In 1190 one of the darkest events in York’s history took place at the site of Clifford's Tower. Trapped by an angry and violent mob, the city's entire Jewish community, who were taking refuge inside York Castle’s tower, were confronted with the impossible decision of either taking their own lives or facing the mob outside, and certain death at their hands.
In this episode Josie Long visits Clifford's Tower in York and meets curators Jeremy Ashbee and Sally Dixon-Smith to hear the story of the medieval massacre of the Jews and to try to understand how and why such a tragic event took place. Also speaking to members of the York Liberal Jewish Community, Josie explores the modern parallels that can be drawn from this dark chapter in York's history and how local Jewish communities reflect on it today.
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This episode contains graphic descriptions which some people may find upsetting. It is not suitable for younger listeners.
Speaking with Shadows is brought to you by English Heritage.
Presenter: Josie Long
Producer: Katharine Kerr for Fresh Air
Contributors: Jeremy Ashbee, Head Properties Curator, English Heritage; Sally Dixon-Smith, Collections Curator, the Tower of London; Ben Rich, Trustee, York Liberal Jewish Community; Shannon Kirshner, Trustee, York Liberal Jewish Community.
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