Nov. 9, 1577

Imperial Police Ordinance, issued by Emperor Rudolf II, King of Germany [Present-day Germany]: “Title XX. Of Jews and their usury. – Whereas many towns in the German nation contain Jews who not only lend against high promissory notes, but also against stolen and robbed goods, it can be assumed that they will burden the poor and needy populace and suck it dry, causing it to commit many evil deeds. Therefore, we hereby order that henceforth, nobody is required to take in any Jews, except for those whom We have given special privileges. […] And so that all fraud in their loans may be prevented, the Jews shall write their loan contracts not in the Jewish language, but in German, indicating both the loan amount and a description of the collateral. In addition, no Christian shall buy a claim against a Christian from a Jew, nor may a Jew transfer such a debt to another Christian in any other way, as this shall make the contract null and void. […] However, so that the Jews may make a living, they shall be allowed to charge no more than five percent in usury. […]”
Weber, Matthias. Die Reichspolizeiordnungen von 1530, 1548 und 1577 (The Imperial Police Ordinances of 1530, 1548 and 1577). Klostermann: Frankfurt, 2002. Page 247. Researched by Dominik Jacobs 8/5/2020