• Art S.

7,500+ Danish Jews Saved During Holocaust, 1943

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: October 1, 1943

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#onthisday 1943, Adolf Hitler sought to advance his antisemitic terror across Europe by ordering the arrest and deportation of all Danish Jews - Danes unite to save their Jewish neighbors and defy Nazi orders.

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This followed the Nazi invasion of Norway and Denmark on April 9, 1940 and three years of occupation.

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Despite occupation, the government of Denmark consistently challenged attacks on its Jews.

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However, after further incursions on Danish sovereignty, motivated by growing efforts by the Danish Resistance, the Danish government dissolved and German authorities took over direct control of the country.

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Among the Nazi’s first moves was the ordering the arrest of Denmark’s 7,800 Jews.

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Concentration camps awaited them. However, in resistance to Nazi plans, the Danes moved immediately to have all Danish Jews transported to Sweden.

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The full spectrum of Danish citizenship took part in the rescue, from civil servants to the Jews’ neighbors, as Jews who had been in hiding to those still trying to maintain some semblance of daily life were helped out of the country.

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The Danes transported the Jews by fishing boat, row boat, and train cars set atop ferries. In a remarkable public rebuke to the Nazis, on October 2nd the Swedish government announced on radio that it would accept all of Denmark’s Jews.

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But passage to Sweden was not free. Of the estimated 20 million kroner needed to pay for the transport, roughly half was provided by wealthy Danes, the other half by Jewish families.

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At every step, from financing to transport, the Danish Resistance Movement played an essential role.

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Of the approximately 600 Danish Jews who did not make it out, almost all were sent to Theresienstadt.

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Still, the extraordinary efforts and cooperation of Sweden and Denmark, its governments and people, stand as a symbol of bravery and humanity during the dark period in European history we know as the Holocaust.

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The efforts of the Danish Resistance are commemorated at Yad Vashem in Israel and the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

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#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#denmark#danishjewry#sweden#saved#NeverForget#otdjh

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Text Source:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-rescue-of-danish-jews

Image Source:

https://www.history.com/news/wwii-danish-jews-survival-holocaust

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