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The Nazi-occupied Denmark rescued its Jewish population



On September 29, 1943, a Danish rabbi interrupted the morning service at the Krystalgade Synagogue in Copenhagen and said, "We have no time to continue the prayers."

"We have news that this Friday for the night, in the night from the 1st to the 2nd of October, the Gestapo will come and arrest all the Danish Jews They have a mailing list and they become the Every Jew's house will come and they will take us all to two big ships waiting in the harbor of Copenhagen and on the continent, "warned Marcus Melchior.

"There are two things you have to do," said the rabbi.

"Number one, stay away from your homes Friday night we do not know what's going to happen next, but they're not in their homes on Friday night."

"Number two, transfer that message to all of yours Friends, family, whom you can, so you must know that you have to leave the house for Friday. "[1

9659002] And the following days marked one of the most remarkable resistance stories of World War II.

By order of Hitler, the Danish Jews were to be deported on October 1, 1943. [196592002Becauseofafewweeksonasubterraneannetworkwiththehelpofthenon-Jewishpopulationofthecountry8000peopleweretakentoneutralSweden where they were out of danger

"We did what we did"

Photographer Judy Glickman Lauder narrated this story through a series of portraits showing Jewish survivors and their saviors.

Her book "Beyond Shadows: The Holocaust and the Danish Exception" (published by Aperture), commemorates the 75th anniversary of the salvation.

For 30 years, Glickman Lauder has been photographing the uncle of the Nazi extermination camps, such as the famous Auschwitz.

And some of these images appear in "Beyond the Shadows," but the book also offers something redeeming and hopeful.

Holocaust scholar Raul Hilberg observed that life under the Nazi regime included everyone in three categories: perpetrators, victims, or bystanders, "writes Glickman Lauder in his book.

" But there were exceptions to Hilberg's reign : small but important exceptions to people and communities who were neither perpetrators nor victims and refused to be spectators "he says.

" I had the opportunity to head the Danish Resistance Against Rescuers and Jewish survivors. These extraordinary people shared their individual experiences and took me to the places where the events of 1943 had taken place, "says the photographer.

" Many could not understand why I wanted to make their portraits. We did what we did they told me as if it were something obvious. But the reality is that few others did, "he says.

In an essay accompanying the photographs, Judith Goldstein argues that, along with a history of violence," another equally important story is being explored: that of the Resistance Resistance and Protection of beleagured minorities by valiant individuals, communities and, in very few instances, nations themselves. "

Breitenfußbewegung

" On the night of 1 and 2 October the German raid took place instead, "recalls Bent, Melchior's son, in" Beyond the Shadow. "

" Of the approximately 8,000 Jews in Denmark the Germans found only about 200 in their homes. Some of them heard the news, but refused to believe it. We could not tell them others, "he says.

" Everyone else was scattered in private homes, hospitals, or where they could hide, "the rabbi's son continues.

" No one was prepared, nothing was organized in advance, and it really was a grassroots movement of people who took matters into their own hands and made sure to stay away from the Germans, "he says.

" We went to Pårup station [ la última parada antes de Gilleleje] to search for people – who completely filled the train – and to distribute them on the big farms, "says Jens Møller in the book

" But there were so many that there was not enough space. We took an elderly couple and a young couple, who had twin babies, to our house and some to the carpenter, "he recalls.

" The neighbors brought bread and butter with them. They stayed for three days, "continues Møller.

" And I came and went to the harbor to see when there would be room for them.

As Glinkman Lauder points out: "Denmark was the only country in Western Europe's Nazi Germany that could save its Jewish population. "

" While the evil and the fear seized almost all of Europe the Danish people retained its humanity and saved those who occupied a Jewish nation of great danger, "he says.

Herbert Pundik was 16 Years old when his family fled to Sweden.

"Two incidents stand out against the chaotic memories of those days when, in fear and distress, we tried to find an escape route to Sweden. "

" One refers to my father: We ran through a dark forest . My father stumbled and fell to the ground. "

" And the fall of my father, who until then had been the guardian figure and the head of the family, suddenly showed our vulnerability, fear and loss of control. Only then, in the dark forest, did I realize how dangerous our situation was. "

" The second incident: We were aboard a fishing boat that left the Danish coast on its way through the enemy straits towards safety in Sweden, "Pundik continues.

" I turned and saw Denmark on. At dawn I saw the fisherman's wife and the man and woman who had been protecting us while we were waiting to run, kneeling in the sand, hands together and raised to heaven, in silent prayer ,

Symbol of Hope

Glickman Lauder's portraits remind us of a time when ordinary people are in danger of helping others.

"Although Danish history is small numbers are expressed – because those affected are a small one A fraction of all persecuted by the Nazis were – it has a huge dimension, "he says.

" It is the story of a population that showed that it was possible to do something and that he himself refused to see a minority as "the others," says the photographer.

Glickman Lauder also points out that this happened at all levels of Danish society : by the fishermen who were the Jews Security in Sweden was protected from the dark until King Christian X, who visited the Krystalgade Synagogue in Copenhagen in an act of solidarity and refused, was an accomplice to Nazi persecution Jews, "he says.

Sometimes you climbed to the top of humanity simply by remaining human, "wrote the late Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.

And for Glickman Lauder, that's the true power of these images." For me The Danish people symbolized hope a friendly force in a crazy world. "

You can read the original note in English on BBC Culture.


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