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ANTI-SEMITIC BIGOTRY AS CHRONICLED BY HISTORICAL MEDALS


 
 
Figure 19. Deggendorf Church Host Desecration: 500th
Anniversary Medal


Unknown medallist, Germany, 1837, Pewter struck medal, 44 mm. The legend on the obverse may be translated as AIn Memory of the 500 Year Anniversary of the Healing in Grave Church, Deggendorf 1837.” The reverse depicts a candelabric image of a Church altar with a German legend around reading, "Tomb of Christ Deggendorf Branch Church of Healing 1837". Kirschner, 3. (Image courtesy of Alex Ben-Arieh)

A related charge of the abuse of the Host, this one made against the Jews of Brussels in the fourteenth century, was memorialized in 1820, some 450 years later, by the issuance of a medal shown in figure 20. In 1370 a group of Jews from Enghien, Belgium, were accused of stealing and desecrating the Host. Angry mobs killed hundreds of Jews in Brussels, many of whom were burned alive, and it was not long before Jews were banished from Belgium altogether. The event was known locally as the miracle of St. Gudule and was memorialized by an annual festival. The festival that took place in 1820, the 450th anniversary of the alleged desecration, was especially great, lasting eight days; it was commemorated by the issuance of the medal shown in figure 20.

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