Have you seen one of these signs?

If so, you have stumbled upon our new project and outdoor exhibit, The Map of Nerbyen. With this project, we wish to highlight the rich Jewish commercial life that developed in Nerbyen around 100 years ago.

From the 1880s until 1940, Nerbyen became a center for Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. They fled poverty and antisemitism, and came to Norway – the country that only a few decades earlier removed its constitutional ban on Jewish immigration and settlement in the kingdom.

In Nerbyen, just about every Jewish family was managing a clothes or textile shop of some variety: textile manufacture, formal menswear, knitwear, etc. The shops were usually named after the owner and founder, such as A. Mendelsohn, R. Isaksen, S. Paltiel or H. Klein. Thus far, we have found 60 different addresses in Nerbyen where one or more Jewish-owned shops have been registered. In addition, there were several such businesses elsewhere in the city. These shops were especially popular among farmers, fishermen and others from the working class in Central Norway. In the Jewish shops, they experienced fair treatment and reasonable prices. Through their commercial activity, the Jews of Nerbyen helped bring this neighbourhood out of poverty and in to modernized Norwegian society.

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The Second World War and the Holocaust meant the end for most of these shops. Even though some resumed their operations after the war, the Jewish life and presence in Nerbyen and Trondheim was never the same. Contemporary traces of this history are very few.

In collaboration with local shop owners in Nerbyen, we have tried to highlight this history. With custom made signs of glass, we have illuminated twelve different shop windows at the addresses of historic Jewish businesses. The signs contain information about the historic business, and a coat hanger symbol. Together, these signs make up “the Map of Nerbyen”. This map demonstrates – to an extent – the scope of the Jewish presence in Nerbyen before 1940,.

The Map of Nerbyen is the first part of a bigger project called “Jødisk manufaktur” (eng. Jewish manufacture). We are planning to expand the Map of Nerbyen with different types of storytelling centered around Jewish commercial history in the time to come.

The next step in this project is to produce an online resource with elaborating stories, photos and videos. We would like to expand on the stories told in the Map of Nerbyen. This expansion is planned to launch during 2024. Follow us on social media for updates on this project.

We are also developing city tours centered around the Map of Nerbyen. Contact us at post@jodiskmuseum.org if you have questions about this or would like to book a tour.

In the meantime, you can download our brochure here (in Norwegian), which contains a map of all the locations.

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The project has been realized through cooperation with shop and landowners in Nerbyen, who have shown great interest in highlighting this part of the town’s history. Cooperation with local commercial life has been crucial for realizing this project’s visions, and we owe each participant our gratitude.


Abby’s tekstiler

Botique Bello

Clarion Collection Hotel Grand Olav

Folkets hus

Robust Bistro / Thon Eiendom

Spontan Vinbar / Rydning Holding

Arti læll

Café le Frère

Crispin Glover Record Shop

Jacobsen & Svart / Arkitektenes hus

Skandinavisk høyfjellsutstyr

Three Lions Pub

The exhibition is developed by Jewish Museum Trondheim and ablemagic. The plaques are designed by ablemagic and manufactured by Plexon.

Special thanks to Henriette Kahn, Ruth Paltiel, Ralph Buchmann, Catherine Kahn, Torunn Herje og Daniel Johansen.

The project is funded by Arts and Culture Norway, the Trondheim Municipality and the Fritt Ord Foundation.