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Biographical/Historical Information

In 1338, local burghers and members of the gentry set fire to the houses of the Jewish quarter in Deggendorf and slaughtered the inhabitants. The killing spread to 21 other places in Bavaria. The slaughter of the Jews greatly benefited the impoverished townspeople, and a grand church was erected in place of the synagogue. Only at a later stage was the allegation of Host desecration made to justify the massacre of the Jews. Since the 15th century, relics of the supposed desecration were venerated in the church, and Deggendorf developed into a major place of pilgrimage in Germany.

Michael Wolgemut (1434 – 1519) was a German painter and printmaker who ran a large and important workshop in Nuremberg. He was a teacher of the young Albrecht Dürer. Woodcuts executed in Wolgemut's workshop were not necessarily created by him, personally. Michael Wolgemut's workshop provided more than 1000 woodcut illustrations to the book on world history by the German historian Hartmann Schedel, Liber Chronicarum (Book of Chronicles), later known as “Schedelsche Weltchronik” (Schedel's World Chronicle); Chapter VI describes the world’s history in the common era since the birth of Jesus.

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Wolgemut, Michael: The Burning of the Jews : Part of Schedels Weltchronik ; 1493, Leo Baeck Institute, 78.73.