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Thursday, October 8th, 2009, 08:37 PM
Johannes Pfefferkorn

Johannes (Josef) Pfefferkorn (1469 – 1523) was a Jewish (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJew)-German (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FGermany) Catholic (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FCatholicism) theologian (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FTheologian) and writer who converted (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FReligious_conversion) from Judaism (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJudaism). Pfefferkorn actively preached against the Jews (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJew) and attempted to destroy copies of the Talmud (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FTalmud), and engaged in a long running pamphleteering campaign against and with Johann Reuchlin (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJohann_Reuchlin).

Early life
Born a Jew, possibly in Nuremberg (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FNuremberg), Pfefferkorn moved to Cologne (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FCologne) after many years of wandering. After committing a burglary, he was imprisoned and released in 1504. He converted to Christianity (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FChristianity) in 1505 and was baptized (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FBaptism)together with his family.

Anti-Jewish writings
Pfefferkorn became an assistant to the prior (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FPrior) of the Dominican friar order (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FDominican_Order) at Cologne, Jacob van Hoogstraaten (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJacob_van_Hoogstraaten ), and under the auspices of the Dominicans published several libelous (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FLibel) pamphlets in which he tried to demonstrate that Jewish religious writings were hostile to Christianity. Pfefferkorn had a limited knowledge of the subject.
In Der Judenspiegel (Cologne, 1507), he demanded that the Jews should give up the practice of usury (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FUsury), work for their living, attend Christian sermons, and do away with the Books of the Talmud. On the other hand, he condemned the persecution of the Jews as an obstacle to their conversion, and, in Warnungsspiegel, defended them against charges of murdering Christian children for ritual purposes (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FBlood_libel). In a pamphlet, Warnungsspiegel, he pretended to be a friend of the Jews, and desired to introduce Christianity among them for their own good. He urged them to convince the Christian world that the Jews do not need Christian blood for their religious rites and advocated seizing the Talmud by force from them. "The causes which hinder the Jews from becoming Christians," he wrote, "are three: first, usury (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FUsury); second, because they are not compelled to attend Christian churches to hear the sermons (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FSermon); and third, because they honor the Talmud."

Bitterly opposed by the Jews on account of this work, he virulently attacked them in: Wie die blinden Jüden ihr Ostern halten (1508); Judenbeicht (1508); and Judenfeind (1509). In his third pamphlet he contradicted what he had written earlier and insisted that every Jew considers it a good deed to kill, or at least to mock, a Christian; therefore he deemed it the duty of all true Christians to expel the Jews from all Christian lands; if the law should forbid such a deed, they do not need to obey it: "It is the duty of the people to ask permission of the rulers to take from the Jews all their books except the Bible...." He preached that Jewish children should be taken away from their parents and educated as Catholics. In conclusion he wrote: "Who afflicts the Jews is doing the will of God, and who seeks their benefit will incur damnation."
In the fourth pamphlet, Pfefferkorn declared that the only way to get rid of the Jews was either to expel or enslave them; the first thing to be done was to collect all the copies of the Talmud found among the Jews and to burn them.

Against Hebrew books
Convinced that the principal source of the obduracy of the Jews lay in their books, he tried to have them seized and destroyed. He obtained from several Dominican convents recommendations to Kunigunde (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FKunigunde_of_Austria), the sister of the Emperor Maximilian (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FEmperor_Maximilian), and through her influence to the emperor himself. On 19 August (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FAugust_19) 1509 (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2F1509), Maximilian, who already had expelled the Jews from his own domains of Styria (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FStyria), Carinthia (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FDuchy_of_Carinthia), and Carniola (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FCarniola), ordered the Jews to deliver to Pfefferkorn all books opposing Christianity; or the destruction any Hebrew book except the Hebrew Bible (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FHebrew_Bible) (Old Testament (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FOld_Testament)). Pfefferkorn began the work of confiscation at Frankfort-on-the-Main (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FFrankfort-on-the-Main), or possibly Magdeburg (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FMagdeburg); thence he went to Worms (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FWorms%2C_Germany), Mainz (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FMainz), Bingen (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FBingen), Lorch (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FLorch), Lahnstein (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FLahnstein), and Deutz (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FCologne-Deutz).

Through the help of the Elector and Archbishop of Mainz (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FArchbishop_of_Mainz), Uriel von Gemmingen (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FUriel_von_Gemmingen), the Jews asked the emperor to appoint a commission to investigate Pfefferkorn's accusations. A new imperial mandate of 10 November (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FNovember_10) 1509, gave the direction of the whole affair to Uriel von Gemmingen, with orders to secure opinions from the Universities of Mainz (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FMainz), Cologne (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FCologne), Erfurt (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FErfurt), and Heidelberg (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FHeidelberg), from the inquisitor Jacob van Hoogstraaten (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJacob_van_Hoogstraaten ) of Cologne, from the priest Victor von Carben (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FVictor_von_Carben), and from Johann Reuchlin (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJohann_Reuchlin). Pfefferkorn, in order to vindicate his action and to gain still further the good will of the emperor, wrote In Lob und Eer dem allerdurchleuchtigsten grossmechtigsten Fürsten und Herrn Maximilian (Cologne, 1510). In April he was again at Frankfort, and with the delegate of the Elector of Mainz and Professor Hermann Ortlieb (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fw%2Findex.php%3Ftitle%3DHerma nn_Ortlieb%26action%3Dedit%26redlink%3D1 ), he undertook a new confiscation.
Van Hoogstraaten and the Universities of Mainz and Cologne decided in October 1510 against the Jewish books. Reuchlin declared that only those books obviously offensive (as the Nizachon and Toldoth Jeschu (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FToldoth_Jeschu)) would be destroyed. The elector sent all the answers received at the end of October to the emperor through Pfefferkorn. Reuchlin reported in favor of the Jews, and on May 23 (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FMay_23), 1510 (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2F1510), the emperor suspended his edict of 10 November 1509, and the books were returned to the Jews on June 6.

Battle of pamphlets
The ensuing battle of pamphlets between Pfefferkorn and Reuchlin reflected the struggle between the Dominicans and the humanists (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FHumanists). Thus informed of Reuchlin's vote Pfefferkorn was greatly excited, and answered with Handspiegel (Mainz, 1511), in which he attacked Reuchlin unmercifully. Reuchlin complained to the Emperor Maximilian, and answered Pfefferkorn's attack with his Augenspiegel, against which Pfefferkorn published his Brandspiegel. In June 1513, both parties were silenced by the emperor. Pfefferkorn however published in 1514 a new polemic, Sturmglock, against both the Jews and Reuchlin. During the controversy between Reuchlin and the theologians of Cologne, Pfefferkorn was assailed in the Epistolæ obscurorum virorum by the young Humanists who espoused Reuchlin's cause. He replied with Beschirmung, or Defensio J. Pepericorni contra famosas et criminales obscurorum virorum epistolas (Cologne, 1516), Streitbüchlein (1517). In 1520, Pope Leo X (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FPope_Leo_X) declared Reuchlin guilty with a condemnation of Augenspiegel, and Pfefferkorn wrote as an expression of his triumph Ein mitleidliche Klag (Cologne, 1521).

Diarmaid MacCulloch (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FDiarmaid_MacCulloch) writes in his book The Reformation: A History (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FThe_Reformation%3A_A_H istory) (2003)[5] (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJohannes_Pfefferkorn%2 3cite_note-4) that Desiderius Erasmus (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FDesiderius_Erasmus) was another opponent of Pfefferkorn, on the grounds that he was a converted Jew and therefore could not be trusted.


Der Judenspiegel (Speculum Adhortationis Judaicæ ad Christum), Nuremberg, 1507
Der Warnungsspiegel (The Mirror of Warning), year?
Die Judenbeicht (Libellus de Judaica Confessione sive Sabbate Afflictionis cum Figuris), Cologne, 1508
Das Osterbuch (Narratio de Ratione Pascha Celebrandi Inter Judæos Recepta), Cologne and Augsburg, 1509
Der Judenfeind (Hostis Judæorum), ib. 1509
In Lib und Ehren dem Kaiser Maximilian (In Laudem et Honorem Illustrissimi Imperatoris Maximiliani), Cologne, 1510
Handspiegel (Mayence, 1511)
Der Brandspiegel (Cologne, 1513)
Die Sturmglocke (ib. 1514)
Streitbüchlein Wider Reuchlin und Seine Jünger (Defensio Contra Famosas et Criminales Obscurorum Virorum Epistolas (Cologne, 1516)
Eine Mitleidige Clag Gegen den Ungläubigen Reuchlin (1521)
Johannes Pfefferkorn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJohannes_Pfefferkorn)

See also:
The impact of the Reformation: essays - Google Books (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fbooks.go ogle.es%2Fbooks%3Fid%3D_leG5ztYoZwC%26pg %3DPA94%26lpg%3DPA94%26dq%3D%2522johanne s%2BPfefferkorn%2522%26source%3Dbl%26ots %3Dv0_lK-9e8f%26sig%3D7T6LKDvCHU_Xrfs7I3WbDhb7f3A %26hl%3Den%26ei%3DA0DKSu70IemfjAe6psVO%2 6sa%3DX%26oi%3Dbook_result%26ct%3Dresult %26resnum%3D9%23v%3Donepage%26q%3D%2522j ohannes%2520Pfefferkorn%2522%26f%3Dfalse )
JewishEncyclopedia.com - PFEFFERKORN, JOHANN (JOSEPH): (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewi shencyclopedia.com%2Fview.jsp%3Fartid%3D 246%26letter%3DP)
Johann Reuchlin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FJohann_Reuchlin)
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reuchlin_(Freimaurerloge (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fde.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FReuchlin_%2528Freimaur erloge))

Usually I do not post Wikipedia articles, but all other articles I found were basically the same, just shortened. Anyway, it is known converted Jews were extra fanatic, some because they wanted to prove they were worthy Christians, others out of hate against their former faith and it´s inheriting corruption. The claim Johannes Pfefferkorn did not study the Talmud and therefor had no clue about it is false, he studied the Talmud in Prague and therefor knew very well what he was talking about in his dispute with the semitophilic "humanist" Johann Reuchlin. It´s no wonder latter one is praised and Johannes Pfefferkorn condemned these days, even before the "reformation" and before 1648 - which counts as date where the Jews officially started to become a kind of aristocracy in German palaces on the behalf of German princes - certain Jews and their semitophilic apologists (also known as humanists) gained tremendous influence in European palaces; Luis de Santángel (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FLuis_de_Sant%25C3%25A1 ngel), Rodrigo Lopez (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikip edia.org%2Fwiki%2FRodrigo_Lopez_%2528phy sician%2529) and Hecor Nunes (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewi shmag.com%2F133mag%2Fnunes%2Fnunes.htm) to name some few.