The last Jews in Hämeenlinna, 1889–1918

A community fades away



Antisemitism, Expusion, Hämeenlinna, Tavastehus, Rafael Spåre, Krapiffsky


Around a hundred years ago there was a tiny Jewish community in Hämeenlinna, a small provincial capital in Finland. The dissolution of the Hämeenlinna Jewish community has become shrouded in mystery. Some amateur historians have even suggested that the last members of the Jewish community were shot by Russian soldiers in 1914. What happened to the last Jews of Hämeenlinna, and what were the reasons behind the historical process that led to the dissolution of the community? This article examines the turns of fate that prompted the leading Jewish families, the Rosenbergs and the Krapiffskys, to leave the town. The involvement of the local governor, the hardline antisemite Rafael Spåre, turned out to be instrumental in the case of the Krapiffsky family, who were the last remaining members of the community.




How to Cite

Swanström, A. (2023). The last Jews in Hämeenlinna, 1889–1918: A community fades away. Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 34(2), 53–64.