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International conference: The Exclusion of Jews in the Norwegian Constitution. Origins – Contexts – Consequences

The Center for Studies of the Holocaust and Religious Minorities is hosting an international conference on May 5 about the historical background, contexts and consequences of Article 2 in the Norwegian Constitution, which in 1814 declared: “Jews remain excluded from admission to the Realm.”


Today, the ban on Jews stands as something of a paradox because it seems to contradict the fundamental ethos of one of Europe’s most liberal constitutions. Nonetheless, the provision had such significance for the founding fathers at Eidsvoll that it was included as one of the eleven so-called fundamental principles.

The debate over the rights of Jews had been discussed in Europe since the early 1780s. To what extent were the founding fathers of the Norwegian Constitution party to this European debate? In retrospect, the decision to ban Jews from entering the realm has been presented almost as an act of impulse. However, the ban was in fact the result of long preparatory work. The decision was worked out by the Constitutional Committee, the members of which were among the most prominent figures at Eidsvoll and some of the country’s leading intellectuals.


Venue: Villa Grande, Huk Aveny 56, 0277 Oslo. Bus 30 to Bygdøhus.

Language: English


08.45: Welcome – Guri Hjeltnes

08.50: Introduction – Christhard Hoffmann (Bergen)



09.00: The Politics of Jewish Emancipation in Europe at the Beginning of the 19th Century: Reinhard Rürup (Berlin)

09.45: Coffee break

10.00: "Buchholz & Falsen": Iwan-Michelangelo D'Aprile (Potsdam) and Håkon Harket (Oslo)

11.00: Discussion


11.30: Exhibition opening: Veien til paragrafen / The Path to Exclusion

- Welcome: Guri Hjeltnes

- Opening words: State Secretary Bård Glad Pedersen

- Introduction to the exhibition: Håkon Harket


12.15: Lunch



13.00: The ‘Jewish Feud’ in Danmark 1813: Therkel Stræde (Odense)

13.45: The Debate about Jewish Immigration in Sweden, 1806–1815: Henrik Edgren (Uppsala)

1430: Discussion / Coffee break



15.15: The Practice of Exclusion. How article 2 was administered and enforced between 1814 and 1851: Frode Ulvund (Bergen)

16.00-16.45: The Scandinavian context of article 2: Therkel Stræde, Henrik Edgren and Håkon Harket. Moderator Bjørn Bredal (Copenhagen)




If you have questions, please contact:

Vibeke Moe


Phone: (+47) 22 84 21 04 / 93 26 50 53


Published Apr. 4, 2014 10:36 AM - Last modified Apr. 30, 2014 7:51 PM