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 due to the fact that, Jews became deeply engaged in a Danish tradition that provides only a few obstacles of antisemitism or prejudice. This ebook 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 normal ethnic groups, by means of 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 group has cut up right into a bewildering array of non secular, social, and political factions. but it continues to be one among Scandinavia's most important spiritual corporations, and Jewishness is still critical to self-understanding for millions of its individuals. How this has occurred - how the Jewish global has maintained its value whereas wasting any experience of coherence or cohesion - indicates a brand new figuring out of the which means of ethnic group in modern society.

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Extra resources for After the Rescue: Jewish Identity and Community in Contemporary Denmark

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Led by an organ, the audience sang Danish translations of biblical psalms; after that, Mannheimer delivered a riveting sermon in Danish, then examined the candidates. The crowd responded enthusiastically, prompting Mannheimer to seek permission to hold supplemental Danish-language religious services on Wednesday afternoons. The crown approved his request, and on July 9, 1817, he held the first of three such events. They were an immediate success. At a time when most Copenhagen synagogues drew low and unenthusiastic at- The Community in Time ² 35 tendance, Mannheimer’s sermons packed in 400 or more rapt listeners— even in cramped auditoriums at the height of summer.

The history of the nineteenth century therefore shows through more clearly as a set of trends than as a chain of events. One trend involved the steady expansion of legal rights. As noted above, the Decree of 1814 produced little concrete change in Jewish civil status; while it guaranteed the right of Jews to work, it left in place legal restrictions on their ability to vote, hold office, take oaths, and marry nonJews. Popular prejudices, moreover, meant that some positions to which Jews had legal access—professorships in the university, for example, or supervisory appointments at hospitals—remained effectively closed off.

Frederik had ordered the chancery to draft a decree proclaiming Jewish citizenship back in 1806, and a preliminary version had been completed in 1807. The national crisis had put the issue on hold since then; as the literary battle raged, however, Frederik ordered the proposal revived. The document appeared without dramatic fanfare or a lofty title—it continues to be known only as “The Decree of March 29, 1814”—but it introduced the most profound transformation of the Copenhagen Jewish community since the seventeenth century.

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