Dr Marcus Ehrenpreis was already a prominent figure on the European Jewish scene when he in 1914 travelled through the first pangs of World War One to become the Chief Rabbi of Stockholm, a small and largely dormant Jewish community in the periphery of Jewish life in Europe. This would seem an unexpected move by a man who had served as the personal secretary of Theodor Herzl at the first Zionist congress in Basel 1897 and as the Chief Rabbi of Bulgaria for fourteen years and who had made himself known as a leading proponent for making Hebrew the language of a Jewish spiritual and cultural renewal. Instead he was to make Sweden and the Swedish language (!) the central elements of his remaining life and the experimental ground for his vision of a deepened and energized spiritual and cultural Judaism in a dynamic relationship with the non-Jewish world.
Göran Rosenberg is a Swedish writer and journalist. His book A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz was awarded the 2012 August Prize for Literature.