By A. Buckser
In October of 1943, the Danish resistance rescued just about all of the Jews in Copenhagen from roundups by means of the occupying Nazis. within the years given that, Jews became deeply engaged in a Danish tradition that offers 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 in regards to the that means of faith, ethnicity and group in glossy society. Social scientists have lengthy argued that modernity poses demanding situations for normal ethnic groups, by way of 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 spiritual, social, and political factions. but it continues to be considered one of Scandinavia's most important spiritual companies, and Jewishness is still valuable to self-understanding for millions of its individuals. How this has occurred - how the Jewish global has maintained its importance whereas wasting any experience of coherence or solidarity - indicates a brand new figuring out of the that means of ethnic neighborhood in modern society.
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Additional info for After the Rescue: Jewish Identity and Community in Contemporary Denmark
The refugees who settled in Denmark did so largely out of poverty—many would have preferred to emigrate to America, but they lacked the money for a transatlantic passage. The vast majority worked in the garment trades as tailors or seamstresses. 19 While such labor could provide a bare subsistence for a small family, it offered little security, and an illness or sudden expense could easily push a family into ruin. Families were not, moreover, small; the Russians had many more children than the Viking Jews, stretching their meager resources even further.
This importance was, however, largely a matter of symbolism; its immediate effects on Jewish social life, if not negligible, were practically quite limited. The other two types of provision, by contrast, produced quick and perceptible effects. One set focused on the elimination of the “state within a state,” the special administrative procedures that had characterized the Jewish community since its inception. All administrative and business records, 32 ² After the Rescue for example, were henceforth required to be kept in Danish, using Gothic script and the Gregorian calendar.
It spelled out new systems for electing officers, choosing rabbis, keeping records, conducting funerals, regulating marriage, and probating wills—all oriented toward conforming Jewish practice to the principles of rational administration then popular among Danish ministers. The vast majority of the Jews regarded the proposals as a wholesale assault on the integrity of their community, one that would destroy Jewish cultural distinctiveness as well as administrative autonomy. In February 1797, the community’s leaders presented a petition of protest to the crown, signed by 167 heads of Jewish households.
After the Rescue: Jewish Identity and Community in Contemporary Denmark by A. Buckser