The Jewish national minority in Sweden

judiska_nationellaOur exhibition “The Jewish National Minority in Sweden” narrates the history of the Swedish Jews. This new exhibition, shown in specially constructed interactive display units, sheds a personal light on the historical facts.

The fates of various individuals are depicted in narratives and testimonies. The shifting times succeed each other but all the while it is individuals, people, who are the focus. Together they narrate the history of the Swedish Jews, of the Jewish national minority in Sweden.

We live in an age of rapid change, when today’s technology is out of date tomorrow. But human beings remain curious and still want answers to their questions. This is the insight that underlies our current exhibition. The idea is that we should be able to open the cupboard ourselves, to pull out the drawers and to “visit” various Jewish persons who have lived in this country during the 230 years of Swedish-Jewish history. Where did these people come from? Why did they move to Sweden? What were their lives like?
There are many refugees in Sweden today, people who have been forced to leave their homelands and who have found a safe refuge from persecution in Sweden, just as the Swedish Jews have done. Not all the refugees have been allowed to remain in the country. For example, the exhibition shows how the Malinsky family’s application to be allowed to bring their elderly parents from Russia to live with them has been refused on numerous occasions; a fate which they share with many other asylum applicants today.

In 1999 the Swedish Parliament voted to recognize the Sami people, the Sweden Finns, the people of Tornedal, the Roma and the Jews as national minorities. We sincerely hope that this exhibition will create greater understanding of the situation and fates of Swedish Jews and will help to combat anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

“The Jewish National Minority in Sweden” is a fascinating and challenging exhibition that gives a picture of 230 years of the history of the Swedish Jews. All the texts are in English.

Yvonne Jacobsson,

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