In the early summer of 1899, just as the infamous Dreyfus Affair was reaching its climax in France, another case now emblematic of anti-Semitism and injustice enveloped the Czech lands and wider Austrian Empire. Leopold Hilsner, a simple-minded Jewish peddler and vagrant in his early twenties, stood accused of killing a teenage seamstress in an implied act of “blood libel”, the ritual murder of a Christian. Now, more than 120 years later, a Czech lawyer specialising in defending and “rehabilitating” unjustly persecuted people is pushing to reopen the case.

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