The call for the First Crusade touched off the Rhineland massacres, also known as the German Crusade of 1096, the persecutions of 1096 or Gezeroth Tatenu. Prominent leaders of crusaders involved in the massacres included Peter the Hermit and especially Count Emicho. As part of this persecution, the destruction of Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms and Mainz were noted as the "Hurban Shum" (Destruction of Shum). These were new persecutions of the Jews in which peasant crusaders from France and Germany attacked Jewish communities. A number of historians refer to the Antisemitic events as "pogroms".
According to David Nirenberg, the events of 1096 in the Rhineland "occupy a significant place in modern Jewish historiography and are often presented as the first instance of an antisemitism that would henceforth never be forgotten and whose climax was the Holocaust."