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RINDFLEISCH °, German knight, instigator of the massacre of thousands of Jews in 146 localities in southern and central Germany in 1298. The background for the slaughter was a series of *blood libels in *Mainz (1281, 1283), *Munich (1285), Oberwesel (1287), and the accusation of Desecration of the *Host in Paris in 1290. On April 20, 1298, in the small Franconian town of Roettingen, 21 Jews were attacked and massacred by a mob led by Rindfleisch, who urged revenge for alleged Desecration of the Host. Rindfleisch subsequently went from town to town, followed by a plunder-hungry mob, exhorting the burghers to annihilate the Jews. A wave of massacres swept through Franconia, Swabia, *Hesse, *Thuringia, and finally Heilbronn (Oct. 19, 1298). The protector of the Jews, Emperor Albert i of Austria, was preoccupied with warfare, and only after vanquishing his rival, Adolf of Nassau, did he proclaim a Landfriede ("peace of the land"), warning against further attacks. This proclamation was barely heeded, and Jews continued to be massacred at *Gotha (1303), Renchen (1301) and Weissensee (1303). The Jewry of *Augsburg was saved through the steadfast protection of the municipality, as was that of *Regensburg. In *Nuremberg, 728 Jews were slaughtered when a mob stormed the castle in which they had sought to defend themselves with the aid of the garrison. Among the victims of Nuremberg were *Mordecai b. Hillel, his wife, and children. The council thereafter banished 20 persons in perpetuity. A number of kinot and seliḥot were composed in commemoration of the tragedy, which was most fully recorded in S. Salfeld's Das Martyrologium des Nuernberger Memorbuchs (1898).


Graetz, Gesch, 7 (c. 19004), 232ff.; Graetz, Hist, 4 (1894), 35–37; Dubnow, Weltgesch, 5 (1927), 175–6; S. Bernfeld, Sefer ha-Dema'ot, 2 (1924), 33–39; Germ Jud, 2 (1968), index. add. bibliography: F. Lotter, in: Zeitschrift fuer historische Forschung, 15 (1988), 385–422.

[Reuven Michael]