1096 Spring, CRUSADERS (France-Germany)
Over one quarter of the Jewish population of Germany and northern France were killed during the First Crusade (1095-1099), mostly during the months of April-June. It was estimated that in Germany, prior to the First Crusade, there were approximately 20,000 Jews. The period of time between Pessach and Shavuot (Passover and Pentecost) is also known as Sefirat Haomer which commemorates the death of Rabbi Akiva's pupils (2nd Century) and was considered a period of mourning. Since most of the massacres took place between these dates, new regulations of national mourning were added. This was also the period of time when the Unetaneh Tokef prayer for Yom Kippur was written by Amnon of Mainz.When warned by messengers about the upcoming riots from France, the Jewish leaders in Mainz replied, "As for ourselves there is no cause for fear…. we have not heard a word… that our lives are threatened”.