A Jewish academic has shocked Italy by stating that Jews murdered Christians during the Middle Ages so that their blood could be used in rituals
In the book, Prof Toaff describes the multilation and crucification of a two-year-old boy to recreate Christ's execution at Pesach, the Jewish Easter. The festival marks the fleeing of the Jews from Egypt and Prof Toaff says Christian blood was used for "magic and therapeutic practices."
In some cases the blood was mixed with dough to make the azzimo, unleavened bread, eaten at Pesach.
He says the acts took place in northern Italy, around the city of Trento in German-speaking areas that border modern-day Austria.
Prof Toaff bases his book on confessions he says came from Jews captured and put on trial for the practice, which took place from 1100 and 1500.
He writes that several confessed to the crucifixion of Christian children and that they were executed.
Historian gives credence to blood libel