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Blood-libel protest meeting

01 November 2013

November 1 1913

"THE Cathedral Church of Norwich has the unfortunate distinction of having been the first to lend credence to that fable in the Middle Ages." This was the message sent by the Dean of Norwich to the chairman of the meeting held on Tuesday evening at the Memorial Hall to protest against the renewal of the blood accusation against Jews in Russia. The Dean was referring to the story of St William of Norwich, the memory of which has been preserved in the screen paintings and the sculptures of the Norfolk churches. In the city of Lincoln a like story attaches to the house in which the little St Hugh, as he was popularly called, was murdered by Jews. That these murders were committed there is no reason to doubt, but the shocking thing was that they gave rise to a fierce outburst of passion against what was believed to be the practice among the Jews, namely, of making a ritual sacrifice of Christian victims. This strange notion spread throughout Europe, and at times resulted in terrible reprisals taken by Christians upon suspected Jews. It is amazing that this atrocious charge has been revived in Russia, even at this time of day, in the Kieff trial, which occasioned the gathering on Tuesday of persons representing every variety of religious and political opinion. The meeting wisely abstained from comment on the judicial proceedings in the Kieff case, and confined itself to a resolution inviting "the moral support of the civilized world forthe Russian Government in any measures it may take for protecting the Jewish subjects of the Tsar from further obloquy, insult, and hurt."

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