Urban Decline in Early Modern Germany: Schwäbisch Hall and Its Region, 1650-1750

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  1. - Document - The Thirty Years War. The Holy Roman Empire and Europe,
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  3. The Thirty Years War. The Holy Roman Empire and Europe, 1618-1648

These letters typically involve a mixture of denunciation and rhetorical questions about how despicable it is to mingle with Jews. For example, a Hamburg schoolgirl wrote to the newspaper in Hahn as follows I attend a well-known higher secondary school in Hamburg. Regrettably, we still have many Jewish fellow students. Equally regrettably, many German girls are still close friends with these Jewish girls. On special occasions, when we wear [BDM]32 uniforms in school, these girls walk arm-in-arm with their Jewish friends.


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You can imagine what an impression this gives! When confronting the girls in question, they say "stop instigating hatred all the o. Jews are human beings, too, and 'Eva' is a 'modest', 'decent', 'nice' girl!

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I consider these friendships very dangerous, since the Jews and their corrupting ideas destroy the souls of the girls. Hilberg , Low We provide more historical detail on the local patterns of deportation decisions in Section I. D of the Online Appendix. It is tempting to question the letter's veracity. However, Streicher's personal files and the Stiirmer archive in the City Archive of Nuremberg contain many letters of this type and other denunciations.

The historical literature accepts the veracity of Stiirmer letters Showalter This was the equivalent of the Hitler Youth for girls. Girls at 14 are too innocent to realize the true intentions of their Jewish "girlfriends.

We total the number of letters in three categories: those published as article equivalents an obvious sign of approbation by the editors , those denouncing named individuals still talking to or doing business with Jews, and those asking questions about Jews e. The vast majority of all cities with information on Jewish settlement in the interwar. Jews in The average city gave 3. It is not surprising that our sample shows a higher proportion than the nation as a whole, because 1 it includes only cities with Jewish communities in interwar Germany, and 2 many Jews lived in urban centers.

Notes: Table is based on cities with medieval Jewish communities and Jewish population in main sample. Appendix Table A. POG takes the value 1 if a pogrom occurred in the years , and 0 otherwise.


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For both elections, there is substantial variation by municipality. The average town reported deportees; the range was from 0 to 10, In Table II, we explore basic correlation patterns in our data. We find that all our indicators of twentieth-century anti-Semitism are significantly and positively correlated with medieval pogroms. In addition, the six variables for modern anti-Semitism are mostly positively correlated with each other Online Appendix Section II.

A reports the same information as Tables I and II but for the extended sample. Next, we examine the comparability of localities with and without Black Death pogroms. Table III shows various outcome variables; it reports their means conditional on Black Death pogroms in Panel A and the corresponding regression results in. Notes: Table is based on our main sample including only cities with medieval Jewish communities and 3. Jewish population in None of these variables differs. We use two periods for growth because there are few reliable observations on population size in Reported results are for the main sample.

Notes: All regressions run by OLS for the main sample, including only towns with documented medieval Jewish settlement. In Panel A, standard deviation in parentheses; in Panel B, standard errors in parentheses clustered at the county level. POG takes the value 1 if a pogrom occurred in the years —50, and 0 otherwise. City population corresponds to the year of the dependent variable: ln city population in in column 1 , ln City population in in column 2 , ln City population in in column 3 , and ln City population in in columns 4 — 8.

A we show that this holds also for our extended sample, as well as for election turnout in the s and s which is often used as a key indicator of social capital; see Guiso, Sapienza, and Zingales In this section we present our main results. As described in Section II, the Black Death was a common shock that lowered the overall threshold for violence against Jews. In some cities, citizens responded with pogroms, but Jews were unharmed in other cities.

We therefore argue that pogroms during the Black Death in at least partly reflect medieval anti-Semitism. Similarly, the general upsurge in anti-Semitic sentiment in Germany after World War I made the expression of anti-Semitic attitudes and violent acts against Jews more likely. We demonstrate that across a range of indicators, towns and cities with a medieval history of violence against Jews also engaged in more persecution in the s and s. To fix ideas, let us compare two cities: Wiirzburg, with a population of , in , and Aachen, with a population of i. Wiirzburg had a Jewish community since Alicke and Aachen since Avneri The former was the 4.

Wurzburg the Nazi Party garnered 6. Emigration of Jews before likely accounts for much of the gap. The files of the Bundesarchiv are not perfect, and especially in the later stages of the war, record-keeping degenerated. Jews were first recorded in , paying taxes. The town had a Judengasse street for Jews in For Aachen, the GJ explicitly states that there is no record of anti-Semitic violence, either before or during the Black Death—even though, in , the citizens of Brussels wrote to the Aachen authorities urging them "to take care that the Jews don't poison the wells'' Avneri Aachen also saw no pogroms in the s.

We now investigate how general these differences are. We use three empirical strategies: standard regression techniques, propensity score matching, and matching by geographical location. Regressions take the following general form:. Our main control variables are city population, the percentage of the population that is Jewish, and the percentage that is Protestant. Where the outcome variable's o. To demonstrate the strength of our results and control for nonlinearities , we also use propensity score matching estimation on the same correlates.

Protestants were more prone to vote for the Nazi Party Falter City population and the share of Jewish population are measured for the year closest to each outcome variable; for the latter variable, data are available for and The share of Protestants is available only for In cases where we do not have city- or town-level observations for control variables, we use county- Kreis- level data. Standard errors are clustered at the county level. Notes: All statistics based on the main sample, including only towns with documented medieval Jewish settlement.

The mean of synagogue attacks is calculated only for towns with synagogues or prayer rooms in In addition, we match towns by geographic location, based on longitude and latitude. As argued in the rich literature in labor economics see Card and Krueger , comparing places close to each other can help overcome the problems associated with omitted variables.

Hence, we directly compare towns that are no more than a few miles apart and for which one saw a pogrom in while the other s did not.

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Before turning to the regression results, we examine differences in various twentieth-century outcome variables between cities that did and did not experience Black Death pogroms. As Table IV shows, pogroms in the s were substantially more frequent in towns with a history of medieval anti-Semitism. Similarly, vote shares for the Nazi party NSDAP in and for the anti-Semitic DVFP in when the Nazi Party was banned were more than a percentage point higher—which is substantial, given that the average vote shares were respectively 3.

More precisely, Black Death pogroms in Germany occurred during and For ease of exposition, hereafter we refer to them as the pogroms. We calculate deportations per Jews and then derive the means, which are weighted by city population in In the next section, we show that these differences are significant both statistically and in terms of quantitative importance.

Pogroms in the s were infrequent and highly localized affairs. Although they were embedded in a broader context of anti-Semitic agitation and acts, such as attacks on shops, we only count recorded acts of physical violence. Cities with Black Death pogroms had, on average, significantly more pogroms in the s than cities without pogroms in As shown in Panel A of Table V our main sample comprises cities with observations on pogroms in both and the s.

The Thirty Years War. The Holy Roman Empire and Europe, 1618-1648

In localities, the Black Death coincided with pogroms. The s saw 20 pogroms in Weimar Germany. The frequency of attack was 8. A town having experienced a medieval pogrom thus raises the probability of witnessing another pogrom in the s by a factor of approximately 6. Notes: All regressions run at the city level. Standard errors in parentheses, clustered at the county Kreis level.

City population is taken from the census in column 1 and from the election data for the respective year in columns 2 and 3 ; in columns 4 - 6 , city population is from the census. Treatment variable is POG The average treatment effect for the treated ATT is reported, using robust nearest neighbor estimation with the four closest matches. Column 4 uses the city's Jewish population in as additional matching variable, and column 5 uses city population in ATT is reported, using robust nearest neighbor estimation with the two closest matches.

Distance in miles between each city and its two closest matches is reported. There is a positive and significant association even after controlling for population size, the percentage of the population that is Jewish, and the percentage that is Protestant. The effect is quantitatively important, as Black Death pogroms are associated with a probability of s pogroms that is more than 6 percentage points higher.