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Count Emicho
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    Born in Germany
    Medieval Crusader
    Nobleman of the Rhineland during the late 11th-century
    Also known as Emicho of Leiningen and Emich of Flonheim
    Self-proclaimed leader of the infamous ‘German Crusade’ of 1096
    Claimed that Jesus appeared to him calling for him to lead a Holy Crusade
    Led close to ten thousand Franks and Germans in an Eastward march toward Jerusalem
    Main leader in the horrific Rhineland massacres of Jewish communities
    Attacks usually revolved around demands that the Jewish citizens forcibly convert under threat of violent death should they resist
    For example, well over 1,500 were collectively massacred in the villages of Worms, Speyer, and Mainz
    Like Peter the Hermit, he became obsessed with post-Apocalyptic 'end of times' visions he claimed to have had.
    He also claimed to have been 'the chosen one' to march on Constantinople to become 'the last World Emperor' prophesied in the Gospel of Luke.
    His band worshiped a she-goat and a goose which they claimed had divine powers.
    Ekkehard of Aura called him a ‘tyrannical’ ‘man of ill repute’ motivated by greed and jealousy.
    Albert of Aachen denounced his followers as ‘detestable,’ ‘intolerable company,’ ‘motivated by the spirit of cruelty.’
    His followers figured it was a convenient way to save time by organizing widespread massacres of the Jewish people who were much closer than the Muslims, and who they considered just as much of an affront to God (they would then use their plundered resources to finance their holy mission).
    He arguably led the first major wave of ‘pogroms’ in Western Europe (anti-Semitism wasn’t anything new, but never before on such a bloodthirsty scale).
    In several towns, the local Bishops and ecclesiastical authorities attempted to intervene to save the Jews by sheltering them and placing guards outside their residences.
    Undeterred, Emicho not only threatened to overpower the Church officials but, on at least two occasions, had his men invade the Bishop’s home and drag the hidden Jews out to be slaughtered.
    Jews who attempted to ‘buy their way’ to safety, by offering provisions and gold for the army’s long journey, also failed to escape death. Emicho took the money but then returned days later to kill them anyway.
    Perhaps the Jews’ most horrific alternative was murder-suicide, in which case parents put their entire families to death to avoid choosing between forced conversion and butchery (his army was known for killing entire families, including the children).
    By the time they reached Hungary via the Danube, they were again low on food and money and attempted to restock with their usual pillaging and raping. Hungary’s well fortified army wasn’t having any of it and made short work of his militia.
    He attracted an unusually diverse group of followers.
    His name sounds like some lame Marvel super-villain that never caught on with readers.
    After his army was decimated, he returned to his family in shame, his reputation in shambles.
    The fact that many Christian historiographers of the Middle Ages motion to disown him in their writings offers an encouraging sign that at least not all Gentiles were foam-at-the mouth Anti-Semites back then.
    William of Tyre wrote of him and his followers: 'So it happened that when, in the fear of God, they should have proceeded on the journey which they had undertaken and, in obedience to divine commands, should have advanced with strict discipline on the pilgrimage which they were making for Christ's sake, they turned aside to mad excesses.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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