Thursday, March 31, 2016

March 31, 1492 Jews Expelled from Spain

In 1469 Catholic monarchs King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella married to unite the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile. On March 31, 1492 they gave the Jews four months to convert or leave Spain. Many Jews converted to Christianity to escape persecution, but many "conversos" continued practicing Judaism in secret.

“Tens of thousands of refugees died while trying to reach safety. In some instances, Spanish ship captains charged Jewish passengers exorbitant sums, then dumped them overboard in the middle of the ocean. In the last days before the expulsion, rumors spread throughout Spain that the fleeing refugees had swallowed gold and diamonds, and many Jews were knifed to death by brigands hoping to find treasures in their stomachs.”

The Spanish Inquisition is the most famous of the inquisitions carried out between the 12th and 19th centuries by the Roman Catholic Church.

Image of a page of the original Edict
Signed by Ferdinand and Isabella
Source: The Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, Israel.

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