Answers to Quora Questions
According to notes I made in the distant past: The Jewish historian, Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891), said that the first Jewish community in Germany derived from descendants of Vangione mercenaries in the Roman army and captured Jewish maidens. The men allowed the women to raise their chidren as Jews.
Wikipedia describes the Vangiones as apparently a small tribe of unknown origins who settled among other groups in Alsace (France) and various parts of Western Germany.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To do anything with this information we would have to:
* Check what Graetz really did say and if possible find his source.
* See whether the Jewish children mentioned really remained Jewish over the course of generations.
* Compare their relative numbers to those of Jews who came in from other places.
The Vangiones in the Geography of Ptolemy are listed as adjoining the Nemeti on the banks of the Rhine. Ptolemy is also understood as placing the Vangioni in the areas of Worms and Strasbourg (Alsace, France). Ammianus Marcellinus also places the Vangiones in Worms. Several Jewish traditions recorded Worms as the site of the earliest Jewish settlement in Germany.
In addition to this, our researches indicated that descendants of Israelite Tribes (who had lost awareness of their ancestry) sojourned in Germany before moving westward to the Netherlands, France, and the British Isles. There was also a differential migration in the 1700s and 1800s to North America from Germany of Germans who were of different origin from those who stayed behind. This is deduced by physical type, political orientation, sociological attitude, etc. The Nemeti were identified as descendants of the Tribes of Simeon and/or Benjamin. Their neighbors, the Vangioni, may have been the same.
Concerning the Sephardim in general each individual community needs to be considered on its own rights. The impression is that they are of Israelite and Jewish stock possibly from the Land of Israel after Roman occupation. They did however later receive cultural influence from the Jews of Babylonia. Abarbanel (1437-1508) gives the history of the Jews in Spain. He says they were mainly Jews from Judah and included descendants of the House of David. See: Yair Davidiy: SPAIN AND THE JEWS