HomeVideosWorldOn this day: the final expulsion of the Jews from France

On this day: the final expulsion of the Jews from France

King Charles VI on September 17, 1394 France ordered that all Jewish people be expelled from the kingdom.

Leading up to the expulsion, French Jews dealt with the burning of sacred religious texts, discriminatory taxes as well as other fiscal policies aimed at targeting Jews.

He was also being blamed for black Plague, which devastated Europe in the mid-1300s.

Cities throughout France expelled Jewish people during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Jews were formally expelled from France in 1306, their lands being taken over by the government. After the war with the Flemish, King Philip was expelled because he was short of money. The expulsion allowed him to seize and sell Jewish property.

He was recalled and paid to return in 1315, and was once again exiled in 1322. Around this time a pattern of expulsions and withdrawals appeared.

In 1315, laws were made so that Jews could not discuss their religion in public. They also had to wear a badge identifying themselves as Jews and were cautioned against usury, the practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest, charges based on antisemitism.

On September 17, 1394, Charles VI announced that the Jews were violating the agreement made with him. According to the Rélieux de Saint Denis – also known as the Monk of Saint-Denis – the king signed this decree at the insistence of the queen.

A medieval manuscript suggests that Jews were burned at the stake in Flanders according to the popular antidote to the Black Death.  (credit: Wikimedia Commons)A medieval manuscript suggests that Jews were burned at the stake in Flanders according to the popular antidote to the Black Death. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

French Jews were given less time to sell their possessions before being retained from French lands.

The expulsion of 1394 is accepted as the date of the last expulsion from France in medieval times. Unlike previous evictions, this was not temporary. The Jews began to return to France in the early 17th century.

Today, about one percent of the French population is Jewish.

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