blood libel

(redirected from Blood accusation)
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blood libel

trials of Jews who allegedly murdered non-Jews for Passover blood. [Jew. Hist.: Wigoder, 95]
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The big lie too must count on a certain minimum of receptivity." That, Samuel argues, is why The Protocols [of the Elders of Zion] did so much better than the blood accusation in the twentieth century.
Samuel's Blood Accusation is indicative of how writers--even armchair historians such as Samuel--were sometimes caught between these different notions of historical truth, on the one hand wanting to fulfill the obligation to remain faithful to the facts and tell it like it happened, and on the other hand wanting to have the freedom to explore the sort of truths that are inaccessible via the avenues of traditional scholarship and documentation.
In the preface to Blood Accusation, Samuel begins by paying tribute to "the Russian experts" and their "faithful advice," acknowledging that he has "differed with them at various points on the interpretation of events," excuses them from "the errors that may have crept into [his own] narrative," and hopes that such errors "do not affect the basic accuracy of the account." (3) He goes on to claim, "I should further like it understood that in presenting the history of the case I have used no fictional devices and invented no conversations; and I have tried to make clear where the interpretation of events is mine and where it is that of others" (viii).