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The Readmission of Jews into Brandenburg (1671)

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4. They are to pay customs duties, excise and milling fees like Our other citizens, without any preference, but since they are resident in Our Land they shall be exempted from the body-tax paid otherwise by all Jews in transit, but, lest other Jews who do not belong to their number pass through tax-free under this pretext, each family is to pay eight Reichsthaler a year protection money, and one golden gulden, like the Halberstadt Jews, whenever one of them marries; as to other taxation, they must reach an equitable agreement with the local magistrate, and, should this prove impossible, they are to report the case to Us, and We will then take suitable steps.

5. Although, however, We have taken the said fifty families under Our special protection, they must submit themselves in civil cases to the jurisdiction of the Burgomaster in charge of each place, whom We particularly and personally charge with this office, but if anyone has a complaint against any of the Jews, this is always to be made in writing. But should criminal cases arise among them, these are to be brought immediately to Us; the magistrate of each place is to see that this is done.

6. They are not to be permitted to have synagogues of their own, but may meet in one of their houses and there conduct their prayers and ceremonies, but without giving offense to Christians, and shall abstain from all offensive language and blasphemy, under pain of severe punishment, and they are hereby permitted to keep a slaughterer, and a schoolmaster to instruct their children, under the same conditions as in Halberstadt.

7. For the rest, they shall everywhere behave and conduct themselves honorably, peaceably and soberly, and above all, they shall take good heed that they do not take any good coinage out of the country and bring bad in. Similarly, they are not to take gold or silver church plate to other places, but to sell it for the proper prices in Our currency, and should anyone bring them for sale silver stolen from one of Our subjects, or should they learn in any other way of the existence of any such silver, they are bound to report, not only the silver, but also the persons concerned, and meanwhile to take charge of the person bringing it to them for sale.

8. The magistracy of every place in this Our Electoral Mark of Brandenburg, Duchy of Crossen, and incorporated Lands in which any Jews of the above fifty families wish to settle is not only hereby graciously and earnestly commanded to receive the said Jews willingly and readily, to give them all friendly assistance in establishing themselves and also all protection, in Our name, but also to treat them equitably in respect of their allocation of taxation, not to permit anyone to abuse or ill-treat them, and to treat them like any other citizen and in accordance with the tenor of this, Our Letter of Protection, and, in particular, to assign to them a place for the burial of their dead, against payment of an equitable fee.

9. Insofar now as the above Jews fulfill all the requirements made of them, as above, and all their promises, We will afford them Our gracious protection and patronage for twenty years from the above date, and We also graciously promise, in Our name and that of Our heirs, if We think fit, to continue this also after the expiration of the said period, but, if not, We reserve to Ourselves and to them the right to withdraw Our protection from them after due enquiry even before the expiry of the said twenty years.

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