JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Sefardic surnames ? #general


Martha Lev-Zion <martha@...>
 

Mauricio Estruga wrote in part:

I found that around the terrible year 1391 were all jewish people into Spain
were obligate to change into christianism (among other terrible things)
jewish change completely their names to a christian form.
<...> >Could somebody explain this?
1391 was a horrendous year for Spanish Jewry. In March, after the sermon of
a monk who was notoriously anti-Jewish, the people of Seville began
attacking and murdering the Jews. Even though official intervention caused
the killings to stop temporarily, they began again with renewed vigor all
during the summer of 1391. It rebegan in Seville in June when the
inhabitants surrounded the Jewish quarter and massacred about 5,000 Jewish
families, selling the women and children into slavery to the Muslims. Most
of the 23 synagogues of Seville were either destroyed or converted to
churches. The persecutions and murders spread to Toledo around the third
week of June and then spread throughout Spain, >from Valencia to Palma de
Mallorca; >from Barcelona to Gerona and Burgos. All over Spain, Jews were
murdered, raped, forced to convert, sold into slavery...dispossessed. Aside
from those who were forced to convert, it could well be that in order to
protect themselves, some large numbers of Jews changed their names to make
their Jewishness less obvious and to give themselves a chance to survive.

Martha Lev-Zion, Israel

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