1243 BERLITZ (Berlin, Germany)
First accusation of desecration of the Host. The sanctity of the Host (the wafer and wine distributed as part of the ceremony of the Eucharist during Mass) is based on the doctrine of transubstantiation. In this doctrine (officially recognized in 1215), the wafer and wine is viewed by the Church as a substitute for Christ's body and blood. Therefore, an attack on the Host was considered a direct attack on the body of Jesus. This was the first of many times that the Jews were accused of "killing" Christ or torturing him by sticking pins into or burning the Host. In this case, the response to this accusation wiped out the entire Jewish population of Berlitz. Incidents of Host desecration accusations were as recent as 1836 (Romania).