SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN , state of Germany. In the 17th century Danish kings, rulers of the dual duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, invited Sephardi merchants to settle there, and communities were founded in *Glueckstadt, Rendsburg, Friedrichstadt, and *Altona, which became the seat of the rabbinate and the leading community. While the other communities gradually declined economically, Altona prospered and attracted German Jews, who were permitted to settle in these cities and enjoyed special privileges despite the opposition of the Sephardim.
On March 29, 1814, the Jews in Denmark were granted emancipation, but this was abolished at the Congress of *Vienna by a decision which applied to the lands of the German Confederation. Jewish equality was championed by S.L. *Steinheim and Gabriel *Riesser. It was advocated in a series of petitions to the conservative provincial estates, and favored by King Christian viii. Equality was temporarily obtained during the 1848–49 revolution, proclaimed by the parliament of the revolutionary duchies in which Jews participated; during the revolution Jews first settled in *Kiel. On July 14, 1863, a law granting complete emancipation was enacted. A year later the duchies were detached from Denmark and passed to Prussia in 1866. The Jewish population numbered 3,674 in 1835 (2,014 in Altona; 188 in Glueckstadt; 292 in Rendsburg; and 373 in Friedrichstadt, where they were 17% of the population). The figures were about 6,000 in 1925, with 5,000 in Altona, 600 in the new community of Kiel, and the remainder divided among the other dwindling communities; Altona was incorporated into Hamburg in 1937.
Rudolf Katz (d. 1961) was minister of justice of the state of Schleswig-Holstein in 1960, when there were 107 Jews in Kiel.
W. Victor, Die Emanzipation der Juden in Schleswig-Holstein (1913); Jahrbuch fuer die juedischen Gemeinden Schleswig-Holstein und der Hansestaedte (1929–38); A. Linnvald, in: Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fuer Schleswig-Holsteinsche Geschichte, 57 (1928), 299–364; H. Kellenbenz, Sephardim an der unteren Elbe (1958).