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Profiles

  • Jacob Marcus (1749 - 1819)
    about him on English, Swedish, Danish and Dutch Wikipedia as of 2016.
  • Pontus Fürstenberg (1827 - 1902)
    Pontus Fürstenberg (4 October 1827 – 10 April 1902) was a Swedish art collector and merchant from a Jewish family. He was married to Göthilda Magnus. Pontus Fürstenberg was born at Östra Hamngatan ...
  • Sir Siegmund Warburg (1902 - 1982)
    Sir Siegmund George Warburg (30 September 1902 – 22 October 1982) was a German-born English banker. He was a member of the prominent Warburg family. He played a prominent role in the development of m...
  • Eduard Magnus (1800 - 1879)
    English source: Connecting Worlds and People: Early modern diasporas (page 141) ) Eduard Magnus, född 27 oktober 1800 i Göteborg, död 5 februari 1879 i Göteborg, var en svensk grosshandlare och pol...
  • Lazarus Elias Magnus (1770 - 1851)
    Grosshandlare, fabrikör och under femtio år föreståndare för mosaiska församlingen i Göteborg. Ref.: Eskil Olán , 1924 Wikipedia Updated from MyHeritage Family Trees via sibling Aaron M...

Royal ordinances issued in 1685 against the Jews are the first indication of their presence in Sweden. The fate of Sweden’s Jews only improved under the reign of King Gustav III (1771-92). A Jewish cemetery was consecrated with royal permission in 1776, and in 1779 Jews were allowed to settle in Stockholm under restrictive conditions.


In 1782, Jews were granted the right to settle in Sweden without converting to Christianity, but it is only in 1838 that they were recognized as Swedish subjects and that their status as foreigners was repealed. In 1870, Jews (and Catholics) were granted the right to hold political office. However, membership in the Swedish state Church was a requirement for ministerial office until 1951.

With the rise of Hitler in Germany, efforts by Sweden’s Jewish community to save German Jews were impeded by the restrictive immigration policy of the Swedish government. Swedish public opinion became less hostile to Jewish immigration following the anti-Jewish persecutions in German-occupied Norway in 1942. Setting an example of humanitarian policy, the Swedish government offered asylum to some 8,000 Danish Jews.

During the war, Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg saved many Hungarian Jews by granting them fake Swedish passports. In 2012, Sweden will organize public events to honor the memory of Raoul Wallenberg.

In 2000, the Swedish Parliament officially recognized the Jewish community as one of Sweden’s five minorities. The Parliament also recognized Yiddish as an official minority language in Sweden.

In 2000, a European Institute of Jewish Studies was founded in Sweden with financial support from the Swedish Government. The institute educates Jewish scholars, community activists and artists from various European countries.Sweden’s Jewish communities are federated by the Official Council of Jewish Communities.

Israel and Sweden have full diplomatic relations since 1950 (at the ambassador level since 1957).

There are an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 Jews residing in Sweden today. Largest population lives in the capital, Stockholm, with an estimated 4,300 members. Other Jewish communities in the country are located in Göteborg, Uppsala, Boras, Lund, Helsingborg and Malmo.

Most Swedish Jews are descendants of pre-war refugees and of Holocaust. Some of them are descendants of Jewish refugees who fled Hungary in 1956 as well as Poland in 1968. In the 1990’s, many Soviet Jews chose Sweden as their new home.  

Notable Swedes of Jewish Heritage

  • Sir Siegmund George Warburg deceased in 1982 took a Swedish bride.
  • Fritz M. Warburg (1879–1962) lived in Stockholm during World War I
  • Charles Joel Nordström otherwise known as Joel Kinnaman.
  • Marian Schumacher (née Kantor), mother of film director Joel T. Schumacher famous for his Brat Pack series.
  • Olof Aschberg, businessman and banker
  • Robert Aschberg, journalist, media executive, TV personality
  • Amalia Assur, first female dentist in Sweden
  • Lovisa Augusti, opera singer
  • Jean-Pierre Barda, musician
  • Mathilda Berwald, née Cohn, musician
  • Sharon Bezaly, flute soloist
  • Jerzy Einhorn, pathologist and politician
  • Herbert Felix, entrepreneur
  • Josef Frank, architect and designer
  • Isaac Grünewald, artist
  • Lars Gustafsson, writer and scholar
  • Johan Harmenberg, épée fencer
  • Eli Heckscher, economist
  • Erland Josephson, actor and writer
  • Ernst Josephson, painter
  • Ragnar Josephson, writer and art historian
  • Joel Kinnaman, actor
  • George Klein, pathologist and writer
  • Oskar Klein, physicist
  • Oscar Levertin, poet and literary historian
  • Jacob Marcus, businessman, pioneer in the history of Sweden's Jewish population
  • Rudolf Meidner, economist
  • Hanna Pauli, painter
  • Dominika Peczynski, musician
  • Alexandra Rapaport, actress
  • Marcel Riesz, mathematician
  • Göran Rosenberg, journalist
  • Bo Rothstein, political scientist
  • Nelly Sachs, poet, Nobel Prize (1966)
  • Jerzy Sarnecki, criminologist
  • Harry Schein, writer and culture personality
  • Leif Silbersky, lawyer and author
  • Sara Sommerfeld, actress
  • Mauritz Stiller, director
  • Marcus Storch, industrialist
  • Peter Weiss, dramatist and writer

Sources

"History of the Jews in Sweden." Wikipedia. June 30, 2018. Accessed September 14, 2018. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Sweden#Notable_Swedes_of_Jewish_Heritage.
"List of North European Jews." Wikipedia. September 05, 2018. Accessed September 14, 2018.
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North_European_Jews#Sweden.

Books

  • Connecting Worlds and People: Early modern diasporas