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s Poles are widely regarded in our present time as anti-Semitic, it is well to recall that in the Middle Ages, Poland was the country most open to and protective of Jews. In 1264 Polish Prince Boleslaus the Pious issued the Statute of Kalisz, an unprecedented document in the medieval history of Europe that allowed Jews personal freedom, legal autonomy and a separate tribunal for criminal matters, as well as safeguards against forced baptism and blood libel. The Charter was ratified by subsequent Polish Kings: Casimir the Great in 1334, Casimir IV in 1453, and Sigismund I the Old in 1539. In 1334 Casimir the Great invited the Jews expelled from Western European countries to find refuge in the lands of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the Jagiellon Era Poland became home to Europe's largest Jewish population.

Last modified 18 June 20205