The Jew Feuds In Denmark – Conclusion

The discovery of almost 200 years old police reports documenting that the 1800century Jewish “persecutions” have been far more extensive than Danish historiography has previously argued.

Militæret fra hovedvagten beskytter på billedet en gammel jøde mod folkemængden. Optøjerne finder sted på Nikolaj Plads i København i september 1819. Tegningen er af Knud Gamborg og fra Jacob Davidsens bog ”Fra det gamle Kongens Kjøbenhavn”, 1880.

Since the Jew “persecution” were at their peak in 1819-20, raged for posters in the streets of Copenhagen, where the public’s contempt for the Jews came to the fore. Historian Jens Rasmussen has come into possession of two of these posters, where aggression and contempt comes fully to the fore.

But Danish golden age was much more than blend of prominent cultural figures, who today have long manifested itself as national icons. The golden age was also national bankruptcy, the loss of Norway during the war, the agricultural crisis and a population in economic destitution.
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And so are the Danish golden age a bleak chapter of Jewish “persecution”.
It is the story of the literary Jew feud that played out with parts of the capital’s cultural elite as standard-bearers in the period 1813-1816. About the corporal Jewish persecutions, which exploded on July 4. September 1819, and which was worn by the wider population anti Judaism. An anger, which was revived again, when there 1830 was laid the first foundation stone for the synagogue in krystalgade in Copenhagen.
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A discovery few years ago showed about 48 previously unknown police reports from the year 1820 up at the national archives, and it has thrown new light on the Jewish “persecution” in Denmark. Jens Rasmussen is a church historian, author and hospital chaplain in Odense who had access to the old police reports, that determine that the Jews have suffered far more violent “persecutions”, than you would otherwise have assumed in Danish history.
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Often the Jew persecution in 1819 was seen as an isolated fourfive-month course, characterized as vile pranks. The police reports, which have emerged from back then, however, shows that it has been much more than pranks. There has been fierce and persistent Jewish persecutions in the years 1819-1820, says Jens Rasmussen, who has written several books on religious tolerance and freedom of religion and the relationship between Church and State in the 1800century as well as researched in the Jews ‘ conditions in Denmark.
His view is backed by Bent Blüdnikow, a historian and journalist, and President of the company for a number of DanishJewish history.
It was a very voluminous Jewish persecution in the 1800 century. As it went the hardest in Copenhagen in 1819, when the military, and the city was in a State of emergency. The Jew “persecution” also took place elsewhere in the country, among other things, in Odense, Vordingborg and Elsinore, says Bent Blüdnikow, already in 1982 published an article in Police historical Company Yearbook, where he documented the extensive Jewish “persecutions”.
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Among researchers, there is broad agreement that there are several causes of Jewish “persecution”, just as there is also a consensus that the “persecution” is running along two tracks: the elitist, also called the literary Jew feud in 1813 and 1816, and the corporal Jew feud, driven by the general population Jew resistance which came to significant expression in 1819.
From the highest level saw the Jews in return to the regent will be greeted with a rarely seen tolerance for contemporary Europe. Thus the absolute Danish King, Frederik VI, in 1814 the freedom letter and assign the Jews civil liberties. The Jews made in most areas just with other Danish citizens. However, they may not be employed as police masters and judges. But the King’s friendliness towards the “Danish” Jews come nonetheless to stand as a significant precursor to the freedom of religion, which in 1849 be enshrined in the basic law.
At that time were Jews weren’t allowed to own land several places in Europe. They could in Denmark. The King has probably regarded the Jews as an able and useful social group who could contribute to the economic development and trade with the rest of Europe. Many Jews were progressive trade and business people, says Jens Rasmussen.
Thus he also comes with a clear explanation of why the Jews were target in the population in the years when the country was dominated by national bankruptcy, a lost war and thus the loss of Norway and looming poverty.
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The people needed a “scapegoat”. Poverty had struck the country. Artisans and workers lost work, while it was believed that the Jews financially stood strongly with major trading houses, even though some of them also went bankrupt. The Jews were considered the King’s and the Government’s allies and thus also the accomplices in the governmental failure, explains Jens Rasmussen.
The 4. September 1819 showed the anger and hatred of the Jewish population from its most violent side. In Østergade was Raphael’s fashion store attacked and windows shattered. The police, led by Police Director O.H. Hvidberg, could not control the crowd, and therefore were the Hussars summoned. East Street were cleared with flat Saber, and the crowd scattered.
The military occupied Copenhagen on Frederick VI`s order. A poster called him: King of the Jews. The turmoil could not be stopped. Flyers were shared around, and posters, which today is located in the provincial archives and in the past has been reproduced, was hung up in the streets of Copenhagen. They called on to harass and fight the Jews. On one of them sounded it:
“Peb Moses! Down with the Jews. The Blodslugere: Mark noble Fellow!”
So far it has been assumed that the unrest abated in January 1820, but the old police reports show that it has not been the case, says Jens Rasmussen and elaborates:
In september 1820 culminated in riots again. Jews was harassed, shattered windows, lit fires in front of their houses, and it came to confrontations between rioters and security forces. The Chief Executive, Fr. j. Kaas, estimated now that popular unrest not only acted on the persecution of the Jews, but also was a simmering rebellion against the Government because of the poor economic situation.
Thus there is also given a substantial explanation as to why it is the Jews and not other religious minority groups, which stands for shot in Denmark, where the Lutheran unity a culture prevailed. The Jews were, as a group, coupled with Governmentand the Royal power and regarded as partakers of the population’s economic precipice. Reformed, Baptists, Huguenots and Catholics who constituted the other religious minorities at the time, went unscathed.
But it was far from just the general public, who in the golden age Copenhagen detested Jews. The intellectual elite bar in high degree burn to the campfire and the advance of popular resistance.
The intellectuals disdain for Jews was largely inspired by currents from Europe. In German cities such as Berlin and Hamburg and Bayern was persecution far worse than in Denmark, and something of the antiJewish literature from Europe were translated into Danish in those years, says Bent Blüdnikow.
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And although the Danish intellectual elite cannot be held responsible for the violent popular pursuits in 1819-1820 with broken Windows and bonfire, so have the elite helped to awaken the Jewish contempt in the population. One of the country’s other great connoisseurs of the religious climate in the 1800century, Martin Schwarz Lausten, professor of church history at the University of Copenhagen, who has written a six-volume work on the relationship between Jews and Christians in Denmark, highlighting, among other things, a translation of the German script Moses und Jesus by the poet Thomas Thaarup as one of the writings, who lit up under the antiJewish sentiment :
All prejudice against the Jews was “manufactured”. They were considered as money-grabbing, faithless and harmful citizens and so they were attacked for having crucified Jesus, says Martin Schwarz Lausten.
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And from there it snowballed with allegations against the Jews for being responsible for the country’s poor economy and exclusively driven by self-interest and greed. Theologians Otto Horrebow and Royal chaplain Chr. Bastholm were other prominent cultural figures, such as touring forward with fierce accusations.
Resistance and contempt should be seen in context with the nationalism that is gaining ground on the Napoleonic wars in Europe. The idea of the nation State is characterized by a Lutheran unity culture picks food in the national collapse, explains Martin Schwarz Lausten.
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But in Denmark had the Jews also their support among the elite. Among other poets N.F.S. Grundtvig and Steen Steensen Blicher.
Both took strongly opposed the antiJewish sentiment, and Grundtvig rejected the people’s attack on Jews, stresses Martin Schwarz Lausten.
However, it was Grundtvig’s views on the Jews not so unique. While he expressed tolerance and open mind, then contained his views also a row of today’s prejudice, among other things, the merchants and their mean self-interest but he added that it also could hit Christians. In 1849 came Grundtvig’s perception of Jews clearly expressed in a debate on Danish opinion with the author and the editor Meïr Aron Goldschmidt.
Grundtvig believes that the Jews must have 100 percent freedom but real Danes will they never be, like Danes were not real Jews. It is linked with the Grundtvig’s perception of the people and the fatherland. He saw people as tribes. We belonged to the tribes of the Danes, Jews the Jewish tribe. But Grundtvig had nothing against Jews, says Jens Rasmussen.
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Among researchers, there is no doubt that the elite, writers, intellectuals and theologians, cannot be held responsible for the grass-roots Jewish “persecution” that characterised the early part of the 1800 ‘s. But several intellectuals have nevertheless helped to stir up the population, points out Jens Rasmussen. Also for the events that unfolded since there was begun on the building of the synagogue in krystalgade in Copenhagen in 1830. Here is growing popular rage once again. Windows are broken, and an a Jewish man assaulted.
The anti-Jewish atmosphere live on several social programs up through the 1800 ‘s, and it had both a physically and literary expression, says Jens Rasmussen and highlighting that great personalities as Bishop, H.L. Martensen and Kierkegaard in the 1800century philosopher is buffeted by similar antiJewish mindset.
At the same time, he finds that the “prejudice”, contempt and the many “persecutions” should not be linked to the later “antiSemitism”.

“Anti-Semite” occurs as a concept first in the 1870s. The unfolding until then, it can be characterized as “antiJudaism”.

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