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LUCERNE:

City of Switzerland, in the canton of the same name. Jews were living there as early as the middle of the thirteenth century. The earliest records of the town contain regulations for the sale of the flesh of animals slaughtered according to ritual: "When a Jew slaughters an animal, the meat shall be sold 'hinten an in der Schall,' and it shall also be stated that it belongs to the Jew." The regulations further say that the Jews who have obtained rights of sojourn or citizenship "shall offend no one, either by words or by deeds, either in the city or without it. And no one shall offend or injure the Jews 'von deheines Kindes wegen on des Rates wissende,' on pain of paying a fine of five pounds, without remission; and if the offender be so poor that he can not pay this fine, he shall nevermore set foot in the city." As elsewhere in Switzerland, the Jews in Lucerne were engaged in money-lending, they alone being privileged to charge interest on loans. In 1401 they were expelled from the city.

It was not until about 1864 that a Jew (from Endingen) again settled in Lucerne. The city has now (1904) a Jewish community numbering forty-two members. In 1900 there were 336 Jews in the entire canton.

Bibliography:
  • Ulrich, Jüdische Geschichten in der Schweiz, pp. 175 et seq.;
  • Pfyffer, Gesch. der Stadt und des Kantons Luzern, p. 151;
  • Kopp, Geschichtsbilder der Schweiz, i. 347 et seq.
G. M. K.
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