The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: places/denmark/denmark.001

Archive/File: holocaust/denmark denmark.001
Last-Modified: 1994/10/26

Newsgroups: soc.culture.jewish.holocaust
Subject: Re: Who Knew?
Date: 18 Sep 1994 02:41:35 GMT
Organization: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lines: 77
Message-ID: <35g9cv$>
References: <3574pq$>
Title: Danes and the Holocaust

From: Krzysztof Kniaz,
In article <357e3k$> Krzysztof Kniaz, writes:
 Paul Blumstein  wrote:
  This is slightly off of the topic, but is related and somewhat more
	[story deleted]

>The aforementioned story is a fiction contrived by Leon Ulriss in
>his book "Exodus". There's a somewhat lenghty, but interesting
>article about it written by a Danish scholar Jens Lund.

1. The author's name is Uris not "Ulriss"

2. On seeing your posting, I spoke to two survivbors of the Holocaust, one
from Ruthenia, apne from Budapest. The one from Ruthenia had heard the 
story of the Danish king *before* being deported to Auschwitz. The one 
from Budapest does not remember exactly when the story was doing the 
rounds in Hungary, but it was "definitely before the end of the war". 
Unless I am mistaken, Leon Uris' novel was written after World war II.

>Also, let me quote here (with permission from the author) a text
published last winter on the Holocaus-L:

>"The positive attitude of the Danes was laudable but not the reason for
the survival of the Danish Jews.  This lay in Nazi plans and priorities.
Nazis weren't much interested in the Danish Jews because only 7,000 of
them, and it served their purposes to maintain Denmark as a 'Model
Protectorate'. This policy was cancelled on orders from Hitler in August 
1943 and planning to deport the Jews now began.
The original plan had to be revised because it became apparent it would
be a fiasco; many Jews would escape the net and go underground.  Now a plan
was revived which had originally circulated in the Foreign Office in 1941:
drive the Jews out by staging a mock deportation action to frighten them into
leaving, meantime leaving the path to Sweden wide open so they could
This plan received Himmler's informal approval and was transmitted to
Denmark on Sept 28, 3 days before the anti-Jewish action began.
Now the local Nazis 'leaked' information to the Danes and the Jews.  In
the meantime the coastguard was ordered into port, so as not to impede the
flight of the Jews, and the German police were ordered not to enter
Jewish homes by force 'so as not to create a bad impression'.
By the way, among the participants in the mock deportation action, when
it did take place, was a 3,000-man Danish collaborationist police force,
and the German units that carried out the action were accompanied by Danish
civilians, probably members of the Danish Nazi Party, who acted as
interpreters. Sorry to take some of the romantic gloss of the Danish 
affair; there's >really nothing romantic about the Holocaust.

Footnote Number 113 on page 333 of "Konzentrationslager Dokument F321 
fuer den Internationalen Miltaergerichtshof Nuerenberg" (a translation 
into German of   "Camps de Concentration. Crimes contre la personne 
humaine" in 1945":

Denmark was occupied by German troops in April 1940 and capitualte 
without a fight. Unlike in most other occupied territories, the Germany 
occpiers had little success in forcing  national-socialist policies onto 
the country. A stubborn and successful resistance arose against the 
anti-semitic legislation demanded, which managed to help the overwhelming 
majority of Jews in Denmark to escape to Sweden. Even the Danish police 
force managed repeatedly, by means of passive resistance, to deflect the
of the occupying power and make it ineffectual ("ins Leere laufen 
lassen"). Eight months before the German capitulation, on 19th September, 
1944, the German occupying forces stormed  Danish police stations in a 
night raid, arrested nearly a quarter of the entire Danish police force 
(large parts went underground) and deported these officers from active 
service to Germany. Eugen Kogon reported that 1,900 Danish police 
officers spent four months (from October 1944) in KZ Buchenwald."

There is *nothing* romantic about the Holocaust. There is a lot that is 
disgusting about attempts to rewrite history.


From: (Krzysztof Kniaz)
Newsgroups: soc.culture.jewish.holocaust
Subject: Re: Who Knew?
Date: 19 Sep 1994 15:13:53 GMT
Organization: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lines: 472
Message-ID: <35k9rh$>
References: <3574pq$> <35g9cv$>
Title: Legend of the King and the Star

Jens Lund


[Indiana Folklore 8 (1975) pp. 1-37], first ten pages:

>From  the  German   occupation   headquarters   at   the   Hotel
D'Angleterre  came  the  decree:  ALL JEWS MUST WEAR A YELLOW ARM

That night the underground radio transmitted  a  message  to  all
Danes.  `From  Amalienborg  Palace,  King Christian has given the
following answer to the German command that Jews must wear a Star
of  David. The King has said that one Dane is exactly the same as
the next Dane. He himself will wear the first Star of  David  and
he  expects that every loyal Dane will do the same.' The next day
in Copenhagen, almost the entire population wore armbands showing
a Star of David. The following day the Germans rescinded the ord-
er [1].

This account, a fictionalization contrived by Leon  Uris  in  his
1958  novel,  Exodus,  describes a well-known event from the dark
days of Nazi hegemony in Europe. It is familiar to the many  per-
sons  who  heard  of  the  heroic deed during the war or who have
heard or read about it afterwards.  Unfortunately,  however,  the
event  never  took place. Not only did the citizens of Copenhagen
and the King of Denmark never wear the Jewish badge, but  neither
did any Danish Jew, except for the few hundred who were ultimate-
ly deported to concentration camps, and even they  only  wore  it
after  their  arrival.  Furthermore,  the  Nazi authorities never
decreed the use of the badge in Denmark and King Christian X nev-
er,  as is also often believed, threatened to wear it himself, if
it were instituted. The widespread diffusion and persistent popu-
larity,  after  thirty  years,  of crying accounts of the King of
Denmark's involvement with the Jewish badge is a matter of impor-
tance to folklorists, historians and sociologists alike.

Essentially, three separate, similar stories  about  the  alleged
occurrence circulate. For purposes of discussion, they may be la-
beled Versions I, II, and III, respectively. They  are,  in  sum-
mary, as follows:

Version I: The Nazi occupiers threatened to decree the use of the
badge  among  Danish Jews. King Christian was notified and he in-
formed the Germans that, were the badge  decreed,  he  too  would
wear  it,  because  of the principle of equality among all Danish
citizens. The Nazis backed down and never issued the decree.

Version II: The Nazi occupiers decreed the use of the badge among
Danish  Jews.  King  Christian,  on  his morning ride through the
streets of Copenhagen, appeared, wearing the badge, explaining to
the  people  his adherence to the principle of equality among all
Danish citizens. The Nazis backed down and rescinded the order.

Version III: The Nazi occupiers decreed  the  use  of  the  badge
among  Danish Jews to aid in their identification for purposes of
arrest and deportation.  King  Christian,  on  his  morning  ride
through  the  streets  of  Copenhagen, appeared wearing the badge
himself, as did thousands of other non-Jewish citizens. The  Ger-
mans  were thus thwarted in their attempt to identify Danish Jews
and rescinded the order.

There are, of course, as many variants of the story as there  are
persons with a memory of it and some of them incorporate elements
of two or more versions. As with many modern legends, the  legend
of  the  King  and the Star has diffused via the printed page and
the electronic media, as well as by oral tradition [2].  The  ob-
jective of this project will be to do the following:

1)   To describe the actual events surrounding  Nazi  persecution
of  Jews in Denmark and elsewhere that could have given rise to a
rumor that the King of Denmark threatened  to  wear  or  actually
wore the Jewish badge during World War II.

2)   To describe the methods of diffusion of the story - printed,
electronic  and oral - and how this diffusion crystallized one of
the thousands of war-rumors of the l940s into a persistent legen-
dary form.

3)   To offer a sample of some oral variants of the story  as  it
exists today, with sufficient ethnic and social data to speculate
about the nature of its persistence and of its adherents'  belief
in its veracity.

                          HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

          Badges of distinction are probably as old  as  humanity
and have been used through the ages to denote civil, military and
clerical authority. On the other hand, they have also  been  used
to specify those deemed worthy of punishment, as for example, the
well-known use of the red letter "A" by the Puritans to  identify
convicted  adulterers, as related in Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel,
The Scarlet Letter [3]. Religious  differences,  especially  when
stigmatized,  have  also been cause for decreeing a peculiar mark
to be worn by the outsider. A few distinctions of dress  for  He-
brews are mentioned in the Old Testament, including a prohibition
of fabric of "mingled linen and woolen" [4]  and  the  obligation
that  a fringe of thread entwined with a blue cord be worn on the
outer edges of the garment [5].  After  the  fall  of  Jerusalem,
Diaspora  Jews often wore distinctive garments varying with their
places of residence. In the ninth century  Muslim  world,  Caliph
Omar  II  decreed  vestments  of  a distinguishing color for non-
Muslims and in Sicily during the same century, the Saracen gover-
nor  decreed  that  all Christians must display on their houses a
badge shaped like a swine and all Jews a badge shaped like a don-
key [6].

     In Medieval and Renaissance Europe a number  of  distinctive
badges   were   forced  upon  the  Jewish  population.  A  shield
representing the Tablets of the Law  was  decreed  in  thirteenth
century  England  [7].  At  the same time, a red and white wheel-
shaped badge was decreed in France and in Italy  a  yellow  wheel
was used [8]. The First Lateran Council, meeting in 1215, decreed
that throughout Christendom, Jews and Saracens should be  "marked
off...   through  the character of their dress" but left it up to
local authorities to devise the precise form of distinction  [9].
Yellow wheel-shaped badges were later used through much of Europe
until finally prohibited by Emperor Franz Josef II in 1781  [10].
There is also some evidence that a six-pointed star was used as a
Jewish badge in fourteenth century Portugal [11]. Not until  1797
was the yellow wheel abolished in the Papal States, and then only
by the French Revolutionary authorities [12]. It is  ironic  that
on  4 April 1933, the morning after the Nazi takeover in Germany,
the German Jewish newspaper, Juedische Rundschau,  mentioned  the
old Medieval badge metaphorically in the statement, "Wear it with
pride, this yellow badge" [13].

      The six-pointed Star of David  (more  properly  called  the
"shield  of David", when translated from the Hebrew, Magen David)
was not widely used as a symbol of Judaism until  the  nineteenth
century.  It  did appear on some Jewish buildings and gravestones
as far back as the early Middle Ages, but  seemingly  only  as  a
part  of general kabbalistic heraldry. Its adoption by nineteenth
century Zionists seems to have been a deliberate attempt to  give
Judaism  a simple symbol, comparable to the cross of Christianity

     Animosity towards the Jewish people has been endemic to  Eu-
ropean  civilization since the early Middle Ages. Although origi-
nally based on religious grounds, anti-Jewish feelings were given
quasi-racial justification by some nineteenth century nationalis-
tic movements, particularly in Germany  and  Russia,  and  "Anti-
Semitic Leagues" sought to exclude Jews from national life during
the early decades of the German Empire [15]. After World  War  I,
Adolf  Hitler's  National Socialist party blamed Germany's severe
economic and political problems on  its  Jewish  population,  and
following  the  Nazi takeover in 1933, systematic persecution was
instituted. In 1935, special laws, the  Nurnberger  Gesetze,  ex-
cluded   Jews  from  German  citizenship,  ostensibly  on  racial
grounds, and after the outbreak of war, Nazi persecution was  in-
stituted  in the portions of Europe under German occupation, end-
ing with a program of mass extermination "the final  solution  to
the Jewish problem" [16].

     As early as 1935, Jewish-owned shops in Germany were  forced
by  law  to  identify  themselves  as  such  with  a  prominently
displayed sign. The same year, passports  and  rations  cards  of
Jews  were stamped with a large letter "J" [17]. Also, inmates of
German concentration camps during the 193Os were forced  to  wear
distinctively  colored badges according to their dissenters, etc.
The badge for Jewish prisoners consisted  of  a  yellow  and  red
six-pointed star [18].

     It was not until October 1939 that Jews were again forced to
wear a distinctive badge in public. This was first promulgated by
a local SS commander in the Wloclawek district of Poland and gra-
dually  spread  throughout  Polish territory under German occupa-
tion. Not until 19 September 1941 was the wearing of the distinc-
tive  yellow badge, consisting of the Star of David with the word
Jude in pseudo-Hebraic characters made mandatory in Germany prop-
er  [20].  Other nations under German occupation, with the excep-
tion of Denmark, were eventually forced to comply with the  regu-
lations  instituting  the  badge, which was officially designated
der Judenstern ("the star of the Jews"). In 1942, the SS publica-
tion, Das Schwarze Korps, even advocated the additional identifi-
cation of Jews by forcing them to wear black bowler  hats,  since
the  star was too easily concealed. This measure was never insti-
tuted [21].

     Nazi forces overran Denmark on 9 April 1940 and  the  Danish
government  quickly  capitulated. In exchange for Danish coopera-
tion with the occupying forces, the democratic Danish  government
and  constitution were permitted to continue free from German in-
terference until July 1941 when, in response to the German  inva-
sion   of  the  Soviet  Union,  anti-Communist  regulations  were
decreed. In November 1941, the Danish  government  was  pressured
into signing the Anti-Comintern Pact, Germany's anti-Soviet alli-
ance. As early as 1939, a congress of pact members in Berlin  had
declared  that the pact signatories considered "a position on the
Jewish question" to be part and parcel of the  pact's  intentions
[22].   Public  awareness of the anti-Semitic implications of the
Anti-Comintern Pact, as well as violent street demonstrations op-
posed  to  its ratification, led to a Danish government proclama-
tion that "the pact's ratification does not involve any responsi-
bilities  for the Danish government not already enumerated in the
wording of the pact". The German authorities did, however, engage
a  Danish  Nazi constitutional lawyer, Dr. Julius Popp-Madsen, to
draw up a legal brief based upon the Nurnberger Gesetze for  con-
sideration by the Danish parliament. This brief included an arti-
cle prescribing a distinctive badge for Jews  [24].  In  December
1941,  Cecil  von Renthe-Fink, the German ambassador and plenipo-
tentiary, approached the pro-German Minister of Transport, Gunnar
Larsen,  about  the  possibility  of anti-semitic measures by the
Danish government. A special cabinet meeting was called  to  dis-
cuss the topic and it was declared that any such actions would be
dangerous to public order and could  conceivably  cause  sabotage
and  unrest  against the occupying power [25]. Although the small
Danish Nazi party (DNSAP) had been agitating against  Jews  since
1930, the relatively important pro-German and pro-Nazi Danes, in-
cluding several cabinet ministers, the director of  the  national
railways, and the leaders of the farmers' organization, never in-
volved themselves in the rowdy conduct of the DNSAP. They further
advised  that  no  anti-Jewish  measures  be instituted until the
war's conclusion. A German communique agreed to  let  the  matter
rest until further notice [26].

     Although Denmark is by no  means  free  from  anti-Semitism,
Danish  kings  and  governments  have traditionally protected the
rights of Jewish subjects. The constitution  of  1848  guaranteed
full  religious  freedom,  and  even at the end of the nineteenth
century, when Jews were being subjected to violence and discrimi-
nation elsewhere in Europe, no outbreaks of anti-Jewish hostility
occurred anywhere in Scandinavia [27].  Frederik  VIII,  king  of
Denmark  from  1906 through 1912, and father of the wartime king,
was a personal friend of Denmark's chief rabbi,  David  Simonsen.
In 1907, King Frederik personally prevented a threatened outbreak
of pogroms in western Russia, by repeatedly  writing  and  wiring
his sister, the mother of Tsar Nikolai II [28]. King Christian X,
who acceded the throne in 1912, took a personal interest  in  the
Copenhagen Jewish community's welfare. In 1933, the king attended
the Copenhagen synagogue's centennial celebration [29].  In  1941
and   1942,  two  abortive  attempts  were  hatched  to  bum  the
Copenhagen synagogue, probably by domestic Nazi hooligans.  After
the  second  of  these,  the  king sent a personal message to the
congregation expressing his relief that  the  arson  attempt  was
thwarted.  A  special auxiliary police unit was then organized by
the Copenhagen police to guard the building [30].

     It is important to note at this point that the  Jewish  com-
munity in Denmark was, to a large degree, assimilated into Danish
national life. Probably less than thirty percent of Danes of Jew-
ish origin took any part whatsoever in Jewish community life, and
an even smaller percentage were actually  practicing  the  Jewish
religion. The rate of intermarriage was so high that many indivi-
duals were only dimly aware of their  past  Jewish  heritage  and
non-Jewish  neighbors  were  often  totally ignorant of their ac-
quaintances' non-Christian  background.  Danish  society  in  the
twentieth  century  is  highly secularized and the characteristic
religious laxness of the Lutheran majority seems to  have  spread
to the smaller religious groups as well.

     The first few years of  German  occupation  were  remarkably
lenient,  due to a number of factors. First of all, the Danes of-
fered little resistance to the initial  invasion  -  indeed  some
people welcomed it as an alternative to becoming a German-British
battleground. A degree of pro-German sympathy also existed  among
some  of  the  Danish peasantry, who were interested in expanding
the produce export market to the  south  and  freeing  themselves
from  their  economic  dependence  upon  Great Britain [31]. Then
there was the "racial" element.  Nazi  racial  theories  included
Scandinavians  within  the  so-called  "Aryan race" and the Danes
were supposed to be especially fine  specimens  of  this  dubious
variety  of  humanity.  Hitler's  personal admiration for Denmark
resulted in the policy of the Musterprotektorat  ("model  protec-
torate")  which  was supposed to show the world the advantages of
peaceful submission to Nazi rule. Although it  is  doubtful  that
most  Danes appreciated foreign occupation, even at first, Danish
and German authorities took great pains to emphasize the continu-
ing  normality  of life under occupied circumstances. King Chris-
tian himself rode daily through  the  streets  of  Copenhagen  on
horseback  as  he  had done before the war, probably to emphasize
the continued legitimacy of  the  Danish  throne  and  government

     The false normalcy of German occupation was, however, doomed
to failure. First of all, the unconstitutional anticommunist laws
decreed by the government under German pressure after  July  1941
led  to  much  bitterness. The Danish government's signing of the
anti-Comintern pact late in 1941 and the violent  suppression  by
Danish  police  of  the  subsequent  demonstrations also took its
toil.  The drain on the Danish economy of the German war-machine,
the  gradual imposition of political censorship, the raising of a
volunteer corps of Danes (Frikorps Danmark) to fight  for  Hitler
in  Russia,  and  German  complicity  in DNSAP rowdyism and anti-
Semitism, all eventually led to a profound hatred  of  the  occu-
piers.   Widespread  sabotage  against railways, German installa-
tions and industries supplying the occupiers  swept  the  country
and  numerous  covert  anti-Nazi  organizations appeared, many of
them with ties to the Allies. Ordinary citizens  stopped  frater-
nizing  with  Germans and private resistance ran all the way from
simple unfriendliness to instances of direct violence. The German
authorities   responded   with  increasing  severity,  arresting,
deporting and even executing both perpetrators and hostages [33].

     The first instance of a direct  breakdown  in  Danish-German
co-operation  was  the  so-called "Telegram Crisis" - an incident
personally involving King Christian himself. In  September  1942,
on his seventieth birthday, the king received a letter of congra-
tulation from Hitler. His answer, "My best thanks", was deemed an
insult  in  its brevity by the Nazi government and a major crisis
resulted. The German ambassador and plenipotentiary, von  Renthe-
Fink, was recalled and Hitler demanded that a Nazi puppet govern-
ment be established in Denmark. Von Renthe-Fink was  replaced  by
Dr.  Werner Best, a leading Nazi police official. Best eventually
calmed the situation after being counselled by  his  advisers  to
resist Berlin's demands [34].

     Symbolic actions against the Nazis by  the  Danish  populace
took  a  variety  of  forms.  Red and white badges with the royal
monogram, "CX", were widely worn. One account by a Danish Jew who
was deported in October 1943 mentions that the monogram badge was
worn universally by Jewish prisoners in the Nazi camp  at  Horse-
rod, Denmark, where they were held before deportation, until this
was forbidden by the commandant [35]. Great patriotic  song  fes-
tivals  were  organized  all  over Denmark. Persons voting in the
controversial 1943 election wore red and white  badges  proclaim-
ing, "Har stemt", ("have voted"). The red, white and blue roundel
of Britain's Royal Air Force was worn as a knitted  stocking  cap
by  many  Danes until this was prohibited by the Nazis. Likewise,
four coins tied together with a red and white ribbon (the  Danish
colors)  and  equalling  nine  are were worn in the buttonhole to
commemorate the ninth of April (9/4) - the date  of  the  occupa-
tion. Humorous classified as subtly attacking the Nazis were pur-
chased in Danish newspapers [36]. This type  of  symbolic  resis-
tance  also  occurred  outside Denmark, especially in France, the
Netherlands and Norway [37].

     Illegal publications, as well as orally  diffused  tales  of
heroism  by  crimes  and  atrocity  by Germans, circulated widely
[38].  Underground humor lambasted the Nazi authorities and their
Danish  cohorts.  DNSAP was reputed to stand for, "De naar sateme
ailrig Petrograd" ("They'll never [sateme is a profane  expletive
adverb]  reach  Petrograd").  The  Jewish badge in use outside of
Denmark was lampooned by illegal wit. The yellow star was  called
"Pour  le  Semite",  in a burlesque of the name of the old German
military decoration, Pour le Merite. The letters "J" ("I"),  "U,"
"D,"  and  "E"  on the badge were said to represent, "Italien und
Deutschland's Ende" [39].  A  number  of  numbskull  tales  about
Hitler  and Mussolini circulated, some of which involved a Jew as
a protagonist, as did a number of  apocryphal  tales  about  King
Christian snubbing Hitler or the Germans in general [40].

     In the summer of 1943, the political  situation  in  Denmark
became completely chaotic. The German military proclaimed martial
law and issued a series of demands to the Danish government.  The
cabinet, headed by the pro-German Prime Minister, Erik Scavenius,
refused to capitulate and resigned, and the Germans attacked Dan-
ish  military  and  naval installations. Most of the Danish fleet
was scuttled, and an emergency committee of  departmental  chief-
of-staff  took  over the administration of the Danish government.
The German plenipotentiary, Dr. Best, demanded police  reinforce-
ments from Berlin, agreeing to the condition that they were to be
under direct command from Germany. At this point  the  story  be-
comes  complex.  Best  evidently  suggested that these additional
troops could be used to deal  with  Denmark's  "Jewish  problem".
After  their  arrival,  however,  he  repeated  his  own  and his
predecessor's earnest counsel that Danish Jews remain  unmolested
in order to prevent further public disorder. To this date, Best's
intentions regarding the Danish Jews are still unclear.  But  due
to  the  direct control of the police reinforcements from Berlin,
Hitler's obsessive hatred of all Jews was finally able to prevail
over the advice of his counselors in Denmark [41].

     The arrival of representatives from Adolf Eichmann's  Jewish
affairs  office  of  the German security police in September 1943
evidently caused considerable consternation among the higher Ger-
man  authorities in Denmark. Best agreed reluctantly to cooperate
and was given back his authority as  plenipotentiary,  which  had
been  temporarily  suspended during the martial law. General Her-
mann  von  Hanneken,  the  military  commander,  was  ordered  to
cooperate  with  Best  in spite of the general's protest that the
army did not take part in such political matters.  Best  notified
his  traffic attache, Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz, about the impend-
ing deportation of the Jews. Duckwitz, himself a  former  Social-
ist,  immediately contacted the leaders of Denmark's Social Demo-
cratic Party, who in turn notified the chief of  staff  committee
and  the  leaders  of the Jewish community. Duckwitz then comman-
deered a plane at great personal risk and flew to  Sweden,  where
he  negotiated  a secret agreement with the Swedish government to
receive as many Danish Jews as  could  arrive  on  Swedish  soil.
Meanwhile,  agents  of the German security police burglarized the
Copenhagen synagogue, stealing its membership  list.  When  Niels
Svenningsen,  chief-of-staff  of the Prime Minister's department,
protested this action to Best, he was assured that it was only  a
routine  anti-sabotage  action.  On  the  morning of 29 September
1943, Rabbi Marcus Melchior of the  Copenhagen  synagogue  warned
his  congregation  that  on  October  1, all Danish Jews would be
arrested and deported. They were advised to seek  refuge  in  the
homes  of their Gentile neighbors and await further instructions.
On the appointed day, which was also the first day of Rosh Hasha-
nah,  the  raid  took place. Hundreds of German police troops and
Danish collaborators rushed to the homes of Danish Jews. Of  over
7,000 known Danes of Jewish faith or descent only two hundred and
eighty-four could be found. After several weeks  in  hiding,  the
other  6,700  who had gone into hiding began perilous journeys to
Sweden on fishing boats, private yachts and  other  small  craft.
Some  were  lost  at sea and some were captured and deported, but
most of them reached safety [42].

     Along with the highly co-ordinated warning and  rescue  sys-
tem, which involved thousands of non-Jewish Danes, there was also
a storm of public protest. The Nazis attempted to placate  public
opinion  by  releasing  the Danish officer corps, interned during
the martial law episode in August. This caused even more outrage,
as officers refused to be released in exchange for innocent Jews.
Chief-of-staff Svenningsen repeatedly sought audiences  with  Dr.
Best  in  an attempt to call off the deportation. King Christian,
the leaders of religious, political and youth  organizations  and
numerous  other  prominent citizens sent letters and telegrams of
protest, and in churches throughout Denmark an outraged proclama-
tion  composed  by the Lutheran' hierarchy was read by local pas-
tors [43].

     The two hundred and eighty-four Jews originally captured  in
the  first raid and another one hundred and ninety apprehended in
hiding or on the way  to  Sweden  were  shipped  to  the  special
"honor"  concentration camp, Theresienstadt, in Bohemia. In spite
of the cruel regime of the camp, eighty-nine percent survived  to
return to Denmark. This was because of the Danish and Swedish Red
Cross's insistence  upon  regularly  sending  food  parcels.  Two
months  before the end of the war, all Danish and Norwegian pris-
oners, including Jews, were sent by bus to Sweden under  the  su-
pervision  of Swedish Red Cross chief Count Folke Bernadotte. The
buses passed through Denmark on the  way,  and  they  were  given
heroes'  welcomes by the local populace along the route, in spite
of German attempts to disperse the milling crowds. After V-E Day,
all  of  the  refugees  in Sweden returned to Denmark and Norway.
Fifty-two Danish Jews died in Nazi captivity [44].

     The murder of approximately six million Jews by Nazi author-
ities  in Europe (commonly called "the Holocaust") was one of the
most notorious crimes in history [45]. The efficiency of Nazi ex-
termination  policy was to a great extent augmented by the tradi-
tional European hatred of Jews,  which  gave  silent  assent  and
often even active support for the deportations which preceded the
murders. In all countries under Nazi rule, including Germany  it-
self,   there   were   also  individuals  who  were  sufficiently
conscience-stricken to take personal action at great risk in  at-
tempts  to  rescue individual victims [46]. The Danish rescue was
probably the most elaborate of these efforts, involving thousands
of  policemen,  government  officials, physicians, and persons of
all walks of life [47]. The Finnish government,  although  allied
to  Nazi  Germany, flatly refused to allow any action to be taken
against Finland's small Jewish community [48].  Until  the  Arrow
Cross  coup  in 1944, Hungary, also an Axis satellite, refused to
take anti-Semitic actions, and even served as a haven for  Jewish
refugees  from  elsewhere.  Most of Hungary's Jews were, however,
exterminated after the German- engineered  change  of  government
[49].  Another  ally  of Germany, Bulgaria, successfully resisted
Nazi demands for the arrest and deportation of its Jewish popula-
tion, in spite of its occupation by large numbers of German mili-
tary [50].  Belgium, which was under the direct military rule  of
the  Wehrmacht  for  the  duration  of its occupation, managed to
prevent the deportation, but not the  internment,  of  its  indi-
genous  Jewish  population,  although  Jewish refugees from other
countries did not fare as well. Belgium's railroad workers  sabo-
taged Nazi deportation trains, as did the railwaymen of the Neth-
erlands [51].

Krzysztof Kniaz,              |  
U of Pennsylvania, LRSM ,     | "A witty saying proves nothing"
Phila, PA, 19104, USA         |                 Voltaire

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