Henry IV°

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HENRY IV ° (1056–1106), German emperor. His measures defined the status of the Jews in Germany, sometimes in opposition to canon law (e.g., he allowed them to employ Christian wet nurses, and from 1097 permitted baptized Jews to revert to Judaism). In 1074 he exempted the Jews of *Worms from custom dues in imperial towns. His charters granted in 1090 to the Jews of *Speyer and later to those of Worms gave them far-reaching privileges, including the right to travel and trade throughout the empire. In the Worms charter Henry specifically stated that the Jews should come under no jurisdiction but his own, since "they belong to Our chamber." While in Italy during the First Crusade (1096), he urged the German princes to protect the Jews and begged the bishop of Speyer to shelter the survivors of the massacres; later he opened investigation on the theft of Jewish property during the riots. In 1103 Jews were included for the first time in a Landfrieden ("peace proclamation") of Mainz – along with clerics, women, and merchants – in which the emperor and his lords pledged to protect certain classes of people for a specified period of time.


Aronius, Regesten, index; Germ Jud, index; Kisch, Germany, index; G. Kisch, Forschungen zur Rechts-und Sozialgeschichte der Juden in Deutschland waehrend des Mittelalters (1955), index; S. Schiffmann, in: zgjd, 3 (1931), 39–58; S.W. Baron, in: Sefer… Y.F. Baer (1961), 112–5.

[Meir Lamed]