MELCHIOR, MARCUS (1897–1969), chief rabbi of Denmark. Born in Fredericia of an old Danish family, Melchior received his rabbinical diploma in 1921 from the Hildesheimer Seminary. He served as rabbi in Tarnowice, Poland (1921–23), in Beuthen, Germany (1925–34), and as rabbi of the Danish refugees in Sweden (1943–45). From 1947 he was the chief rabbi of Denmark. Melchior endeavored to promote understanding between all the religious trends in Judaism, while personally advocating the modern Orthodox one. He supported Zionism short of advocating aliyah. The main spokesman of Danish Jewry before the gentile community, Melchior was considered one of the prominent orators in Denmark. He supported the establishment of relations and furthering of understanding with West Germany. Among his books are Jødedommen i vor tid (19662); En jødedommens historie (1962); Levet og oplevet (1965; A Rabbi Remembers, 1968; also Ger. tr.); and Tœnkt og Talt (1967). He translated into Danish (1961) Shalom Aleichem's Tevye de Milkhiger. He was succeeded in the chief rabbinate by his son Bent.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.