Rosa Heckschers identiteter – och det privata brevets potential


  • Helene Boijsen Lund


Identity, Group identity, Philanthropists, Gender, Women, Jewish, Jews -- Sweden, Christianity and Judaism, Letter writing


Private letters can be very useful in giving information about a person’s expressed identities. In the letters between Rosa Heckscher and her son Eli, that I have read, she gives the reader a good picture of her identities, and her divided feelings for the Jewish collective and the Swedish society at large. Her expressed domestic identity was Jewish, but she longed for the intellectual freedom that men possessed and reacted strongly against patronizing Jewish men and the stupidity of their Jewish wives. She approved of the Christian society, but rejected the duplicity of some of its philanthropic associations, organised by women from the upper middle class. She also rejected the religious aspects of Judaism but lived by its cultural aspects. She found the Swedish society’s preconceived ideas of the Jew in some ways funny and also agreed with it most of the time. But by doing so, put herself outside the actual Jewish group in which she lived. She believed that Jews should take responsibility for their own financial situation, since lapses would affect other Jews – an attitude that agreed badly with her otherwise philanthropic outlook on life.



How to Cite

Boijsen, H. (2005). Rosa Heckschers identiteter – och det privata brevets potential. Nordisk judaistik/Scandinavian Jewish Studies, 25(2), 133–154.