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 for the reason that, Jews became deeply engaged in a Danish tradition that provides only a few limitations 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, through breaking down the networks of locality, kinship, faith and career that experience held such groups jointly. For the Danish Jews, inclusion into the bigger society has ended 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 every of Scandinavia's most crucial non secular firms, and Jewishness continues to be imperative to self-understanding for millions of its participants. How this has occurred - how the Jewish global has maintained its importance whereas wasting any experience of coherence or harmony - indicates a brand new realizing of the which means of ethnic neighborhood in modern society.
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Additional resources for After the Rescue: Jewish Identity and Community in Contemporary Denmark
The Danish guilds barred them from membership, closing off most occupations outside of commerce, and Jewish doctors could not treat Christian patients. The Danish legal system imposed a variety of special requirements on Jews, many of them based on its antagonism to the Jewish faith. A law of 1725, for example, forbade Jews to employ Christian servants, for fear that the servants might be either seduced or converted by their employers. Likewise, Jewish men were liable to imprisonment and subsequent banishment if they impregnated a Christian woman.
But what really irritated them was his hair—straight out of the sixties, with braids and ribbons and all, not what they considered appropriate for a respectable Jewish businessman. It was embarrassing enough during the week, but the rabbi, Gedalia Levin, was insulted that Wallich and his friends came to the synagogue that way on Saturdays. He finally published a rule forbidding such hairstyles in the synagogue, virtually throwing down a gauntlet to troublemakers like Wallich. And inevitably, one Saturday morning in the late eighties,Wallich took it up.
Others, however, engaged the question directly—most notably Meir Goldschmidt, whose novels A Jew (1968) and The Raven (1867) explored the dilemmas of Jewish identity in Danish society. The nineteenth century did not merely bring Danish culture into the Jewish community, it also brought Jews—as influential, three-dimensional figures—into the heart of Danish culture. Jews did diverge from the larger Danish population in one area: their economic standing, which increased over the nineteenth century at a pace far beyond that of Denmark as a whole.