After the Rescue: Jewish Identity and Community in by A. Buckser

By A. Buckser

In October of 1943, the Danish resistance rescued just about all of the Jews in Copenhagen from roundups via the occupying Nazis. within the years considering that, Jews became deeply engaged in a Danish tradition that provides only a few boundaries of antisemitism or prejudice. This publication explores the questions that such inclusion increases for the Danish Jews, and what their solutions can let us know concerning the which means of faith, ethnicity and group in glossy society. Social scientists have lengthy argued that modernity poses demanding situations for standard ethnic groups, via breaking down the networks of locality, kinship, faith and profession that experience held such groups jointly. For the Danish Jews, inclusion into the bigger society has resulted in expanding fragmentation, because the neighborhood has break up right into a bewildering array of non secular, social, and political factions. but it continues to be one in all Scandinavia's most crucial spiritual agencies, and Jewishness is still valuable to self-understanding for hundreds of thousands of its contributors. How this has occurred - how the Jewish international has maintained its value whereas wasting any feel of coherence or solidarity - indicates a brand new knowing of the which means of ethnic neighborhood in modern society.

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The commission, which included both traditionalists and reformers, divided so sharply that little agreement was possible. In 1823 Mannheimer gave up the fight and took a rabbinical position in Vienna. The traditionalists returned to their small synagogues, having effectively beaten back the only serious attempt to institute a reform liturgy in Copenhagen. This tumultuous period reached an end in 1828, when twenty-sevenyear-old Abraham Alexander Wolff took over as the congregation’s rabbi. Abraham Gedalja had died in 1827 after thirty-six years’ service in the community; he had led the opposition both to Mannheimer and the 1796 reform proposal, and he had personified the traditionalist Judaism that these movements had tried to overthrow.

The trend toward mixed marriage thus had two major social consequences. First, combined with conversions to Christianity, outmarriage 38 ² After the Rescue kept the Jewish population of Denmark relatively stable in the nineteenth century. Between 1834 and 1901, a period when the Danish population doubled, the number of Jews declined from 4,064 to 3,476 (Balslev 1932: 93). Second, the high rate of intermarriage meant that increasing numbers of Danish Jews had Christian in-laws, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

Jewish immigration to Danish territory had begun back in 1628, when King Christian IV had attempted to establish a new commercial center in the town of Glückstadt in Slesvig. To attract capital, he had offered religious privileges to Jews, and a number had moved there from Hamburg and Altona. The new center never took off, though, and within a few years all of the Jews had left again. The war left the country financially desperate, and the crown looked to immigration as a means of bringing in new capital (Blüdnikow and Jørgensen 1984: 23–26).

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