This article discusses an organized name-change process that occurred in the 1930s in the Jewish community of Helsinki. Between 1933 and 1944 in approximately one fifth of the Helsinki Jewish families (c. 16 %) someone had their family name changed. We argue that the name changes served two purposes: on the one hand they made life easier in the new nation state. It was part of a broader process where tens of thousands of Finns translated and changed their Swedish names to Finnish ones. On the other hand, the changed family names offered a new kind of Jewish identity. The name-changing process of the Helsinki Jews opens a window onto the study of nationalism, antisemitism, identity politics and visions of a Jewish future from the Finnish perspective.
|Journal||Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis|
|Number of pages||16|
|Publication status||Published - 11 Apr 2016|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
Fields of Science
- 5202 Economic and Social History
- Judaism; Jews
- Finland; Names, Jewish
- Nationalism -- Finland History -- 20th century.
- Yiddish language
- Hebrew language
- Finnish language
- Swedish language