The Damascus Affair: 'Ritual Murder', Politics, and the Jews in 1840

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9780521483964: The Damascus Affair: 'Ritual Murder', Politics, and the Jews in 1840

In February of 1840, an Italian monk and his servant disappeared in Damascus. Many Jews in that city were charged with ritual murder and tortured until they confessed. The case turned into a cause célèbre across much of the Western world and produced an explosion of polemics, fantastic theories, and strange projects. This book, the first since 1840, assesses the affair as a factor in European and Jewish politics of the time, a chapter in Jewish history and historiography, and the stuff of radically conflicting myths that eventually led to the Holocaust and the establishment of the Israeli state.

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Book Description:

Many Jews in Damascus were charged with ritual murder and tortured after the disappearance of an Italian monk and his servant in 1840. This book assesses the "Damascus affair" as a factor in the European and Jewish politics of the time as well as a chapter in Jewish history and historiography.

From the Back Cover:

In February 1840 an Italian monk and his servant disappeared in Damascus. Many Jews in that city were charged with ritual murder and tortured until they confessed. The case turned into a cause celebre across much of the Western world, even becoming a factor in the major diplomatic conflicts of the period. This is the first book since the 1840s to analyze the Damascus affair.

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