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Known as Louis the Lion, the king reigned France from 1223 to 1226. In November 1223, he issued an ordinance… [More] that prohibited his officials from recording debts owed to Jews, thus reversing the policies set by his father Philip II Augustus. Usury (lending money with interest) was illegal for Christians to practice. According to Church law it was seen as a vice in which people profited from others’ misfortune (like gambling), and was punishable by excommunication, a severe punishment. It left Jews in a legal grey area. [Less]
1791: Giacomo Meyerbeer
Meyerbeer, from a Jewish family from Prussia, was a German opera composer who wrote the 1831 opera… [More] “Robert le diable.” He was at his peak with his operas “Les Huguenots ” (1836), “Le prophète” (1849). His last opera “L’Africaine” was performed posthumously. [Less]
1905: Arthur Koestler
Koestler was a Jewish Hungarian-British author and journalist. Born in Budapest and was… [More] educated in Austria. In 1931, Koestler joined the Communist Party of Germany but, disillusioned by Stalinist, resigned in 1938. In 1940 he published his novel “Darkness at Noon,” an anti-totalitarian work, which made him internationally famous. [Less]