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30 August 2010

The Jews of Sweden

The history of the Jewish Communities in Sweden is not as long as many countries. This was do mostly to the restrictions placed upon the Jewish people who wanted to reside there. Up until the late 1600's, any Jew who wanted to reside in Sweden had to be baptised into the Lutheran church.

While there were no doubt Jews living in Sweden, practicing in Secret, the Jewish community was not officially recognized until the 1770's. Some other historical facts;

  • Aron Izak, a seal engraver from Germany was the first Jew who was granted permission to settle in Sweden.

  • 1775 The Island of Marstrand, off the coast of Goteborg, granted permission for all foreigners, including Jews to live on the island.
  • 1776 The first Jewish Cemetery was consecrated

  • 1782 Jews were allowed to settle in Sweden without converting to Christianity. They were also allowed to build synagogues, and engage in business.

  • 1838 Jews were given civil rights and legal protection

  • 1840 About 900 Jews lived in Sweden.

  • 1920 Jewish population reaches 6500.

  • 1951 Jews were allowed to hold political office.

In the records of the American Jewish Archives, Malcolm Stern has very few Swedish families. One family however, that of Solomon Plau are early residents of Stockholm, with some births as early as 1794 (FHL film #1013431)

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