Children’s Crusade (1212)
After the Fourth Crusade which ended without even reaching the Holy Land arose the believe that God prevented the Crusaders to free the Holy Land because of their impurity and impiety and that a Crusade of the innocent children would succeed to free the Holy Land from the Muslims. It is difficult to determine what is fiction and what is fact but it seems that thousands of children were summoned in France and Germany in 1212 to departure to a Crusade against Muslims and to recapture Jerusalem.
The so-called Children’s Crusade ended tragically. Many children perished from starvation and diseases while wandering through Europe, while many who managed to reach the sea-ports were sold into slavery. Group of children that reached Brindisi was persuaded to return home by Bishop of Brindisi but many of those perished as well. Some boys were held as servants by Italian families, while many girls ended in brothels.