We chose a new theme for our participating artists for the 4th station of our Pessach exhibitions. This year the core theme is the history of medieval Spanish and Portuguese Jewish history, but as usual in our gallery, the final works are layered than as illustrations of the stories.
Secret Pessach (Passover)
Artists: András Böröcz, Sári Ember, Gergely Kósa, Sándor Rácmolnár, Gábor Roskó, Beáta Roskó, Judit Flóra Schuller, Zsófia Szemző, Ákos Wechter
Curated by László Böröcz
April 24 - May 16, 2019
2b gallery, Budapest
Thanks to the increasing anti-Semitic riots that often ended up as murders and an anti-Jewish public mood supported by the Church, the Spanish Jews have been forced to make a decision, many of them have turned to Christian faith to be able to secure their lives, wealth and social position by the end of the 14th century. They were later called Converso or ironically marrano; according to some researchers, the latter is a Hebrew-Aramaic word and means either appearance or forced, and others claim that the word comes from Arabic, which refers to forbidden, hypocrite, or swine.
The marranos become Catholics, but in fact they lived a dual life, the vast majority of them continued to follow the rules of the Jewish religion and tradition at home, hiding from the eyes of the public. The non-Jewish population suspected that the Jew’s baptism was only pretended, for this reason their harassment and reports to the authorities were followed through centuries. Many of them have been victims of tortures and executions, and since 1478 the system became even more effective with the establishment of the state’s Inquisition. In the next decades some 20,000 heretics were sent to the fire, most of them were marranos.
The royal couple Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon who ruled since 1469, did not forget about the Jews who still practice their religion and were not baptised. The year of 1492 issued a decree on the expulsion of the Jews from Spanish land, and 100,000 people fled to the neighbouring Portugal, where also suspicion and hatred surrounded them. Two thousand Jews converted by force were murdered after they been accused of secretly celebrating Pesach.