Staying in Stockholm? Visit the Judiska Museet and immerse yourself in the history of the Jewish people, persecuted throughout the centuries, who found refuge in Sweden from anti-Semitism from the 18th century and gradually became an integral part of Swedish society. Important place of memory in the heart of the historic district ofGamla Stan, the Jewish Museum of Stockholm is located in the oldest synagogue in the city. For those who have only a vague idea of Jewish history and that of the diaspora, the Jewish Museum in Stockholm offers a fascinating and moving perspective on the integration of this nomadic people before settling as a community in their host country, like here in Sweden.
In the heart of the alleys of Gamla Stan
The memory of Jewish culture in Stockholm
Nestled in the peaceful Själagårdsgatan alley, a stone's throw from the German Tyska kyrkan church, the Judiska Museet is exclusively dedicated to the history of the Jewish community in Sweden. The building that houses the museum is none other than the historic center of Jewish life in Stockholm: for almost a century it was a synagogue, a religious school, but also the house of the rabbi, the cantor and the kosher butcher.
A regulation dating from 1782 ruling on the rights of Jews
Abundantly documented, this discreet and confidential museum aims to make known the Judaic culture and the journey of these refugees through the centuries to be able not only to immigrate to Sweden but also to access fundamental human rights, in particular equality between citizens.
A museum journey through different spaces
On 3 meticulously arranged floors, the museum tour reflects the different stages of Jewish immigration to Sweden. Nearly a thousand objects make up the rich permanent collection of the museum: historical documents, collections of religious objects that accompany daily life, but also testimonies,videos,newspapers,works of art,letters, photos etc. The opportunity to become familiar with the religion, the cultural richness and the traditions of this people who are now perfectly integrated into Swedish society.
The Jewish Museum in Stockholm, a tribute to the Jewish people and to the Jews of Sweden
Let's briefly go back in time to understand the arrival of the Jews in this Scandinavian country. The history of the Jews in Sweden is the story of a wandering community trying to find their place in a new country. From the end of the 17th century, Jewish merchants traded in Swedish ports but were not allowed to settle there. However, from the reign of Charles XII in 1700, it is the Jewish merchants who manage the pay of the armies because handling money is a real curse in Christianity. In 1774, they thus obtained most of the civil rights, in particular the right to settle in Sweden without having to convert, in small towns or in the countryside, where they could practice their religion freely and above all, without oppression.
The first synagogue was established on the island of Marstrand, not far from Gothenburg around 1775. A series of laws, the Jude regulates in 1782, then a decree in 1838 stipulate however how Jews are authorized to live and behave in Sweden. For example, participation in political life is strictly forbidden to them (until 1951)!
The Second World War particularly affects the Jews in Europe, especially in Norway and Denmark persecuted by the Germans. More than 8,000 threatened Jews are welcomed in Sweden and thus find refuge in this benevolent land of welcome. At the end of the war, tens of thousands of Jewish refugees from Finland and the Baltic States arrived in Sweden. In the 1950s, hundreds of Hungarian Jews fled communist repression, then it was the turn of Czech and Polish Jews to immigrate from 1968. The Jewish population doubled in Sweden between 1945 and 1970 and the country settled proudly as one of the largest host countries in Europe. Since the 1950s, Sweden has waged a fierce and uncompromising fight against anti-Semitism and racial hatred. An admirable and exemplary policy that particularly affects us in the current context and the migration crisis that Europe is going through!
If the history of the Jewish community in Sweden particularly fascinates you, know that there are three synagogues in Stockholm: the Great Synagogue is an oriental-style building dating from 1870, the Orthodox Synagogue Adat Yeshurun and finally the Orthodox Synagogue Adat Yisrael of Polish rite, located in the Södermalm district in a 17th century building.
The Great Synagogue is located in the small street Wahrendorffsgatan, near Kungsträdgården park in Stockholm