"Meldola og Weber"
Historien om en jødisk og en kristen slægt
by Erik Henriques Bing
(In Danish. 204 pages, 34 illustrations, hardback).
The old Danish Jewish families from the 19th Century ... What happened to them? Families with names like:
Adler, Ballin, Bendix, Bing, Bonnier, Brandes, David, Delbanco, Drucker, Friedlænder, Frænckel, Gedalia, Glückstadt, Goldschmidt, Hahn, Halberstadt, Hambro, Hannover, Henriques, Hertz, Heyman, Hirschsprung, Kalisch, Levin, Mannheimer, Melchior, Meldola, Meyer, Monies, Moresco, Nathanson, Philipsen, Ree, Salomonsen, Siesby, Simonsen, Trier and Wolff.
The answer is that only few of them stayed Jews. Most of them left the Jewish community for good and became Christians - either because they were convinced by the Christian faith, or because they married a Christian and let their children be baptized.
The Meldola family belongs to this group, and the name was forgotten.
Then - in the Summer of 1998 - the Jewish Community (Mosaisk Troessamfund) received a letter from the former president of the Nobel foundation in Stockholm, Stig Ramel. He asked for information about the Meldola-family, from which he descended. What had become of the Meldolas in Denmark? Julius Margolinsky's: "Jødiske Dødsfald i Danmark 1693-1976" (~Jewish burials in Denmark 1693.1976) was checked and the information about the Meldolas, that were buried on "Mosaisk Nordre Begravelsesplads" in Møllegade in Copenhagen, was sent to Stockholm. I received a copy of the letters, because for some years I have guided visitors of the cemetery in Møllegade just as I have written "Evighedens hus" (~ Bet Olam) - a guide to the cemetery. But I had never heard anything about the Meldola family. The letters inspired me to research their fate in Denmark.
The History was not difficult to uncover. The Meldolas - Portuguese Jews - had immigrated from Amsterdam to Copenhagen in the 1780'ies, and the first generations lived according to their Portuguese-Jewish tradition. All of the third generation converted to Christianity. A daughter in the third generation - Sophie Emilie Meldola - married into the Christian family Weber, that had emigrated from Germany also in the 1780'ies.
A new chapter in the strange history evolved. A chapter of Danish-Jewish history and Danish-Jewish assimilation.
Copyright © 1999-2003 Scandinavia SIG - Reprinting or copying of any of the material on the Scandinavia SIG Website is not allowed without prior permission from the Scandinavia SIG Coordinator