfunctory investigation in *Breslau. When, however, the decrease in his revenues resulting from these excesses became apparent, he induced the Jews to return. During his reign, the prerogatives formerly exercised over the Jews by the emperor gradually devolved on the municipalities and territorial princes.


E. Werunsky, Geschichte Kaiser Karls iv…, 2 (1961), 239–83; E. Littmann, Studien zur Wiederaufnahme der Juden durch die deutschen Staedte noch dem schwarzen Tode (1928), passim; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), index s.v.Karl iv; Graetz, Hist., index.

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