JEWISH TAVERN AS A 'LOCUS DELICTI', OR, AN ATTEMPT AT SPATIAL SITUATION OF RITUAL MURDER (Karczma Zydowska jako 'locus delicti', czyli próba przestrzennego usytuowania zbrodni rytualnej)
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The imaginary crime of ritual murder is committed in an imaginary place, for imaginary purposes and in an imaginary manner. Each consecutive epoch superimposed on it a network of its own representations of the order of the world and the essence of Jewish menace. The imaginary topographic space of ritual murder projected the social space in which Jews functioned. In 18th century, the threat was referred to Jewish tavern or inn and it was therein that the collective imagination tended to situate the place of crime. In most of the alleged cases of ritual murder in the latter half of 18th and the early 19th century, Jewish innkeepers were accused of crimes having taken place in their inns. Those accusations penetrated into literature as well. It was in an inn that the alleged ritual murder is situated in Feliks Bernatowicz's historical novel 'Nalecz'. This image corresponds very well with the one created by 19th-century Polish literature which emphasised the dark side of inn/tavern operations - as the place where peasants were induced to drink and illegal dealings handled.
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