Edward Berenson is a professor of history at New York University. He is the author of Europe in the Modern World and The Statue of Liberty: A Transatlantic Story. He lives in Tarrytown, New York.
“The Accusation - Blood Libel in an American Town”
A chilling investigation of America’s only alleged case of blood libel, and what it reveals about antisemitism in the United States and Europe.
On Saturday, September 22, 1928, Barbara Griffiths, age four, strayed into the woods surrounding the upstate village of Massena, New York. Hundreds of people looked everywhere for the child but could not find her. At one point, someone suggested that Barbara had been kidnapped and killed by Jews, and as the search continued, policemen and townspeople alike gave credence to the quickly spreading rumors. The allegation of ritual murder, known to Jews as “blood libel,” took hold.