Holy Thursday Jew-killing games in Lleida

BS has kindly pointed out that Lérida has a selective digitalised press archive going back to 1896. With ref to this, he notes the existence of similar commemorative genocidal banging by children in the city in the early twentieth century (?):

–Where are you off to this early?
–To kill Jews, mum!
–Don’t you know that that’s in the afternoon?
–Who cares! This way we’ll kill more!

And off they went, beating church doors with a variety of implements, and singing:

¡A matar jueus,
a matar jueus,
a cops de massó;
perqué ells mataren
a Nostre Senyó!

Miguel Pujol Canelles in La conversió dels jueus de Castelló d’Empúries (1997) records that the custom was still going strong there in the first third of the twentieth century. (He mentions Good Friday, while other accounts have Wednesday or Thursday).

The DCVB entry for jueu is a rich compilation of ethnic hate. Apparently in Santa Coloma de Queralt it was applied to families who, generally through poverty, didn’t eat pork; elsewhere to difficult children, to men easily given to insult, to sticking out one’s tongue, to cowardly animals (“That’s a Jew-dog: it barks but doesn’t bite”), to a particularly delicious species of snail… “If a Jew or Saracen should be found who does it with a Christian woman, both will be burnt.”

Of course, none of this is unique to Catalonia, or to Spain. But it does help to understand why visitors until quite recently tended to view Spain as the last remaining remnant of medieval Europe. That has all changed: it’s now working its way slowly through the nineteenth century.

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