Fettmilch, Vincent°

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FETTMILCH, VINCENT ° (d. 1616), anti-Jewish guild leader in *Frankfurt. In 1612 he presented a petition to the emperor accusing the senate of Frankfurt of corruption and favoring Jews. Though the petition was ignored, he exploited the economic crisis and religious strife to agitate against the senate and the Jews. The populace disregarded two imperial warnings and were unappeased by the expulsion of 60 poor Jewish families. On Aug. 5, 1614, they attacked the ghetto gates, which were forced open after five hours. The Jewish defenders rushed to join their women and children, who were hiding in the cemetery. Two Jews and one Gentile lost their lives and the pillage continued until noon. The cemetery was surrounded by Fettmilch, the self-styled "new Haman," and his followers, and the whole community was forced to leave the city. Meanwhile the emperor had issued an order for Fettmilch's arrest. On March 10, 1616, he and six associates were hanged and quartered; after its return the community commemorated the date annually as the "Purim Winz" ("Purim of Vincent") with the reading of the Megillat Vinẓ composed by Elhanan b. Abraham Helin in Hebrew and Yiddish (publ. Frankfurt, 1616).


A. Freimann and I. Kracauer, Frankfort (1929), 73–107 (Eng.); I. Kracauer, Geschichte der Juden in Frankfurt a.M., 1 (1925), 358–410; idem, in: zgjd, 4 (1890), 127–69, 319–65; 5 (1892), 1–26; D. Gans, Ẓemah David ha-Shalem (1966), 228 (introd. in English); Baron, Social2, 14 (1969), 190–7.