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The jewish community

In Europe many Jewish congregations were left in ruins during the Second World War. Six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. Uncounted synagogues were destroyed and burned, cemeteries vandalized, Jewish homes and fortunes plundered, just as were Jewish-owned shops.

This did not happen in Denmark. Only the synagogue in Aalborg had been dynamited by the Nazis in revenge for an act of sabotage. This was unique in Europe. A nearly intact congregation could start up its life again.

Economy
Economy

Shortly after the return, the board of the Jewish Community decided to introduce a crisis fee over and above the ordinary membership fees. This was dropped in 1953.

The brass sign from the door that opened into the meeting room of the board of the Jewish Community in Ny Kongensgade 6, Copenhagen (The Dansih Jewish Museum).

New organisations
New organisations

In 1946, a Danish local section of the Women's International Zionistic Organisation was started, popularly known as WIZO. The organisation collected money for aid work in Israel for both Jewish and Arab women and children.

The board in 1947.

Photo: WIZO Danmark

Synagogues
Synagogues
On returning home, services were immediately again arranged. However, not in the large synagogue in Krystalgade in Copenhagen, where it was necessary to clear out and clean up. The old break-away synagogue in an apartment in Læderstræde had to be put into service until the Jewish Community's synagogue in Krystalgade was ready to be re-dedicated on June 22, 1945.
Can everything be as it was before?
Can everything be as it was before?
Jødisk Samfund echoed with happy notices about what now was functioning again, and what was now available for Jewish housekeeping. People had to move on and look forward.
Members
Members

The war experiences made many think through their relationship to Judaism, and a rise in the numbers of resignations resulted. This was not well received by Rabbi Marcus Melchior, who wrote an angry piece in Jødisk Samfund with the title I RESIGN!

"Since our return home from Sweden there have been, as everyone knows, quite a few resignations from the Jewish Community. (...) After the fall of the tyrant they deliver the blow to their old honourable community that Goebbels, Streicher and the like are legally prevented from striking. It is as sad as it is true, that those who leave the congregation (...) have no idea at all how contemptible their behaviour is, and how they have taken over the role of anti-Semitism."

Marcus Melchior in Jødisk Samfund, no. 2, 1946

Coming active members
Coming active members
The future of the Jewish schools was not obvious to the board of the Jewish Community during exile in Sweden. But after the return, the leadership of the community turned its attention to children and youth, who would form the support of the future of the Jewish Community. The Jewish schools were merged into a common school, "The Caroline School", which started teaching again in the course of the summer and autumn of 1945 (Photo: The Danish Jewish Museum).
Opportunities for youth
Opportunities for youth

Sports and summer camps were central among the activites for young people after the liberation. Skandinavisk Jødisk Ungdoms Forening (SJUF) [Scandinavian Jewish Youth Society] was established in 1919 to create connections between young Jews in Scandinavia. During the war SJUF's activities went on in Sweden, but as soon as 1946 SJUF held a summer camp in Denmark. Other activities for young people were the sports club Hakoah with proud traditions in wrestling as well as summer camps like those in Skibstrup.

Skibstrup camp 1947 (Foto: Dansk Jødisk Museum).

Space and spaciousness

- an exhibition about Jews in Denmark

The exhibition is a broad story of Jewish life in Denmark and focuses on co-exixstence and indentity through 400 years. Read more...

Openings hours

Summer (June-August):
Tuesday to Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
Monday closed

Winter (September - May):
Tuesday-Friday: 1 pm - 4 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12 noon - 5 pm
Monday closed