author's widow, Lady Isabel
Burton, asked in her will for
it to be
London, Saturday, May 19, 2001
A MANUSCRIPT by the
Victorian explorer Sir Richard
Burton, which claimed that Jews
performed human sacrifices, has been
released after nearly 100
The paper, written in 1877, is to be
sold by the Board
of Deputies of British Jews through
Christie's auctioneers on June 6 and is
expected to fetch around
The manuscript, "Human Sacrifice among
the Sephardine or Eastern Jews" was never
published. The author's widow, Lady
Isabel Burton, asked in her will for
it to be burned.
This week's Jewish Chronicle discloses
that the Board of Deputies
manuscript in 1909 and locked it away for
fear it would spark anti-semitism.
Nagler, the board's director general,
said it had agreed that the manuscript was
now no more than an "historical
Sir Richard wrote the manuscript after
a spell as consul in Damascus. His claims
centred on the disappearance in 1840 of a
Capuchin friar and the arrest of 13 Jews
accused of ritual murder. They were all
An anti-Semitic Poster for the Nazi
exhibition, the Wandering Jew (1938). From
our website dossier
on the Origins of
I see that today
your excellent website features a
of the internet auction house eBay to
remove auctions of Third Reich memorabilia
from its online operation. My comments
- This Board of
Deputies of British Jews is an
organisation which acquires a document,
apparently in breach of the wishes of
its author's widow and hides it away
for years so no-one can read it.
Absolutely in line with its present-day
policy of seeking to suppress freedom
of speech and writing.
- Rather than
destroy it or donate it to a library as
an "historical document" the
organisation sees an opportunity to
make a substantial amount of money out
of it by auctioning it at
organisation, along with others of its
ilk, places extreme pressure on
internet auction houses not to accept
auctions of Third Reich memorabilia.
Presumably these are not "historical"
documents or artefacts in its opinion.
Perhaps the organisation itself has
been acquiring them to prevent others
seeing them as with the Burton
manuscript and will sell them at
Christies in the future.