Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

Blood Libel in America

6:00 pm - 6:00 pm
WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion
Portland Campus
Edward Berenson
Free and open to the public

On Saturday, September 22, 1928, four-year-old Barbara Griffiths strayed into the woods surrounding Massena, New York, the small upstate village where Edward Berenson was born decades later. By nightfall, she hadn’t come back. After a fruitless search for the missing child, someone—we don’t know who—launched the rumor that the Jews of the town had kidnapped and killed Barbara in a sick religious ritual to harvest her blood. This was the only full-fledged “blood libel” in American history, a terrible antisemitic accusation common in Europe but essentially unknown until then in the United States. This lecture tells how and why the accusation occurred and what it says about the Americans past—and perhaps the future as well.


WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
United States

Edward Berenson Lecturing

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