Oct. 18, 1738

Decree, issued by William VIII, Landgrave of Hesse [Present-day Germany]: “V. So that mendicant Jews, with their peddling of used garments, shall not introduce this ruinous epidemic into our lands, they shall not be admitted to our lands, regardless of what kind of pass or permit they may carry. VI. Should, however, a beggar-Jew be caught in our lands, he shall be arrested and imprisoned for fourteen days, after all garments and cloths he carries are burned. Repeat offenders shall be branded as criminals, and for the third offense, the penalty is death by hanging.” [Researcher’s note: The preamble to this decree explains that it is issued in response to an unnamed, contagious disease that is spreading through Europe.]
“Von Gottes Gnaden Wir Wilhelm, Landgraf zu Hessen, Fürst zu Herßfeld… [We, Wilhelm, by God’s Mercy Landgrave of Hesse, Prince of Hersfeld…],” 10/18/1738; Decrees Collection; AR 379; Box 1; Folder 74; Leo Baeck Institute. Researched by Dominik Jacobs 12/10/2019