The Jewish Cemetery in Mollegade (Cph.)

The Jewish Cemetery in Mollegade (Cph.)

This part of the database of the oldest Danish-Jewish funerals concerns the cemetery in Mollegade in Copenhagen and is based mainly on the book by Julius Margolinsky "Jødiske Dødsfald i Danmark 1693-1976", Cph. 1978 pp. 12-208, and on his handwritten archive (see Allan Falk "Margoteket", JGS-Nyt Nr. 3 Vol. 5, September 2008). All photos in this part have - unless something else is indicated - been taken by AF, TB and JP during 2010-2011.

The cemetery in Mollegade in Copenhagen is by far the largest one in the present database, much larger than all 11 provincial cemeteries put together - whether measured by the number of known burials or by the physical space. Mollegade is presumably also the oldest cemetary with burials from 1693, however almost as old are the cemeteries in Fredericia and Nakskov. By far the largest number of known burials and preserved tombstones from the 18th century however pertain to Mollegade. The rest of the cemeteries in the present database are more than 100 years younger than Mollegade, Fredericia, and Nakskov.

In both Mollegade, Fredericia, and Nakskov a large number of burials have taken place that we know nothing about today. On all three old cemeteries there is also a number of tomb stones that cannot be deciphered anymore. The first written sources to the burials are dated back to 1771 and concerns only Mollegade. From 1814 there a written sources to the burials all over the country. However for the 18th century we have to count in an estimated number of about 1200 unknown burials in Mollegade, Fredericia, and Nakskov. The estimate is based on the fact that we know that the oldest sections in the three cemeteries are fully occupied with graves.

begravelser per år

Tom Brøndsted, Aalborg maj 2011

An Outline of the History of Mollegade

Mollegade has undergone a number of extensions and changes since 1694. Below, the milestones of the history have been outlined:

1694 The oldest part of section X is acquired. The first burial had already taken place the previous year. 1694
1704 The second oldest part of section X is acquired. The Jewish Community was given the permission to establish a house with a chapel. Nothing about the size etc. of the building is known. A wash house demolished 1803-04 may be dated back to this period. 1704
1715 The Sephardic ("Portuguese") part of section X is acquired. 1715
1717 The building seen on later cadastral maps has had the same size and shape since 1717. However, at that time it was located about 20 feet from the modern street alignment. 1717
1748 The part of section X along Mollegade is acquired. 1748
1750 The house and chapel has been moved down to the modern street alignment. 1750
1768 The part of section X along Guldbergsgade is acquired. 1768
1791 The burials along the wooden fence start (row X18). The graves and tombstones originally had their fronts turned towards Mollegade (like today the much younger burials in section MB along Birkegade). A foot path has existed between the rows X17 and X18. 1790
1804 Due to lack of room, the wash house is demolished. 1804
1805 The area with section C, D, E, and half of H is acquired. Section C and D are taken into use immediately, the latter one for burials of children. A new wash house is build in section C. 1790
1807 English soldiers killed in the battle of Copenhagen are buried (black crosses in lower left corner). 1807
1831 The area with section G, F, and 2nd half of H is acquired. 1806
1851 The area with section A and B is acquired. The wooden fence behind row X18 is demolished and the few tombstones turned around (the graves of X18 are consequently today located behind the tombstones). The present center avenue of the cemetery is established. 1851
1855 The area with section J is acquired. 1855
1873 The still existing inspector's house and a chapel has been build. 1806
1885 The row A13 is established within a few years. The tombstones of A13 are enclosed by the tombstones of X18 and together they optically form a single row. However, the graves of A13 are located "correctly" in front of the tombstones towards the center avenue. 1885
1886 Mollegade is largely full and the majority of Jewish burials in Copenhagen now take place on the 2nd Mosaic Cemetery. From 1886, the 2D-model shows the modern system of foot paths in Mollegade. 1806
1929 The chapel has been demolished and the now existing garden established. 1806

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