Jewish Cemeteries in Copenhagen





The Jewish Community in Copenhagen was founded on 16 December 1684 when Meyer Goldschmidt from Hamburg and his partner Israel David from Altona, two of King Christian V's jewellers, were granted permission to hold religious services in Goldschmidt’s home on Raadhusstræde together with a small number of Jews, who had been granted citizenship in Copenhagen.

When a young jeweller named David Israel died on 5 September 1693, permission was granted to bury him outside of the city walls on municipal land. This is the first known burial and the oldest existing tombstone in Denmark. Consequently on 26 August 1694 the Municipality of Copenhagen issued a land deed allowing the Jewish community to purchase the land where David Israel was buried and use it as a cemetery. The sale price was 200 rigs dales for 2500 km. Subsequently further land acquisitions were made and in 1714 the congregation was allowed to build a fence around the cemetery and build on an adjoining piece of land a small chapel and an apartment for a caretaker.

Prior to 1693, Jews who died in Copenhagen were transported to Altona and buried in the Jewish cemetery (established in 1611).

The secretary and probate officer of the Jewish Community, Abraham Meyer, (aka Abraham Strelitz) started a burial register in Hebrew in 1771. This register was kept until 1871 and lists 3,729 burials. A Royal Decree dated 29 March 1814 ordered the Jews to keep records – so-called authorized PARISH REGISTERS – in Danish. Burial registers exist for 1771–1967 for the Møllegade Cemetery. In 1967 the cemetery was closed for burials. There are 5,500 graves of which 4,700 have been identified.

Mosaisk Vestre Cemetery - from 1886 and still in use

The first burial in Mosaisk Vestre Cemetery was the 19. January 1886, and it is still in use.

From October 1943 until May 1945, when the greater part of the Danish Jewish population lived as refugees in Sweden, 26 Jews died in Denmark and they were buried in this cemetery - sometimes with the assistance of vicars from the Danish Lutheran Church.

The above surname-listings of burials are still online as only a part (the period 1886-1915) of the burials can be found on the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)

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Compiled and updated 21.maj.2004