von Hellmut Schramm, Ph. D.
a translation by R. Belser of
Der jüdische Ritualmord
Eine historische Untersuchung
Letter of Rohling to the Court at Cleves.
To the Royal Criminal Court
The well-known Straßburg Professor, Dr. Nöldeke, along with the inclusion of my person before your forum, has rendered an expert opinion concerning ritual-murder by the Jews.
Conscience and honor force me to protest against this expert opinion. Professor Nöldeke terms it frivolous, when over and over again it is repeated that Jews require the use of Christian blood. He claims to be able to say "with tolerable certainty" that nothing about this is contained in the Talmud; also, according to his opinion, nothing in the Sefer halkutim and in the Zohar suggests it. Delitzsch, according to Herr Nöldeke, is supposed to have most definitely disproved the blood-accusation and my old friend Bickell to have declared it to be a hoax.
I find it strange that Professor Nöldeke charges those who think differently with frivolity, while he himself (431) lays claim to only a "tolerable" certainty for himself. As for Delitzsche, he, like Nöldeke himself was refuted by the work by Victor concerning the Rohling/Bloch trial, which appeared in two editions published by Fritsch in Leipzig in 1887, without a defense following from those involved. As for Professor Bickell, he never stated that the blood-accusation was a hoax, but on the contrary, he agreed with me that history fully justifies these accusations, because it reports numerous murders which were forensically established.
Eisenmenger also points to these facts, although rabbinical textual evidence and documentary proofs were not available to him. Concerning some texts of this type Professor Bickell was also of another opinion from my own, although he later withdrew an earlier statement about the impossibility of my idea, and Professor Nöldeke would have been able to know all of this from Victor's work, which was publicly available since 1887.
If the facts of history are not to be denied, it is well understood that despite the expurgation of certain rabbinical works, indeed there are texts still existing here and there, which hint at the subject, and contain allusions which, in spite of every editorial precaution, speak very plainly in the light of historical events. But as superfluous as texts of that sort are in the face of the historical records, and therefore, if one desires, can be left to the academic exercises of the philologists, I for my part find what others always say, that the Talmud even in expurgated editions suggests the phenomenon, while the Sefer halkutim and Zohar speak more definably, as is explained in my work Polemik und Menschenopfer des Rabbinismus [Polemics and Human Sacrifice of the Rabbinate] (Paderborn, pub. Schröder, 1883). This explanation is still completely convincing to me today, and if I do not respond to private publications of the newspapers and brochures, like Strack's Blutaberglaube [Blood-Superstition], this is because the secular authority, to which I am subject, desires the end of the Jewish controversy.
But after my sacred conviction was stigmatized before the Court as a frivolity, I held it to be my duty to make known to you this, which stands before you: in the face of death and of my eternal Judge, I cannot speak otherwise and must state:
that the blood-accusation is the truth!
With great respect
signed, Canon Doctor of Theology and Philosophy, A. Rohling, Professor of Hebrew Antiquities at the Royal and Imperial German University in Prague.
Prague, 10 July 1892.
Copyright 2001 by R. Belser. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written permission of the translator is not permitted. All rights reserved.