Organized attacks upon the Jews of different Polish cities by Christian youths, especially pupils of the many Jesuit schools that existed in Poland during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These youths not only assaulted individual Jews whom they met on the streets, but they organized themselves into bands, invading and pillaging the Jewish quarters. Such disturbances were of frequent occurrence in cities which possessed large Jewish populations, as Brest-Litovsk, Cracow, Posen, and Wilna; and the riots often ended in bloodshed. Thus, in 1663 the students of the Jesuit academy in Cracow, under the pretext that some Jews had blasphemed the Christian religion, invaded the Jewish quarter, killed or wounded many persons, destroyed 120 houses, and carried off more than 4,000 florins, after having made their victims promise not to prosecute them.
The authorities tolerated and even encouraged such affairs; and, in order to protect their lives and property, the Jews had to contribute annually to the various Jesuit institutions.
- Beck and Brann, Yevreiskaya Istoria, p. 326;
- Schudt, Jüdische Merekwürdigkeiten, ii. 300.