Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning da-DK rambam.tidsskrift@gmail.com (Cecilie Speggers Schrøder Simonsen) bjarkef@hotmail.com (Bjarke Følner) Tue, 01 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 OJS http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Forord https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127726 <p>Forord</p> Cecilie Speggers Schrøder Simonsen Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127726 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Efter festen - snublesten i Danmark https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127727 <p>The rescue of most Danish Jews from German persecution by action of the Danish people was commemorated in 2018 at the 75th anniversary of the rescue of the Danish Jews in a high-profiled celebration. The following year, stumble stones were introduced in Denmark. German artist Gunter Demnig had in 1992 created the idea of placing stones with information about Jews who disappeared in the Holocaust outside the last residence of the victims. Tens of thousands of stumble stones have been laid down all around Europe. The essay is a guided tour through central Copenhagen with stops at the stumble stones. At each stumble stone, the life and demise of the victim is told. Danish historians have written at length about German Jewish refugees in Denmark 1933-1940. The focus of the essay is on the fate of Jewish refugees who were mistreated by authorities, imprisoned and deported back to Germany where they later perished during the Holocaust.</p> Arthur Arnheim Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127727 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Ravensbrück - den langsomme døds lejr https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127728 <p>In late November 1943, a small group of Danish Jews were on a transport to Theresienstadt. However, the transport was interrupted about 40 miles north of Berlin, and the 10 women and children were taken to the concentration camp Ravensbrück, a forced labor camp and unique in the sense that it was the only major camp for women. The French ethnologist Germaine Tillion, also a prisoner in Ravensbrück, called Ravensbrück ‘the slow death’s camp’ in contrast to Auschwitz and other extermination camps where the killings of the prisoners took place at a rapid pace and in an inexorable system. In Ravensbrück, the killings were not systematic. The prisoners were shot, poisoned, beaten, and starved to death. Tillion made notes of her observations in the camp and succeeded in getting them out of the camp when she was rescued in April 1945. More or less by chance, Ib Katznelson recently found out that Tillion in her books about Ravensbrück has a paragraph which could only be about him. That closed a gap in his own book <em>Let Him Go; A Danish Child in Ravensbr</em><em>ü</em><em>ck and Theresienstadt </em>about what happened in January 1944 when he had been removed from his mother, imprisoned in Ravensbrück, because he had got diphtheria. Tillion writes that the Nazi doctor Treite surprisingly came into the diphtheria room and that he gently examined the little Danish child and gave him an apple and he then put his name on the list with names of those who were to be sent to Auschwitz. After further research Katznelson found out that two Czech prisoners, doctor Zdenka Nedvedova and Hilda Synková, had taken care of him and managed to get him out of the revier (sick barrack) and thus saved him from being deported to Auschwitz with the group of 800 prisoners. Only a few of them survived. Tillion’s observation and the fact that Treite could not be ignorant of what Auschwitz would entail for the little Dane apparently made such an impression on her that she repeated that story in other of her books and in a number of interviews. When Synková and her husband were arrested in 1941, they left their three-year-old daughter with Synková’s sister. In the diphtheria room Synková treated Katznelson – almost the same age as her daughter when she was arrested – as if he was her own child. The two-year-old Katznelson called her ‘aunt’. Both Nedvedova and Synková were – like many of the prisoners in Ravensbrück – communists. They both continued to be politically active in the Communist Party after the war. In 1968, Nedvedova condemned the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia and left the Communist Party. Synková became member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in March 1946. She was a Member of Parliament and became Deputy Minister of Work Protection and Social Affairs in July 1949. In that period, Czechoslovakia was marked by Bolshevik terror and purges within the party. On August 3, 1949, Synková was found dead in her apartment in Prague. The cause of death was gas poisoning. There were obvious signs of suicide but there are a number of indications that she was murdered by the KGB. On the wall next to Katznelson’s desk are photos of his parents and grandparents. The story he has now become acquainted with has led to two more photos being put up on the wall – photos of Nedvedova and Synková who saved his life.</p> Ib Katznelson Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127728 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Helvede på jord - koncentrationslejren Auschwitz https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127729 <p>Auschwitz-Birkenau that operated from May 1940 to January 1945 was the Nazi regime’s biggest concentration- and extermination camp. 1.3 million people from all over Europe were deported to the camp situated 60 kilometers west of Cracow. At least 1.1 million people, men, women, and children, among those 950,000 Jews, died of hunger, sickness, and mistreatment or were killed in the camp’s gas chambers. The article describes the establishment and function of the camp, some of the most important events with special focus on the role it played in the Holocaust. At the beginning, Jews had very little chance of surviving more than a few weeks. Extermination on a big scale started in the small gas chamber in the main camp, Stammlager, in the spring of 1942, then two primitive gas chambers were built close to Birkenau, and in the spring and the summer of 1943 four big crematoria were operational in the western part of Birkenau. These crematoria made it possible for Auschwitz-Birkenau to become the center of the Holocaust and the symbol of evil to the world. A special unit, the Sonderkommando, almost all young Jews, was forced to do all work in the death factories. In October 1944 they organized the only armed uprising in the history of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Some 8,000 Germans, SS men and female guards, nurses, and a special unit of young women, worked in the camp throughout its history. Who were they, and how did they live in the shadows of the crematoria, some of them with their families, like the first commandant Rudolf Höss? Finally, the article tells two stories that show that in Auschwitz-Birkenau anything was possible, even love. Sadly, both of the mentioned stories ended tragically. One of them is told in the documentary film <em>Love, it is not </em>by the Israeli filmmaker Maya Sarfaty.</p> Peter Langwithz Smith Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127729 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 The Danish School in Gothenburg 1943-1945 https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127730 <p>Resumé</p> Leo Goldberger Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127730 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Jøder og kommunister 1917-1945 https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127731 <p>In the first half of the twentieth century, a remarkable part of Russian Jews in Copenhagen were Bundists, i.e. members of <em>Der algemayner yidisher arbeter bund</em>. Bund in Russia formed part of the Russian Social-Democratic Party and consisted of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Communism was officially established in Denmark in 1918 as <em>Socialistisk Arbejderparti </em>(Socialist Workers’ Party) and in 1919 as <em>Venstresocialistisk Parti </em>(Left-Socialist Party). The latter became <em>Danmarks Kommunistiske Parti </em>(Communist Party of Denmark, DKP). In Russia, the Mensheviks and Bund opposed the Bolsheviks’ idea that Russia was to go through a socialist revolution. In their perspective, it was a bourgeois, democratic one that was needed. Bundists in Copenhagen leaned more to the Bolshevik tendency than to the Menshevik, and DKP had many members among Russian Jews. Through Comintern, DKP had many relations with Russia. The culture of Danish-Russian Communist Jews had Yiddish as its central and common term. Many of them adhered to the Bundist program of language: the future language of the Jews ought to be Yiddish and not Hebrew, which the Zionists preferred. The Bundist kind of nationalism based on Yiddish probably made many of the Russian Jews in Copenhagen adherers. In 1924, IKOR <em>(Idishe kolonizatsije organizatsije in Rusland) </em>was founded and it had a local organization in Copenhagen. It was established with the purpose of collecting money for the Russian program for making Jews peasants in Biro Bidzhan in Eastern Russia. In Copenhagen, IKOR collected money, but it was also a social organization with Yiddish theater. Beside IKOR, there was a group called <em>J</em><em>ø</em><em>disk Arbejder Kulturforening </em>(Jewish Workers’ Culture Association). They also initiated Yiddish plays in Copenhagen. The two groups were the core of Jewish Communism in Denmark and are central to this article.</p> Morten Thing Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127731 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 PM - en standhaftig frihedskæmper https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127732 <p>I have known Poul Meyer (PM) from my childhood, but only recently have I tried to understand who he was and how his life influenced not only me, but many other people as well. Not many people know his life story – so through this article, I have tried to shed some light on certain periods of his life. He was born in Copenhagen in 1916 to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother. At a very young age, he converted to Judaism and saw himself as a spokesman for the Jewish Religion. His “career” in that field started with a lecture to his class in third grade. PM was awarded his Law degree (cand.jur.) from Copenhagen University in 1941, and he was employed by the Ministry of Agriculture – with an interruption in the years 1943-45 when he was in Sweden; in 1959 he was appointed Professor of Political Science at Aarhus University as one of the founding members of the Faculty. From his early youth, PM was politically active – first in the Conservative Youth Movement; during the occupation as co-founder and editor of the illegal magazine <em>Hjemmefronten</em>; and in the years 1945-1948 as a member of the “South Schleswig Committee of 5 May 1945”. After his death in 1990, some of his former pupils took the initiative to print three chapters from his large private archives. The book was named <em>Nederlag </em>(<em>Defeat</em>) and addresses three important periods in PM’s life. PM himself writes that these three chapters relate to the three important political campaigns in which he was involved; all three of which he lost. Unfortunately his archives perished, but through his son, Aksel, I have been able to review some manuscripts which have been the basis for my article, together with the book <em>Nederlag</em>. The idea to write this article came when I interviewed the youngest son of Bishop Hans Fuglsang-Damgaard about his father’s activities during the Second World War. During the interview he mentioned that from time to time, people were hidden in the Bishop’s house – freedom fighters, as well as Jews who had to flee to Sweden. In this context, he mentioned the name Poul Meyer, without knowing that PM had been part of my life. That was the moment when I said to myself that I want to tell the story of a man who was involved in the very nationalistic Conservative party, had been photographed together with Mussolini, and strongly believed that South Schleswig should again become a part of Denmark.</p> Bent Lexner Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127732 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Victor Bendix - nøglefigur og paria i dansk musikliv https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127733 <p>As pianist, conductor, composer, and teacher, Victor Bendix (1851-1926) was a leading figure in Danish musical life. Bendix was born into a Jewish merchant family in Copenhagen. He was trained by Niels W. Gade, the godfather of Danish music, but later studied with Franz Liszt in Weimar. In his long career, Bendix played a highly active part in the musical life in Copenhagen, and his works were often performed in Germany too. Bendix never held any official position in Copenhagen. He worked on his own, convinced that influential circles stopped him from reaching the top. The causes were partly artistic, because Bendix distanced himself from his conservative mentor Gade, but anti-Semitism probably also played a role. Furthermore, Bendix’ atheist, radical attitude was considered scandalous by many. He belonged to the radical movement, led by his famous cousins Edvard and Georg Brandes. Also, Bendix’ tumultuous love life was a public secret. In 1900, he was deeply humiliated in the press when one of his lovers, Augusta Schiøler, tried to assassinate him. Bendix was a highly self-critical artist. His main works are four symphonies, a piano concerto, a piano trio, and a piano sonata. He also wrote a large number of songs and piano pieces: all deeply considered, thorough works that display an early influence from Gade, but also from Liszt, Wagner, and other international figures. The life and works of Bendix have lately been receiving attention again, and the first Bendix biography will be published in 2021.</p> Jens Cornelius Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127733 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Slægten Goldkette - en jødisk cirkusfamilie https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127734 <p>Circus is not a trade many people connect with Jews. But Jewish artists existed in Europe for hundreds of years, and the descendants of one of them had special connections to Denmark. His name was Levi and he was a tight-rope dancer. He performed at the crowning of the Austrian queen Maria Theresia in 1740 and was rewarded with a gold chain – in German <em>Goldkette </em>– and his descendants have used that word as their family name ever since. A grandchild, Wulff Levi (called Louis) Goldkette, was supposedly born in Copenhagen in 1778. He was also a tight-rope dancer, but furthermore he performed as a magician. His son, Hartwig Goldkette, grew up and continued his father’s work, himself becoming an excellent circus rider. He settled in Rendsburg in Schleswig-Holstein and arranged tours from there, especially in Denmark. He was married to Mine Goldstein, whose mother was Zerle Blumenfeld. Circus Blumenfeld became one of the most well-known circuses of Europe, but based in Germany many of their family members were murdered during the Holocaust. This marriage, however, was only one of many between members of different Jewish circus families. In the Dutch-Jewish circus family of Goudsmit, three siblings engaged in such marriages: Betje Goudsmit married Hartwig’s brother Herman, her brother Joseph married Hartwig’s daughter Jeanette, and her sister Jeanette married Hartwig’s son Louis. Despite their family connection, Louis and Joseph Goudsmit owned each their own circus, and they both had many appearances in Denmark, as advertisements in local papers show. Louis Goldkette can also be found in Danish censuses in 1870 in the town of Faaborg and in 1880 in the town of Aarhus with his family, consisting of his wife Jeanette and their 10 children. The birthplaces of the family members – which are mentioned in censuses – give a good impression of how circus life meant wandering from place to place. Hartwig and Herman had a half brother, born with the name of Wulff Goldkette in 1816 in Naestved, Zealand (Denmark). His mother was a young girl, Elisabeth Funk, who at the age of eight had been sold to Louis Goldkette (the elder) for 100 Thaler, to learn the work of a circus artist. At the age of 15 she became pregnant, and Louis Goldkette – at that time 22 years her senior – was undoubtedly the father. The little boy was at the age of one given to the care of a bricklayer in Faaborg, Lars Soerensen. The parents were supposed to fetch the boy after two years, but they never returned. At the age of 14, the boy was baptized and got the name of Frederik Christian Soerensen, and he became a bricklayer like his foster father. Most of Louis Goldkette’s (the younger) children emigrated to the USA. A grandchild, Jean Goldkette, whose mother Ancholine was born in Denmark, was educated as a pianist and became a well-known leader of a jazz band in the twenties. Louis Goldkette’s first cousin Francois, a son of Herman Goldkette, settled in Sweden and became the father of four boys, who became famous as the “4 Bronetts”, a group of clowns. They even changed their family name to Bronett. In the thirties, they founded Circus Scott, a well-known circus in Sweden which existed until 2004, led first by the widow of one of the four brothers. After her death, her son took over and later his son. Two of the “4 Bronetts” were married to two cousins of the Blumenfeld family. And one of the cousin’s mothers was from the German-Jewish Strassburger family, the fourth Jewish circus family mentioned in this article.</p> Allan Falk Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127734 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Den første polsk jødiske skrædderfamilie i København - et mikrohistorisk studie https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127736 <p>This article includes a micro-historical analysis of the story of the Machtinger family that arrived in Copenhagen in 1899. The analysis takes its backdrop in the memoire written by Lea Maimin, the daughter of Moritz and Sofie Sara Machtinger; a text that vividly describes the life of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in Copenhagen at the turn of the 19th-20th century. The memoire is perspectivized via several historical sources, underlining how we can and how we cannot use memoires in historical descriptions. In spite of these precautions the Machtinger story is a strong testimony of the life of Jewish migrants and what shaped their lives, aspirations and destiny. The article further includes reference to and a short analysis of another Eastern European immigrant family arriving in Copenhagen in the early 20th century: the family Edelmann.</p> Garbi Schmidt Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127736 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Jøder i fængsel for 200 år siden https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127737 <p>Records in The Danish National Archives about Jewish prisoners contain information that is not available elsewhere. Jewish prisoners were only a few in the total number of prisoners, but their records hold valuable information. Many Jews were born in foreign countries, and this information was difficult to get at that time. You can also find descriptions of each prisoner, which makes it possible to get an idea of him or her before the invention of the photography. Many Jewish women were imprisoned because of prostitution, and several of the prisoners had children with them in the prison. Most of the sources are available online at https://www. sa.dk/ao-soegesider/da/collection/theme/14.</p> Otto Bendixen Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127737 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Plastisk, bekosteligt, men kostbart - om omskærelse i jødisk religionshistorie https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127738 <p>Based on a survey of source material on Israelite-Jewish circumcision throughout the last 3,000 years, this article offers a reflection on its various and varying meanings. By approaching circumcision as a matter of “costly signaling” and a means to dis-/identification that engenders a sense of belonging and social cohesion, I illustrate how the ritual act has contributed to the unfolding and survival of Jewish communities in different historical phases and localities. The article concludes that the history of Jewish circumcision reflects political strivings of Jews for unity in representation, intelligibility, and minority rights. In times of external pressure on Jews to abandon the ritual, investments have been made to develop its ritual elements and their meanings. The history of Jewish circumcision also reflects cultural efforts to ensure internal bonding in small-scale communities and among Jewish men in particular. Finally, it testifies to diverse religious hopes of protection in times of danger, hopes of concrete blessings in this life, including fertility, and for salvation in the world to come.</p> Marianne Schleicher Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127738 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 40 år i selskab med dansk jødisk historie https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127739 <p>40 years ago, The Society for Danish Jewish History was established by a group of people interested in Danish Jewish history and culture. This article describes its foundation as well as the first meetings and activities, and mentions the people involved. Arne Notkin and Bent Blüdnikow initiated the establishment of the society by contacting others whom they thought might share their interest in Danish Jewish history. The response was positive; in April 1980 a founding meeting was held and a committee was elected. In the first period, the society published a journal called <em>Dansk Jødisk Historie</em>, and over the years Bent Blüdnikow, Merete Næsbye Christensen, Karsten Christensen, and Jan Schwarz edited it among others. The journal included historical articles revolving around Jewish life and culture in Denmark. Later, this journal was renamed <em>Rambam </em>published once a year. The society also published books and held lectures and seminars. Furthermore, it ensured the preservation of archival material of the Danish Jewish congregation. One of the society’s main projects was the 300-year anniversary of the congregation. An anthology titled <em>Indenfor murene. Jødisk liv i Danmark 1684-1984 </em>was published, including contributions by Bent Blüdnikow and Harald Jørgensen, Merete Næsbye Christensen and Britta Syskind, Niels Birger Wamberg, Lorenz Rerup, Jens Christian Manniche, Per Boje, Jørgen Hæstrup, and Bent Melchior.</p> Bent Blüdnikow, Merete Næsbye Christensen Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127739 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Arthur Arnheim og Chava Turniansky: Yiddish Letters From the Seventeenth-Century World of Glikl Hamel https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127740 <p>Anmeldelse</p> Allan Falk Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127740 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Signe Bergman Larsen, Janne Laursen og Sara Fredfeldt Stadager: HJEM - En særudstilling om eftervirkninger af krig og forfølgelse https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127741 <p>Anmeldelse</p> Margit Warburg Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127741 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100 Lennart Rasmusson: Livlinan https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127742 <p>Anmeldelse</p> Jens Ulff-Møller Copyright (c) 2021 Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk kultur og forskning https://tidsskrift.dk/rambam/article/view/127742 Thu, 02 Mar 2023 00:00:00 +0100