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List of massacres in Germany

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The following is an incomplete list of massacres that have occurred in present-day Germany and its predecessors:

Massacres up until the Year 1000

The following is a list of massacres that have occurred in the territory of the present-day Germany before the year 1000:

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Sacking of Worms 437 Worms up to 20,000 (poorly recorded) Battle of Roman troops supported by troops of Attila the Hun against Burgundian forces near Worms, afterwards sacking of the city and massacre. The whole event is poorly recorded and to some degree legendary.
Blood court at Cannstatt 746 Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Suabia several thousands mass killing of Suabian leaders by Frankish ruler Carloman after failed uprising; many details unclear
Massacre of Verden 782 Verden, Lower Saxony 04,500 mass killing of Saxons by Frankish king Charlemagne during his campaign to conquer and Christianize their territory in today's Northern Germany
Lenzen massacre 929 Old Saxony 0Unknown Slavic captives, taken after the Battle of Lenzen, beheaded by king Henry the Fowler in Saxony
Recknitz massacre 16 October 955 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 700700 700 Slavic prisoners beheaded by king Otto the Great. Slavic leader Stoigniew beheaded, and his counsellor's eyes and tongue gouged and torn out.

Massacres during the First Crusade of 1096

In May and June 1096, during the Rhineland massacres, about 2,000–2,800 Jews have been killed by mobs of German and sometimes French Christians of the People's Crusade or committed suicide to avoid baptism. Up to 95% of all killings happened between May 25 and June 1 in the three massacres of Worms, Speyer and Cologne. At least 1,600 killings are well testified, but some estimates run up to 5,000 or even 10,000 victims, thus annihilating about 1/4 to 1/3 of the Ashkenazi population of the time. In Jewish historiography, these events are referred to as Gezerot Tatnu which means "the edicts of [the year 4]856" of the Jewish calendar. The first persecutions of this group happened in late 1095 in France (Rouen riot of [December?] 1095, a smaller massacre there happening in September 1096 only, when the Rhineland massacres were over), than in Reims, Verdun and Metz (22 killed in June 1096), the latter two cities not yet belonging to France at that time. The key person of the Rhineland massacres was Count Emicho von Leiningen who led undisciplined troops of up to 10,000 crusaders.

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Speyer killings (1096) May 3, 1096 Speyer 11 After the first killings had happened, the majority of the Jews were saved by the bishop of Speyer, who allowed them to enter his palace without demanding baptism. Later, he even had some prosecutors severely punished. 10 people killed plus one suicide, the names of the victims are known as are many details of the event.
Worms massacre (1096) May 18, 1096 and May 25, 1096 Worms 500-800; about 400 known by name On May 18, the crusaders killed some Jews they had found in their houses. Probably on May 25, they killed those who had found refuge in the bishop Adalbert's castle. Thus, the majority of the Jewish community of Worms were killed or committed suicide, only a few survived by accepting baptism. Like almost all of these forced converts, they secretly continued to practice Judaism and were allowed to return to their religion some months later. Many details about the event are recorded.
Mainz massacre (1096) May 27, 1096 Mainz up to 600, other sources say 1,014 or about 1,100 Many details recorded. The crusaders reached Mainz on 25 May and managed to enter the city the following day. The Jewish community of Mainz, informed about the Worms massacre, paid 300 pieces of silver to the bishop for his protection. He allowed them to enter his castle, but under the combined attack of crusaders and parts of the citizens of Mainz, he had to flee himself, and could not protect the Jews anymore. According to one source, under the leadership of Kalonymus ben Meshullam they offered desperate resistance against the crusaders. Finally, almost the whole community committed suicide or was killed. Several Jews who had accepted baptism to save their lives committed suicide soon later, one of them setting his house and the synagogue on fire. According to another source, Kalonymus and 53 of his comrades had been killed by the crusaders in Worms on May 27.
Cologne massacre (1096) June 1, 1096 Cologne Estimates run from several dozen to about 300 up to 500-700 This massacre is less well documented than the events in Speyer and Mainz. Synagogue destroyed, Jewish houses looted, many Jews killed. Archbishop Hermann III. (1089-1099) tried to protect the Jews by distributing them over seven villages or fortified towns around Cologne: Neuss, Xanten, Moers, Geldern, Wevelinghoven, Kerpen and Eller. But at several of these places the refugees were rounded up and killed end of June, with many of them committing suicide or killing each other to avoid baptism. The higher estimates of victims seem to include Jews from Cologne killed at other places. - 1096 pogroms are also attested in Magdeburg (expulsion), Regensburg (forced baptism in Danube river with return to Judaism after one year) and Prague (today Czech Republic; massacre of June 30). Unclear reports refer to Andernach and Koblenz.
Trier pogrom (1096) June 1096 Trier 10 Names of the victims are recorded, two of them were from Cologne. Most of the casualties (if not all) happened by suicide, some by parents killing their children and then themselves, some by women jumping in the Mosel river with stones in their clothes. The majority of the community survived by taking rescue in bishop Egildert's castle who forced them to accept baptism. Another source mentions the basilica of Trier as place of (first?) rescue (before the suicides?). The Jews of Trier had prevented a massacre in April by paying money and handing over provisions to a group of crusaders coming from France. The actual pogrom carried out in June by another group of crusaders coming from Mainz, a detachment of Count Emicho's troops. Precise date of the event unknown; with regard to the distances from Mainz, Metz and Neuss, a date around June 5 is plausible.
Neuss massacre (1096) June 24, 1096 Neuss about 200(?) Jews who had been evacuated from Cologne were killed in Neuss. According to one source, 200 Jews from Cologne had managed to escape with a ship on river Rhine to be caught and massacred by crusaders at Neuss.
Xanten massacre (1096) June 27, 1096 Xanten about 60 Jews who had escaped from Cologne were killed in Xanten. One sources indicates that killings of Jews from Cologne happened in Wevelinghoven on June 25 and in Eller (now part of Düsseldorf) on June 26, 1096. The killings at Neuss, Xanten, Wevelinghoven and Eller have been carried out by the same troup of Crusaders who had committed the pogroms of Trier and Metz several days before.

Massacres during the Years 1097 to 1347

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Würzburg massacre (1147) 1147 Würzburg unknown Jews murdered, motivated by the Second Crusade 1147-49.
Neuss killing (1187) 1187 Neuss 7 A Jew who had killed a Christian girl was lynched by the mob, after that six innocent Jews. Houses of the killed were looted. The victims have been buried beside the graves of the victims of the 1096 massacre.
Frankfurt massacre (1241) May 24, 1241 Frankfurt up to 180 Violence started on Friday evening and lasted for two days with attacked Jews offering resistance. Three rabbis among the killed. Jewish community in Frankfurt destroyed until return of Jews around 1260, new community existed until destruction in the 1349 massacre.
Rintfleisch massacres 1298, April 20 - October 19 Southern Germany, Thuringia Unknown. Estimates run from 4,000–5,000 to 20,000, one source estimates 100,000[1] (poorly recorded) Mass killing of Jews in 146 villages and cities, killing around 20,000 or more people,[2] of which 3,441 victims are documented name by name. The estimate of 100,000 killed is most probably an exaggeration. The killings peaked mid/end of July, only three massacres happened between August and October. The number of victims can only be speculated, however the poorly recorded Rintfleisch massacres allegedly reached the dimensions of the 1096 Rhineland massacres.
Armleder riots 1336-1338 Rhineland, Bavaria unknown Riots accompanied by a series of massacres against Jews in Western and Southern Germany, including Alsace (now French).

Black Death Jewish persecutions 1348 to 1351

These series of massacres, which resulted in the partial or complete destruction of 210 Jewish communities in the Rhineland and 350 in all of Germany, started in Southern France (Toulon, April 1348) and Spain (Barcelona), than spread to Switzerland and South West Germany. 510 events documented all over Europe.

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Stuttgart massacre (1348) November 1348 Stuttgart unknown The massacres of November 1348 in Stuttgart and nearby Esslingen may have been the first of the Black Death Jewish persecutions in Germany depending on the precise date which is not recorded (before or after the Augsburg event of Nov. 22?).
Augsburg massacre (1348) November 22, 1348 Augsburg more than 100 The partial destruction of the Jewish community of Augsburg was one of the first massacres of the Black Death Jewish persecutions in Germany, perhaps the first one.
Lindau massacre (1348) December 6, 1348 Lindau 15-18 Jews of Lindau burnt alive. Return of Jews to Lindau around 1378 only.
Speyer massacre (1349) January 22, 1349 Speyer about 400 Complete destruction of the city's Jewish community.
Freiburg massacre (1349) January 30, 1349 Freiburg The event is closely connected with the massacres in Basel (50-70 burnt on Jan. 16, 1349) and Straßburg (Feb. 14, up to 2000 killed), which both happened outside of today's Germany. On Jan 1, some Jews of Freiburg were arrested and accused of poisoning wells. Under torture, four of them confessed and/or told the names of "further" well poisoners. The Freiburg community was killed by burning. Only the 12 richest Jews were spared, as were pregnant women and children, the latter being forcibly baptized. The epidemic reached the city in May 1349 only.
Landshut massacre (1349) February 17, 1349 Landshut some hundreds (?) Like in Erfurt, the Jews have been murdered before the epidemic had reached the city. The massacre has been fully backed by Stephen II, Duke of Bavaria.
Worms massacre (1349) March 1, 1349 Worms 580 To preempt their prosecutors, many Jews of Worms committed suicide by burning their own houses.
Erfurt massacre (1349) 1349 Erfurt 100-3,000[3] Precise date of the massacre March 21 (a Friday) is not fully confirmed, other sources say March 2 (a Sunday). The Black Death, the murdered Jews were charged with, reached Erfurt in 1350 only.[4]
Würzburg massacre (1349) April 21, 1349 Würzburg Several hundreds[5] Mass murder of Jews during the night of 20–21 April 1349[6]
Frankfurt massacre (1349) July 14, 1349 Frankfurt Several hundreds (?) About 60 slain, many more burnt in their houses. Many committed suicide by setting their own houses on fire, thus also taking revenge as the fire spread to non-Jewish neighbourhoods.
Mainz massacre (1349) August 24, 1349 Mainz 1,000 to 3,000; according to one source 6,000[7] The Mainz massacre was the largest among the Black Death Jewish persecutions. Furthermore, the Mainz massacre seems to be the only of these events which has not been organized (or even diligently planned in advance) but which started as a spontaneous riot (afternoon of August 23). Number of 6,000 victims is dubious, since the Mainz community at that time had about 3,000 members.
Nürnberg massacre (1349) December 5, 1349 Nürnberg probably 562 About one third of the Nürnberg Jewish community murdered. One of the later massacres of the Black Death Jewish persecutions.
Königsberg (Neumark) massacre (1351) February 1351 Königsberg (Neumark) unknown One of the latest massacres of the Black Death Jewish persecutions and one of very few of these events which happened in Brandenburg (later Prussia) territory. Terminus ante quem is February 23, 1351.

Massacres of the 15th Century

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Kamenz massacre (1429) October 12, 1429 Kamenz, Saxony 1200 Taborite (Hussite) troops from Bohemia reached Kamenz on October 6/7 and started to besiege the city and its castle. After five days, they conquered first the castle, than the adjacent city and killed the citizens they found, about 1,200 Catholics.[8] Many citizens of Kamenz survived the event as they had fled to Dresden before.
Lindau massacre (1430) July 3, 1430 Lindau unknown Jewish community of Lindau killed by burning after 1429 blood libel in the nearby city of Ravensburg. Similar events followed in Überlingen and Ravensburg itself. In Buchhorn (today: Friedrichshafen), Meersburg and Konstanz, the Jews have been arrested without being massacred (in Lindau, Überlingen and Ravensburg they have been arrested as well months before being killed). In Konstanz, the Jewish community has been arrested twice, end of 1429 and again in 1430; released end of 1430 after a high payment.
Überlingen massacre (1430) August 1430 Überlingen 12 Jewish community forced to convert, 11 did so, 12 refused and were killed by burning. Event belongs to the 1429/30 blood libel in nearby Ravensburg.
Ravensburg massacre (1430) August 1430 Ravensburg unknown Part of the Jewish community of the town killed; one source dates the event on July 3 (same day as Lindau massacre). The killings in Lindau, Überlingen and Ravensburg happened with approval of King Sigmund.

Massacres of the 16th to 18th Century

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Suppression of German Peasants' War 15241525 Southern Germany 70,000–75,000 A large number of the victims were killed during battles, thousands were massacred after the rebellion had been crushed.
Junkersdorf massacre 3 July 1586 Junkersdorf 108 Marauding soldiers in the service of Ernest of Bavaria ambush a convoy of 800 people and kill 108, injure 100 and loot their property.
Sack of Magdeburg May 20, 1631 - May 24, 1631 Magdeburg about 25,000-30,000 Largest massacre of Thirty Years' War in Germany. Mass killing of the inhabitants of Magdeburg (Protestant since 1524 and hence a center of Reformation) following its siege by Imperial Field Marshal Gottfried Heinrich Graf zu Pappenheim and Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly. On May 9, 1631 the city has had about 35,000 inhabitants, only 5,000 to 10,000 of them survived. In a letter of June 24, Pope Urban III expressed his delight about the "annihilation of this nest of heretics". Up until 1639, the almost totally destroyed city was reduced to a small village of 450 people.

Massacres between 1800 and 1933

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Berliner Märzgefallene March 18, 1848 Berlin 303 Civilians shot during street fighting, part of German revolutions of 1848-49. "Märzgefallene" means "killed [in action] in March". 270 of the killed are known by name. The figure of 303 victims - 288 men, 11 women and 4 children - was published by Prussian authorities a few days after the event.
Bremen school shooting June 20, 1913 Bremen, German Empire 00005 school shooting; 21 injured

Killings and Massacres in Nazi Germany 1933-1945

Most of the atrocities of this time happened outside of Germany, especially in Eastern Europe.

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Köpenick's week of bloodshed 21 June 193326 June 1933 Köpenick 0002121 Sturmabteilung brigade kills 23 suspected opponents of Nazism
Night of the Long Knives 30 June 19342 July 1934 Germany 0008585+ Killing of political opponents of the German Nazi party and of rivals within the party. Whereas 85 kills are fully confirmed, some estimates run up to 700-1,000 persons murdered.
Kristallnacht 9 November 193810 November 1938 Germany 0009191+ Over 1,000 synagogues burned in all Germany and Austria, over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. 91 Jewish people killed during the pogrom, more than 300 further died during the next days (including suicides). About 35% of these events happened in Austria or on territory which today belongs to Poland or to Russia.
Aktion T4 at Grafeneck 18 January 194013 December 1940 Grafeneck Euthanasia Centre 1065410,654
Aktion T4 at Brandenburg an der Havel February 19401 November 1940 Brandenburg Euthanasia Centre 099729,972
Aktion T4 at Hartheim May 19401 September 1941 Hartheim Euthanasia Centre 1826918,269
Aktion T4 at Sonnenstein 28 June 19401 September 1941 Sonnenstein Euthanasia Centre 1372013,720
Aktion T4 at Bernburg 21 November 19401 September 1941 Bernburg Euthanasia Centre 093849,384
Aktion T4 at Hadamar 13 January 19411 September 1941 Hadamar Euthanasia Centre 1007210,072 10,072 mentally ill and disabled people killed and burnt. Between 1942 and 1945 another 4,422 people with this kind of diagnosis were killed near Hadamar. In total, more than 275,000 people were killed during Aktion T4, many of them in German-controlled Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
Celler Hasenjagd 8 April 194510 April 1945 Celle 00170at least 170 Killing of KZ inmates by SS guards and other Nazi forces (police, Volkssturm). The traditional number of victim was 200 to 300, according to more recent research at least 170 victims are well testified. The killings started on April 8, after a train crowded with 3,800 to 4,500 KZ inmates was hit by the allied air raid against Celle during the night of April 7–8. This event killed 400 to 1000 of the KZ inmates (higher numbers being stated as well), most survivors tried to escape. Celle was conquered by British forces on April 12, 1945.
Gardelegen massacre 13 April 1945 Gardelegen 010161,016 1,016 slave laborers burned alive by Volkssturm, Hitlerjugend and firefighters
Lippach massacre 22 April 1945 near Westhausen 0002424 24 Waffen-SS prisoners of war killed by the US 12th Armored Division. 20 women raped.
Treuenbrietzen massacre AprilMay 1945 Treuenbrietzen 00125at least 125 Soviet Red Army kills at least 125 male inhabitants of Treuenbrietzen.
SS Cap Arcona 3 May 1945 near Lübeck 070007,000 – 7,500 Prisoners from Nazi concentration camps killed when the SS Cap Arcona was sunk in the last days of the Second World War by the Royal Air Force, incl. killing of survivors by SS.

Killings in Germany after 1945

Name Date Location Deaths Description
Executions after the Waldheim Trials 4 November 1950 Waldheim, Saxony 2323 After Stalinist style trials in then German Democratic Republic against 3,442 persons between April and June 1950, 32 death sentences were announced in July. 23 of them were executed.
Uprising of 1953 in East Germany 17 June 1953 Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Magdeburg, Rostock and several other cities in East Germany 75about 75 34 protesters shot on June 17 and during the following days by Soviet troops and GDR police and other GDR security forces. Another 19 executed by Soviet drumhead court-martials up until June 22; 7 more executed after regular trials by East German courts, further victims perished or committed suicide in GDR jails.
Cologne school massacre 11 June 1964 Cologne 1010 school massacre; 22 injured
Munich massacre 5 September 19726 September 1972 Munich, West Germany 1717 Palestinian Guerillas killed Israeli athletes.
Oktoberfest bombing 26 September 1980 Munich, West Germany 1313 211 injured
Eppstein school shooting 3 June 1983 Eppstein-Vockenhausen, West Germany 066 14 injured
Mykonos restaurant assassinations 17 September 1992 Berlin 044
1993 Solingen arson attack 28 May 1993 Solingen 055 14 injured
Bosphorus serial murders 9 September 2000-25 April 2007 Various cities 10 1 injured
Erfurt massacre 26 April 2002 Erfurt 1717 school shooting; 7 injured
Duisburg massacre 15 August 2007 Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia 066 ongoing feud between Italian mobsters.
Winnenden school shooting 11 March 2009 Winnenden 1616 9 injured
2016 Munich shooting 22 July 2016 Munich 1010 35 injured
2016 Berlin attack 19 December 2016 Berlin 1212 Truck-ramming attack in a Christmas market; 49 injured
2020 Hanau shootings 19 February 2020 Hanau 99 Terrorist shooting spree in two shisha bars and a cafe; 9 killed, 5 injured[9]

References

  1. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906. [1].
  2. ^ Haim Beinart (1981), Carta's Atlas of the Jewish people in the Middle Ages; Carta Jerusalem; ISBN 965-220-035-2
  3. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906. Black Death.
  4. ^ Gegenfrage.com: 21.03.1349: Das Massaker an den Juden in Erfurt, 21.03.2017 [in German].
  5. ^ Mittelalter entdecken: Juden im Mittelalter - Teil 2: Judenverfolgungen ab 1096 [Discovering Middle Ages: Jews in the Middle Ages - Part 2: Prosecutions of Jews in and after 1096].
  6. ^ Mittelalter entdecken: Juden im Mittelalter - Teil 2: Judenverfolgungen ab 1096 [Discovering Middle Ages: Jews in the Middle Ages - Part 2: Prosecutions of Jews in and after 1096].
  7. ^ Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. A distant mirror. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-307-29160-8. Retrieved 27 August 2011.
  8. ^ Horst Grunewald: Auf den Spuren der Habsburger in der Euroregion Neiße-Nisa-Nysa, 180p. University of California, Berkeley, Oettel 2005.
  9. ^ "Germany shooting: 'Far-right extremist' carried out shisha bars attacks". BBC News. 20 February 2020. Archived from the original on 20 February 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2020.

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