Sneaking the Jews out of Denmark Favorite 



Sep 15 1943



In September 1943, the Nazis prepared for the deportation of all Danish Jews to the concentration camps and death. But Georg Duckwitz, a German diplomat with a conscience, deliberately leaked the plans for the roundup, which was due to begin on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Armed with the information from Duckwitz, Danes swung into action.

Teachers fetched children out of class, and told them to go home and pack their things. Friends and strangers alike provided alternative accommodations, so that nobody would be at home when the Nazis came knocking on the door at the registered addresses of Jews. Adults and children checked into hospitals under fictitious names, suffering from fictitious ailments. Others appeared at chapels, as if to attend a funeral. The “mourners”— sometimes hundreds at a time—then traveled at a stately speed out of Copenhagen, as part of a huge, life-giving funeral cortege, as described in Emmy Werner’s A Conspiracy of Decency . Families were transported to remote beaches, where boats picked them up at night and took them to safety. Others arranged escapes in broad daylight. In Copenhagen, families stepped into canal boats that advertised “Harbor Tours.” These special harbor tours avoided traditional sights, delivering their passengers to waiting fishing boats instead. Families hid in the hulls, or were covered by tarpaulins, herrings, and straw, and were ferried to neutral Sweden to wait out the war in safety.

As a result of Duckwitz’s whistle-blowing and of Danish solidarity, 99 percent of Denmark’s seven thousand Jews survived.

from John Jackson and Steve Crawshaw. Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World.

Excerpt From: teve Crawshaw. “Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World.” Apple Books.

Posted by Andy Bichlbaum on

Staff rating: 

Obvious indeed

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