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Regensburg and Munich

Funded by the Cambridge-LMU Strategic Partnership, Prof. Nora Berend took HML and MPhil students to Regensburg and Munich

DSC00089 crFunded by the Cambridge-LMU Strategic Partnership, Prof. Nora Berend took HML and MPhil students to Regensburg and Munich. With Prof. Eva Haverkamp, we visited the well-preserved medieval monuments of Regensburg. The Roman city wall and some buildings were repurposed in the medieval period, and we looked at sites that revealed the growth of the medieval city. We saw the meeting hall where imperial diets used to be held. We discussed medieval Christian anti-Judaism while viewing representations of the ‘Judensau,’ depictions of Jews on stained glass, and desecrated Jewish tombstones. We went to an exhibition on medieval Jewish life in Regensburg, and examined original documents, including town records. A fascinating, but troubling lecture described the process of constructing a case of ritual murder against the Jewish community in the later Middle Ages, notwithstanding the lack of any evidence. In Munich, we participated at a series of seminars on medieval Jewish life, reading documents in Latin and English translation about urban regulations against the Jews. Becoming more familiar with the mechanism of fomenting hatred in medieval Germany also alerted us to the ease with which coexistence can turn to persecution, and we had long discussions on what triggers xenophobia and violence in societies across the ages.