Page:Balthasar Hübmaier.djvu/84

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38
[1481-
Balthasar Hübmaier

Jewish movement in progress among the citizens, and he threw himself into the contest with ardour. In fact, he soon became the leader, and advocated his cause in the pulpit, in the street, in the marketplace, before the magistrates. There had been a strong anti-Jewish feeling in Regensburg for more than a generation, due in large part to the peculiar position occupied by the Jews in the city. They lived in one of the oldest parts of the town, surrounded by a wall, and enjoyed many special privileges. They were lodged in what we should now call tenement-houses,—high, narrow buildings,—beneath which were cellars and secret passages where they could hide from the officers of civil and religious courts. At times, when the persecution was severe, they dared not go outside their own region, and then opened only a little gate through which could be passed the necessaries of life and the pledges of Christians who wished loans. Sometimes at Easter even this loophole was closed for a week or more.

The Jewish quarter of Regensburg disappeared long ago so completely that no trace of it is now to be found; but the city of Augsburg contains a