The Jews once celebrated Passover in an environment of absolute terror. It was a season when forces of violence could be unleashed against Jews in an instant on the pretext of the most absurd accusations. In an instant, a Jewish community could be immersed in holiday celebration, the next, amidst a horrid living nightmare. The time of Passover often coincides with the Easter season when Christians commemorate the crucifixion. Too often, the Jews, who were blamed for the crucifixion and bitterly resented for their rejection of Christian beliefs, became targets of hatred and superstitions. Often, it was their use of wine on Passover that triggered those attacks.
On, or around the time of Passover, blood libel accusations where often leveled against the Jews. These accusations often led to violent attacks against Jewish communities. There were hundreds of blood libels throughout history resulting in countless deaths. The blood libel theme rarely deviated.
A child –always a young boy – somehow was lost. Accusations soon arose that the Jews murdered the boy and used his blood for ritual purposes. Often those issuing the accusations murdered the child themselves in order to level the charges. Sometimes the child was a victim of an accident or later found unharmed. The cruelest methods of torture were often used to force confessions and the fabricated charges would serve as a pretext to slander and attack Jewish communities.