ENDINGEN, town in Baden, Germany, site of a notorious *blood libel. Jews are first mentioned there in 1331; in 1349 they were affected by the *Black Death persecutions. When the headless corpses of two adults and two children were found in the grounds of the cemetery in March 1470, Rabbi Elias and his two brothers (granduncles of *Joseph b. Gershon of Rosheim) were accused of ritual murder, tortured, put on trial, and burned at the stake on April 8, 1470. On May 5, Emperor Frederick III condemned the executions on the grounds that the Jews were under imperial protection and ordered the release of other imprisoned Jews, repeating this demand on June 22 and stressing papal prohibitions of the blood libel. In consequence of the libel, the Jews were expelled from Endingen. Despite imperial and papal disapproval, the blood libel story was kept alive; the remains of the supposed victims were enshrined in the altar of the Church of St. Peter. The story was reenacted in the Endinger Judenspiel, first performed before huge crowds in 1616. A church bell cast in 1714 bears reliefs of the headless children. Carrying the children's relics in church processions was prohibited under Emperor *Joseph II (1765–90). By 1871 some Jews were living in the town once more. Their number reached 43 in 1888, but declined to ten in 1925, and five in 1933. The remaining couple was deported
K.V. Amira, Das Endinger Judenspiel (1883); I. Kracauer, in: REJ, 16 (1888), 236–45; Baron, (1967), 177, 372; K.J. Baum, in: Miscellanea Mediaevalia, 4 (1966), 337–49; Germ. Jud., 2 (1968), 209–10; F. Hundschnurscher and G. Taddey, Die Juedischen Gemeinden in Baden (1968); K. Kurrus, in: Schau-ins-Land, 83. Jahresheft des Breisgauer Geschichtsvereins (1965), 133–48; T. Oelsner, in: Aufbau (Dec. 18, 1966 and July 31, 1970); New York Times (Oct. 1, 1967). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. Frey, in: R. Erb (ed.), Die Legende vom Ritualmord (1993), 201–21.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.