The Complaint of the Hamburg Parliament concerning Portuguese Jews of December 9, 1603, in: Acta Conventuum Senatus et Civium from Dezember 8/9, 1603 [S. 21-22]

Source Description

On December 9, 1603, the Hamburg Parliament lodged a complaint with the Executive Council, that among the Portuguese in the Hansa city Jews were also to be found. The burgesses, to be sure, acknowledged in their complaint the economic utility of the Portuguese merchants for the city, but nonetheless demanded the expulsion of all Portuguese who gave out that they were Christians but who secretly practiced the Jewish religion. In its rejection of Jews in the Hansa city, the Parliament was supported by the orthodox Lutheran clergy. The Executive Council, on the contrary, pursued the goal of strengthening the lucrative trade with the Iberian Peninsula. To this end, the Council wanted to profit from Portuguese contacts--independent of whether they were Catholic or Jewish. The situation of the Portuguese Jews changed several times during the 17th century and in this regard was dependent on which side was able to get its way in the current dispute. The complaint from the year 1603 is the first official mention of a Jewish presence in the minutes of the Hamburg authorities. It is preserved in the minutes of the caucus between the Parliament and the Executive Council, which today is held in the Hamburg State Archive.
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Recommended Citation

The Complaint of the Hamburg Parliament concerning Portuguese Jews of December 9, 1603, in: Acta Conventuum Senatus et Civium from Dezember 8/9, 1603 [S. 21-22] (translated by Richard S. Levy), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-201.en.v1> [August 18, 2019].