The early phases of the rescue were improvisational. When Danish civil servants at several levels in different ministries learned of the German plan to round up all Danish Jews, they independently pursued various measures to find the Jews and hide them. Some simply phoned friends and asked them to go through telephone books and warn those with Jewish-sounding names to go into hiding. Most Jews hid for several days or weeks, uncertain of their fate.In the course of just a few weeks, in the early autumn of 1943, approximately 8,000 persons were hidden in churches, schools, hospitals, and private homes until they could be guided to points up and down the shore, where fishing boats awaited to carry them to safety in neutral Sweden.The Jews were smuggled out of Denmark over the Øresund strait from Zealand to Sweden - passage duration depending on the specific route and the weather, but averaging under an hour on the choppy winter sea.
Some refugees were transported in fishing boats, while others were carried to freedom in rowboats or kayaks. Some were even smuggled inside freight cars on the regular ferries between Denmark and Sweden, this route being suited for the very young or old who were too weak to endure a rough sea passage.The rescue allowed the vast majority of Denmark's Jewish population to avoid capture by the Nazis and is considered to be one of the largest actions of collective resistance to repression in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. As a result of the rescue, most of Denmark's Jewish population survived the Holocaust.Read more:OCTOBER 1943: The Rescue of the Danish Jews from AnnihilationPublication by The Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Museum of Danish Resistance
Oktober '43Website by the Danish Jewish Museum with lists of events in DenmarkInternational Holocaust Remebrance AllianceIntergovernmental body whose purpose is to place political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance and research both nationally and internationally. United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumA living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Video: Denmark Square inaugurated in Haifa, IsraelAt a recent event, Denmark Square i Haifa was inaugurated and a beautiful sculpture was unveiled by the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education.Danish Institute for International Study publications: "Welfare, Refugees and Rescue. Denmark and the Jewish Question"
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