The following are aspects of the Scandinavian Jewish narrative that brought the idea of a website. Hopefully it will serve as a place to bring out several facets of its complex story:
Several decades ago many thousands of idealistic youth from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland volunteered to work in the kibbutzim and moshavim, feeling personally connected to Israel through a shared social vision. Since then, so much has changed, morally, historically, philosophically, politically.
Until recently not much attention was given to the Holocaust. It took historian many decades to produce a comprehensive account of what happened. We could be facing a shift of opinion among historians as to what really happened in Scandinavian countries during the war.
In 2012 the Norwegian Prime Minister made a formal apology for the first time for the deportation and murder of Norwegian Jews during the Nazi occupation in World War II. This apology came just months before the Norwegian police apologized for their complicity in the colossal tragedy.
The Scandinavian Jewish Forum is a platform, whose aim is to facilitate a closer look at the contemporary and past Scandinavian Jewish society, its rich history, culture and to develop its personal and historical narratives.
It will encompass suggested bilingual literary references, events, publications, personal narratives, history, guest authors, videos, research, documentaries plus links to relevant sites that may benefit the public’s understanding and appreciation.
Following World War II, the historical and moral reckoning of what happened to the Scandinavian Jews during the war was lost or unknown. This created a need to develop research and education to combat a basic lack of knowledge and ignorance about a seemingly invisible, yet vital Jewish cultural and religious minority in Scandinavia.
In Scandinavia, it would take several decades for historians to seriously embrace the task, confront and challenge the Scandinavian government and the public’s memory on the myths and double standards of its own society. The invaluable efforts of many such parties produced a void.
It is a fact that many Scandinavian Jews were previously citizens of other nations. The political upheaval, lack of employment, governmental persecution throughout Europe, in particular in the 1930s and for many years following, produced a mass migration of such historical dimensions; many citizens were forced to make relocation choices with unforeseen consequences, others left with no choices. The Scandinavian Jewish Forum will look at these trends, the migration, the personal stories of survival and integration, the wealth of culture and enlightenment they imparted in their local communities.
The forum will also look at the national histories, the subtle and overt facets of anti-Semitism experienced in the various disciplines, in the various Nordic countries.