In the 1300’s one of the deadliest plagues struck, killing millions of people. Doctors did not know how to manage the plague, and with the horrible hygiene of the people, it spread and killed quickly. It had an 80% kill rate, so people greatly feared contracting it.
People also noticed how the Jewish people contracted the plague less than others. The people did not look to them as an example of how to stay well. Instead, they blamed the Jews. They said that because the Jews stayed well more often, then they brought on the plague. Maybe they thought that allowing the Jews to live among them made God mad, bring the plague as punishment. Whatever the reason, they blamed the Jews for the horrible Black Death.
Fear began to control their actions. It bubbled up until in Strasbourg, France the people burned about 900 Jews alive. They told the rest to convert to Catholicism or leave. At this point, the plague had not reached the city so this was their attempt to keep it away. It did not work. Shortly thereafter even Strasbourg had to suffer the effects of the Black Death.