Jews arrived in Belgium as early as the Roman conquest. They have been mentioned in sources dating from 1200 as living in Brabant. In a will of 1261, Henry III, duke of Brabant, ordered Jews and usurers expelled from the duchy. The community rebuilt under the protection of John III and, despite attacks against Jews in Brussels in 1308, by 1311 Jewish residents boasted their own rabbi. Jews expelled from France arrived in the mid-1300s. Many Jews who survived the Black Death (1348-1349) were killed in December 1349 by residents and authorities, who accused them of poisoning wells. Only a handful survived, the majority burned at the stake in 1370 and the rest banished, charged with desecrating the sacred Host in stealing the wafers from the church of Sainte-Catherine. A small number of Jews returned in the early 16th century as marranos—false converts to Christianity—following expulsions from the Iberian peninsula in the 1490s. Larger numbers arrived during the Austrian regime, when growing toleration led to increasing religious and political rights. Emancipation came during the French regime in 1795.
   Jews rapidly assimilated in Brussels following Belgian independence and the granting of full civil liberties. Still, there were only some 1,500 in all of Belgium in 1848. The number of residents grew beginning in the 1880s when east Europeans fleeing pogroms arrived. Many Russian Jews came to Brussels following the Revolution of 1905. By 1939, there were 35,000 Jews in Brussels. World War II saw German occupiers enact anti-Jewish measures beginning in fall 1940, which grew progressively more stringent from drawing up of lists of names to prohibition of religious rights to exclusion from the professions, curfews, and property confiscations. Yellow star badges were mandated (27 April 1942) and roundups began in September 1942. Despite efforts by a Committee for Jewish Defense, which hid Jews, forged identity papers, and set up escape routes, more than 25,000 perished.
   There are approximately 20,000 Jews in Brussels today. They worship at 10 synagogues and represent all streams of the faith. Judaism is recognized as an official state religion and the Belgian government pays the salary of the chief rabbi as well as providing funds for the main synagogue. The latter, the Great Synagogue, on the rue de la Régence, was built in Romanesque style to a design by Desiré De Keyser between 1875 and 1878. The building also houses the Consistoire, the Communauté Israélite de Bruxelles, and the Belgian Jewish Museum. A new museum opened in 2004 at rue des Minimes 21. There are four Jewish schools in Brussels and the European Union of Jewish Students is headquartered here. Regards is the leading Jewish newspaper. The National Monument of Jewish Martyrs of Belgium on the square des Martyrs Juifs (rues Émile Carpentier and des Goujons) includes a wall bearing 23,838 names of those killed in the Holocaust.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jews —    Jews comprised one of the most sizeable and important minorities in Byzantium (q.v.). Benjamin of Tudela (q.v.) describes Jewish communities in numerous cities, including many cities in Greece (q.v.). He mentions 2,000 Jews living in Thebes (q …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Jews —    Ethnoreligious group. At one time, Russia possessed the largest population of Jews worldwide; the country still has one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe. Historically, Jew (ievrei) was treated as an ethnonational category in Russia… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Jews —    Without the benefit of clairvoyance, one might have argued in the 1920s that the situation of Germany s Jews was that of complete and final arrival. Emancipated by Bismarck in the 1860s and 1870s, the Jews had weathered a bitter but contained… …   Historical dictionary of Weimar Republik

  • Jews —    There is reason to think that Jews may have been living in and around the future city of Vienna when the Romans arrived there around 15 BCE. However, the history of the Jews in the Austrian lands replicates the history of the diaspora in many… …   Historical dictionary of Austria

  • Jews —    From Spain and Portugal, the first Jews (Sephardim) immi grated to the Republic in the 1590s, especially after the blockade of the River Scheldt since 1585, which impeded commerce with the harbor of Antwerp from the sea. In 1619, the… …   Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands

  • Jews —     According to Biblical tradition, *Joseph, sold into slavery and sent down to Egypt, eventually gained status and wealth and brought his family (the tribe of Israel) to his new homeland. Centuries later, their descendants became part of the… …   Ancient Egypt

  • Jews —    Western and central Europe had had Jewish residents since Roman times, and even though anti Jewish prejudice had led to repeated instances of mob violence, legal discrimination, and pressure for conversion, those communities never entirely… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Jews —    The destinies of the Gypsies and the Jews have been intertwined ever since the former arrived in Europe centuries after the latter. For example, in Spain the deportation of the Moors and the Jews and the attempted deportation of the Gypsies… …   Historical dictionary of the Gypsies

  • Jews —    England shared the assumption (general until the later 20th century) that Jews lost their homeland as punishment for murdering Jesus, and have ever since been accursed. Symbolically, this was expressed through the medieval legend of the… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Jews for Jesus — is a Christian [ * During my time with the mission, I found Jews for Jesus to be a Christian ministry (or Messianic, if you prefer) with a passion for the good news about Jesus... Pastor Lev Leigh. Hope Baptist Church. Richmond, CA (… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”