York & North Yorkshire

York remembers city's 12th Century Jewish massacre

Clifford's Tower in York
Image caption Many of the people trapped in Clifford's Tower committed suicide

A candle-lit ceremony in York will mark the massacre of the city's Jewish community in 1190 as part of Holocaust Memorial Day.

More than 150 people were killed by a mob at Clifford's Tower following anti-Semitic riots in the city.

Charlie Croft, assistant director for communities at York Council, said the incident was an "infamous" part of the city's history.

The day will also feature plays and a service of remembrance.

Mr Croft said that despite taking place in the 12th Century the events were still remembered throughout the world.

"It's a shocking moment for York and for England and for the Jewish community," he said.

"I think many Jews do know what it is about and do feel that horror and shame that goes with it."

According to the York Museum Trust's website, the mob was encouraged by local wealthy noblemen who wanted to wipe out their debts to Jewish money-lenders.

Cornered in the royal castle, many of the Jews committed suicide while others were burnt to death as the castle came under attack by the rioters.

Mr Croft said events on in York on Holocaust Memorial Day would also include a performance by a theatre company based on archive material of local residents who took in Jewish children fleeing Nazi Germany.

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