Scandinavia Special Interest Group (SIG)

"Meldola og Weber"

Historien om en jødisk og en kristen slægt

(~ Meldola and Weber - A History about a Jewish and a Christian family)

by Erik Henriques Bing

(In Danish. 204 pages, 34 illustrations, hardback).
Taagaliden, Copenhagen, 1999. ISBN: 87-984985-6-8

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.

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