I was just listening to series of podcasts from “The Rest is History” about the very first crusade which was in the SW of France in the 12th century. Why am I linking this? The Pope at the time was leading a revolution to purify the Catholic Church and basically invented the term “Heretic” and started to find them everywhere. This led to the first version of a local ethnic cleansing, and was a template for events like the French Revolution, Stalin’s many purges, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and the Pol Pot Regime. And there is whiffs of the “cleansing” in today’s progressives.
Anyhow here’s the links
The Albigensian Crusade enters the chat ....
Which, of course, bequeathed us the famous quote: 'Kill them all, God will sort them out'.
Top tip: When you take your new wife on a tour of this area during your honeymoon don't enthuse over this feature of French history when you are dining in Beziers
Massacre at Béziers
The Crusaders captured the small village of Servian and then headed for Béziers, arriving on 21 July 1209. Under the command of Amalric,
they started to besiege the city, calling on the Catholics within to come out, and demanding that the Cathars surrender.
Neither group did as commanded. The city fell the following day when an abortive sortie was pursued back through the open gates.
The entire population was slaughtered
and the city burned to the ground. It was reported that Amalric, when asked how to distinguish Cathars from Catholics, responded, "Kill them all! God will know his own."
Strayer doubts that Amalric actually said this, but maintains that the statement captures the "spirit" of the Crusaders, who killed nearly every man, woman, and child in the town.
Amalric and Milo wrote in a letter to the Pope, claimed that the Crusaders "put to the sword almost 20,000 people".
Strayer says that this estimate is too high, but noted that in his letter "the legate expressed no regret about the massacre, not even a word of condolence for the clergy of the cathedral who were killed in front of their own altar".
News of the disaster quickly spread and afterwards many settlements, with Narbonne
being a prominent example, surrendered without a fight. Others were evacuated. The Crusaders encountered no opposition as they marched toward Carcassonne.