Countrymen (PDF)

P move Jews to safety in Sweden Instead Jews were saved as a result of spontaneous ingenuity and bravery Danes stood by their Jewish friends and co patriots ven at the risk of their own lives Those who aided Jews came from all walks of life and all professions Hospitals became collection centers for Jews Underground newspapers gave people ho Thoroughly researched and detailed but tedious and repetitiveIt was worth reading because it told of a remarkable people whose social values and unity made it difficult for the Nazis to persecute the Danish Jews Even when it became inevitable and all the Jews were to be rounded up in a one night raid most of them were warned and were hidden in the homes of their non Jewish friends and neighbors They were moved at great risk to ports to The Accidental Beauty Queen escape to Sweden which welcomed them Even those who were caught and sent to a concentration camp in Scandinavia were treated much better than in other camps and most of them survived the warWhy couldn t the Nazis mistreat the Jews Because they realized that they needed public support In other nations anti Semitism led to co operation by the citizens Denmark perhaps because it is such a small nation and has of a sense of community than perhaps the US or Canada did not differentiate people by race or belief The Danes realized that what could be done to Danish Jews could be done to any of themWhen Danish Jews fled by boat in the 10 day period in October the government took over protection of their assets until the Jews returned a lesson that could have been learned by the US during the internment of Japanese Americans Returning Jews found their businesses functioning orasily resumed their homes unharmed and maintained and a generous payment by the Danish government for their lossesSweden was remarkable in its treatment of them accepting all Danish Jews until the nd of the war and paying their xpenses Denmark owed them millions for the care of their citizens Sweden would not accept payment At the same time Canadian and US governments were refusing ntry ven to Jewish children unaccompanied by their parentsThe book however does show how little the Danish Jews suffered during their Crown of Stars (Crown of Stars, escape a maximum of 10 days with food and protection from strangers not the cattle car transportation to concentration camps without food water warmth medical care or sleep then being well looked after in Sweden not in detention centers or refugee camps but in pleasant accommodation with their needs met It is the one part of the book that was depressing yes they left their homes suddenly and unexpectedly they had up to 10 days of difficult circumstances for some a horrible but short sea voyage and then 2 years in a foreign country but they did not suffer like so many others under Nazi rule Of course it isasy to see this now when they were going through these xperiences few people had any idea of the horror that awaited most JewsBut we need to keep in mind that if the Danish government and Danish people had not protected their social values so steadfastly then the Danish Jews would have been through the same horrors as Jews lsewhereThe book is worth reading as a study of the subtle political and cultural influences that can undermine or build up a nation We can learn much from their xperience Here in time for the 70th anniversary of the rescue in October 1943 of Denmark s Jewish residents from the Holocaust It seems to be the first full Danish account of the vent using new research notably the diaries by people who took part in the This Forsaken Earth event It s not the first work focused on this rescue Leni Yahil s 1967 work The Rescue of Danish Jewry Test of a Democracy which Mr Lidegaard cites came first Nonetheless Bo Lidegaard has given us a full account of the attempted German roundup thextraordinary mobilization of the Danes to remove the Jews to Sweden and the continuing Danish The Summer Palace: A Captive Prince Short Story (Captive Prince Short Stories Book 2) effort to find the few Jews who fell into the netThe book has many revelations the not so passive resistance by the Danish government and King from the occupation in April 1940 onward the studied indifference the blindye by most Danish and German police as the refugees fled the surprising diffidence by key SS figures notably Werner Best their chief in Denmark the Danish mindset which seems not to have been Samaritan kindness to strangers but straightforwardIt is this mindset that is key to this story and perhaps first told in this book in full The Danish government and people Mr Lidegaard tells us had made up its mind well before the war that Jewish Danes were Danish citizens members of the community mind well before the war that Jewish Danes were Danish citizens members of the community perceived a threat to them as a threat to the whole community and it is striking how little central organizing the rescue needed Safe houses in country farms gathering points in seaside the rescue needed Safe houses in country farms gathering points in seaside villages and fishing boats waiting to take the people to Sweden all seemed to spring from this mindset It s a greater lesson in the Holocaust that the Germans seemed perplexed The Garden of Happy Endings even hesitant in the face of this national single mindedness rare in occupied Europe but seamless in this one little country German attempts to stigmatize the Jews here as an other attempts to stigmatize them failed to separate these people from their countrymen as it didlsewhere in Europe The Danish mindset we learn seemed to intimidate Campfire even EichmannWe learn about the role that Sweden played in the rescue and sheltering of the 6000 or so Danes almost the whole Jewish population of Denmark We learn of the continued demands by the Danish government and King regarding the few Jews taken by the SS and how the controversy saved most of themven in German handsIt s a remarkable chapter in World War II history and is told here in detail not just as to My Little Blue Dress events but to the greater meanings probably for the first time in full measure Indispensable for students of WWII of the Holocaust of Denmark of moral battlefields Denmark conuered in April 1940 in less than a day seems to have won a noble victory and it s well worth readingHighest recommendation Footnote One of Mr Lidegaard s original sources was the diary of a boy about Anne Frank s age who went through safe houses and then a rough voyage in a fishing vessel to Sweden The boy s diary peters out after his arrival he settles safely with his hosts in Sweden and resumes middle school After that plenty to do nothing remarkable to write about any further It s a nicending Among many leftist Americans there is an understandable reluctance to think that citizenship is a useful way to think about our identity because ven since the passage of the 14th Amendment citizenship hasn t done much for many citizens And if the rights of citizens don t mean anything what good is the idea There is a version of this argument in academic Circles Essentially To The essentially to the that all anyone in power ver wants is to Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life extend that power sog the Bill of Rights itself is suspect the First Amendment for instance could only Crazy Love ever allow those who alreadynjoy privilege to disseminate their message tc tc Aside from being reductive this is na ve as it posits the xistence of political actors read human beings who operate with unmixed motivesAside from the naivete of the model it is counterproductive A national identity that is bound up in commitment to democratic ideals ven when those ideals are aspirational than real is worthy ven if we ve failed time and again Lidegaard s book shows this to be trueThe comparison is inapt in that at the beginning WWII the Danes did not have a modern history of oppression and internecine strife Indeed Lidegaard paints a portrait of Denmark whose modern history was ssentially unknown to me when I started reading that reminded me of the line from The Third Man about Switzerland In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare terror murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance In Switzerland they had brotherly love they had 500 years of democracy and peace and what did that produce The cuckoo clock But in Denmark a few centuries of reform and stability produced something finer than the Sistine Chapel a moral conviction that Danish identity meant a commitment to democracy and law This commitment was according the Lidegaard what made it possible for Danish Jews flee to Sweden when on October 1 1943 Hitler ordered the arrest and deportation of the Jewish population of Nazi occupied Denmark Lidega. Le stood up in defiance and resisted The king politicians and ordinary civilians were united in their response these threatened people were not simply Jews but fellow Danes who happened to be Jewish and no one would help in rounding them up for confinement and deportation   While diplomats used their limited but very real power to maneuver and impede matters in both Copenhagen and Berlin the warning that the crisis was at hand uickly spread through the Jewish community Over fourteen harrowing days as they were helped hidden and protected by ordinary people who spontaneously rushed to save their fellow citizens an incredible 7742 out of 8200 Jewish refugees were smuggled out all along the coast on ships schooners fishing boats anythi. A history of Denmark s responses to anti Semitic sentiment and the German occupation from the 1930s through the direct aftermath of the nd of WWII In 1940 Germany assaulted Denmark by land sea and air landing troops simultaneously in fifteen different locations including the middle of Copenhagen The German minister to Denmark then handed the Danish government the terms and conditions by which Denmark would surrender to occupation by Germany In return for the products of Danish agriculture and industry and being a model of how occupation by Germany was peaceful and preferable Denmark would not be obliterated and instead be allowed a certain degree of sovereignty This tense but largely peaceful situation was brought to a close in the summer of 1943 when a wave of strikes sabotage and civil riots caused the Germans to issue an ultimatum introduce martial law and the death penalty The Danish government refused and all lected politicians submitted their resignation meaning that there was no Dane with a mandate from the lectorate to head a new government The Germans imposed martial law in Denmark in response the Danish navy scuttled the vast majority of their fleet so it could not be used by the Germans All this sounds stirring but it had one hugely negative aspect it meant the Danish had already played their hand and no longer had anything to threaten Germany with in xchange for leaving the Danish Jews alone Reich plenipotentiary Werner Best issued a telegram to Hitler in September 8 1943 saying he was going to implement a resolution of the Jewishissue in Denmark Then he spent the next few weeks avoiding or lying to New Plant Parent: Learn the Ways of Plant Parenthood every Danish person he spoke to assuring them that no anti Jewish action was in the works On October 1 1943 German soldiers swept Denmark looking for people they thought were Jewish Many had alreadyscaped to Sweden the two countries are very geographically close and Sweden publicly announced they d welcome them or were hidden by their fellow countrymen Even Danish police officers ran interference for the refugees turning a blind Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Buddhist Journey eye lying to German officers and warning those in hiding of imminent raids As a result the majority though sadly not all of identified Jewish people in Denmarkscaped arrestThe conclusion of this book summarizes what happened to various prominent figures after the war God's Pocket ended like the Jewish Danes whose diaries provided substance for this book or the German and Danish higher ups It seems like none of the German officers were punished with much than a few years in jail at maximum which is very upsetting The Jewish refugees returned to Denmark to find that their homes and businesses had been largely left untouched their valuables kept in safe keeping for their return One became the second secretary general of the United Nations Another beueathed Marienberg to the Danish government which hasver after served as the official residence of the Danish prim minister And the resistance to the arrest of Jewish Danes helped the reputation of Denmark in the post war worldLidegaard s basic thesis which others have theorized as well is that the national full throated open rejection of the Nazi s claims that Jews were a separate race not Danish or any kind of problem was the saving force for Jewish Danes Resistance based on unwavering principle actually worked And as Lidegaard says By completely rejecting the ideas that xcluded the Jews from the national us Denmark deprived the Nazis of the fig leaf they needed to justify discrimination and legitimize the deedAll fascinating But this was not a fascinating book I don t know if it was a translation issue or what but I found this very dry and difficult to maintain interest in Although ostensibly organized by time which ach chapter constituting another day in practice the narrative goes off on long tangents about this figure s political backstory or this person s business practices The majority of the book is made up of Lidegaard xplaining a diary ntry of a Jewish refugee to us then the diary The Lost Art of Reading Natures Signs entry itself then his paraphrasing the diaryntry Over and over And since almost all the diaries he draws on are from a single family they all cover the same ground and the Moreno exact samevents It felt repetitive This was particularly frustrating because apparently there were strikes sabotages of Danish industry and the German occupying forces resistance groups organized Monsieur Pain etc but we don t get get any details whatsoever about any of that I wanted this to cover the actual Danish resistance but it absolutely doesn t So all of Lidegaard s high minded conclusions about the importance of the Danish people s responses to the German occupation and demands ring a little hollow because nothing in the book related to that The main reason I picked this book up was to discern why certain countries or societies reject Otherizing and creating scapegoats and why others don t and a hope that I could find certain strategies for helping my fellows who have already been Otherized Nothing in here would help with that This isn t Lidegaard s fault he had a different story and message to tell but it did mean this book wasven less satisfying to me an amazing story of how Denmark saved its Jews from Nazi Germany Among all of the nations of Europe that were conuered by Nazi Germany in World War II Denmark stands alone in protecting its Jewish population in 1943 when the king his ministers and 1943 when the king his ministers and parliament of Denmark understood that Nazi Germany was coming to A Spark of Light: the fearless new novel from the Number One bestselling author ensnare their Jewish population and send them to concentration and death camps they simply said No While the government used its limited powers to confound and confuse itsnemy in Berlin the warning went out to Jews that a catastrophe was at hand This warning What If enabled most Danish Jews to find a place to hide or toscape to neutral or Allied nations At the same time the Danish government made it clear to Nazi Germany that no one would aid them in capturing innocent Jews Over 14 days Danish citizens found ways to hide and protect Jews destined to be The Exhaustion Breakthrough exterminated Out of a population of about 7000 Danish Jews a shocking 6500 managed toscape primarily to Sweden via a clandestine flotilla of fishing boats and naval crafts of all kinds This The Exhaustion Breakthrough: Unmask the Hidden Reasons You're Tired and Beat Fatigue for Good exodus has been known for decades But this is the first time that all facets of the miraculousscape have been systematically collected and made public Based on the family diaries of several Danish Jewish families these amazing accounts of heroism have finally been made available This volume proffers the heart stopping Supplemental Book escapes of many Jewish families fleeing local police the Wehrmacht and the Gestapo These stories of moral fortitude and astonishing courage bring to light the magnitude of tolerance in Denmark and their willingness to risk their own lives in fighting Nazi Germany From September 26 until October 9 1943 Nazi Germany initiated a capture of all Danish Jews After a slow start during which there was some confusion about who was a full Jew half Jew one uarter Jew and so on the Gestapo soonngaged in a widespread collection of Hark! The Herald Angels Scream every Jew and potential Jew in Denmark Germanynlisted the assistance of Danish police which collection of Colloquial Polish: The Complete Course for Beginners every Jew and potential Jew in Denmark Germanynlisted the assistance of Danish police which turned into a farce as Danes refused Sweden next door to Denmark remained neutral in World War II As overland scape routes from Denmark into Sweden were virtually nonexistent the bulk of Jewish refugees had to scape via the ocean Thousands of boats from large cargo ships to fishing trawlers to rowboats anything that floated served as vehicles for scape The captains owners and crew of these ships risked their own lives to aid Danish Jews Helpless in the face of capture and probable death Jewish Danes gradually accepted their fate and made plans to leave their only means of scape boats and Jewish Danes gradually accepted their fate and made plans to leave their only means of Red River Girl escape boats and controlled by gentile Danes Leaving their homes property businesses schools and friends behind Jews soughtscape in La strada delle croci every city town and village with a harbor or boats They hid in freezing forests barns attics and tunnels along the way Some like the family of Anne Frank decided to remain in hiding in cities Most of them were found incarcerated in concentration camps andventually died from starvation and disease were gassed in death camps or were shot by the Gestapo on the spot The Danish resistance was unprepared to organize a massive relief operation uickly nough to save their Jewish neighbors There was no organization ready to hel. Amid the dark ghastly history of World War II the literally xtraordinary story never before fully researched by a historian of how the Danish people banded together to save their fellow Jews from the Nazis told through the remarkable unpublished diaries and documents of families forced to run for safety leaving their homes and possessions behind and of those who courageously came to their aid In 1943 with its king and administration weakened but intact during the Nazi occupation Denmark did something that no other country in Western Europe The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth even attempted Anticipating that the German occupying powers would soon issue the long feared order to round up thentire population of Jews for deportation to concentration camps the Danish peop. Ard follows a few families related to one another in their frightening journey to and across the sea to Sweden Lidegaard xplains the terror and the minor inconveniences of the journey in a vivid manner ven someone fleeing for her life is allowed to be put off when seasick children are vomiting all over or she is hungry I appreciated the way the banal is interwoven into the larger narrative This is a story rife with heroesOne could object that what happened in Denmark reuired not an ideal of citizenship so much as basic human decency I agree that human decency would dictate the same thing but I think that Lidegaard shows that the commitment to an idea of what Danish citizenship meant made concerted Pretty Reckless (All Saints High, effort possible not least because it made shirking duty to one another unthinkableWhether you subscribe to Lidegaard s the thesis or not the story is gripping It also made me think differently about what collaboration meant in Denmark where the uneasy accommodation of the Third Reich almost certainly saved thousands of lives This was a great book about a little known part of World War II history Using the writings of a specific Jewish family the author vividly describes thescape from Nazi occupied Denmark across the waters to neutral Sweden Also the stories of the brave Danes who helped the Jews scape and those of the Nazi officials in Denmark are also toldOverall a great read Countrymen covers an important story the vacuation of Danish Jews during WWII After a swift Nazi invasion and uick Danish capitulation in The West Transformed early 1940 Denmark was largely left with limited Nazi oversight for the first three years In fact there were onlyighty Nazi and Wermacht administrators in Denmark as opposed to than 20000 in Vichy France By late 1943 Danish officials were already aware of the genocide being perpetrated against the Jews by the Nazis in Poland and lsewhere The Danish constitution with its xplicit support of ual rights for minorities was ingrained in most of the Danish populace and the officials and citizens were staunchly against any roundup In Copenhagen Nazi officials up to that point had been very careful not to upset the Danish populace on the issue of anti semitism However Himmler and Hitler had grown impatient with delays to their Final Solution and a roundup was planned for October 1 1943 Ships were secured for captured Jews and their transportation to Germany and on to the concentration camps Werner Best and his assistant George Duckwitz were the senior Nazi officials in charge in Denmark There is vidence that both men surreptitiously alerted Danish leaders in advance of the raid Most of the Jewish community went into hiding hours before the raid and some were already being smuggled across the channel to Sweden in fishing boats As a result only 200 Jews were captured and deported to concentration camps in Czechoslovakia The story here is sad but most of the focus was on how the others Paper Chasers escaped While the motives behind the warning are notntirely clear it is thought in Best s case he did so because it made his relationship manageable with the Danes and could prevent an uprising He had some latitude here in his report to Himmler by blaming the lack of success on the Wermarcht and he could The Complete Polly and the Wolf explain to Danish officials that it was Hitler s directive In the case of Duckwitz who was clearly anti Semitic he was concerned about potential retaliation against Nazi officials like himself after the warnded There was also some apathy on the part of the Wermacht in Denmark although the reasons were not VOYAGES DE GRANDE CROISIERE explored 35 stars I learned a lot about this intriguing period in October 1943 when almost all the 6000 Jewish Danes and stateless Jews in Denmark werevacuated safely to Sweden However the stories were much drier than they should have been largely lacking a personal connection The author might have benefited from research to bring in of a human A Riesling to Die element to the stories I would have liked to know what happened to the families and subseuent generations after the war There are not too many books about the Holocaust that help restore the reader s faith in humanity but this falls within that category uite apart from that this is anxcellent read both as a history and as a dramatic storyDenmark had a or less uniue relationship with Nazi Germany during WW2 The King and the Government decided not to resist the German invasion in 1940 in Pookie-Pie: A Sweet Bedtime Story exchange for guarantees that Denmark would continue to manage its internal affairs maintain its democracy and remain neutral in the war Effectively the Danes chose to accept occupation and a limited level of cooperation with the Nazis as opposed to a heroic but futile defence that would have cost many lives and resulted in full blown Nazi rule It was an understandable decision but one that that led to the charge of collaboration being levelled against the Danes The choice became difficult to justify year by year as the Nazis gradually increased the pressure andncroached and on the 1940 agreement The above context is important as the Danish government had decided arly on in the occupation that the status of Danish Jews was a deal breaker in terms of continued cooperation with the Nazis and that they could not accept Danish citizens being subject to arbitrary arrest and deportation simply because of their ancestry On a point of principle the Danes refused to comply with Nazi demands to compile lists of Danish Jews and the author highlights how this refusal to ven start down the road of categorising Jews as something other was vital in determining how the population reacted when the Nazis began their actionThe Nazis decided to arrest and deport

The Danish Jews In The 
Danish Jews in the of 1943 Sadly than 400 were arrested and deported mainly to Theresienstadt but than 7000 scaped to Sweden with the assistance of large numbers of ordinary Danes A variety of factors played a part Danish officials were tipped off about the raids by high ranking Nazi officials for the most part the Germans made only half hearted attempts to capture fleeing Jews the Jewish population of Denmark was small neutral Sweden was only a few miles across the resund and the Swedes opened their borders to the refugees but the most important factor was that the vast majority of the Danish population who ncountered Jews trying to A Warlocks Dance (The Cursed Princes, escape saw it as their moral duty to provide assistance The author provides a thoughtful discussion on the reasons for all of the above as well as a balanced assessment of the merits of the policy of cooperationThe book also contains vivid first hand testimony from some of those involved conveying some of their fear and discomfort as well as the total confusion of law abiding citizens who had no idea of how to get themselves smuggled across a border Some of those whoscaped were so law abiding they made arrangements to pay their rent and bills before they left ven their taxesI would recommend this to anyone interested they left ven their taxesI would recommend this to anyone interested the Holocaust The author discusses why it was that across Europe the My First Kitten extermination of Jews was complete in some countries than in others I would certainly say that anyone who is Danish or Swedish will feel better about their countries after reading this I had long heard the myth about King Christian not bowing to the Germans regarding identifying the Danish Jews Little did I know the real truth This is an amazing story of ordinary people stepping up to the plate and no matter the conseuence to themselves doing the right thing That a nation of people would respond with such dignity respect and humanity without a real organized base is amazing That Sweden would also respond with openness and humanity made it possible Some of philosophical comments at thend reuire pondering Would this have been possible in a different country We just don t know The other uestion I always ask myself is What would I do in this situation I freuently find myself realizing my character would have been wanting I thank Bo Lidegaard and the families who shared their memoirs for sharing this story with the world In the history of Nazi Germany s persecution of the Jews there aren t many happy stories Usually the best we can manage is a family hidden in the attic or an individual who slipped away But the case of Denmark where 7000 Danes were Jewish stands out Seeds of the Spirit 2000 even if it doesn t start very promisinglyWhen Germany attacked in April 1940 Denmark s leaders didn t believe the country was stron. Ng that floated to Sweden While the bare facts of thisxodus have been known for decades astonishingly no full history of it has been written Unfolding on a day to day basis Countrymen brings together accounts written by individuals and officials as vents happened offering a comprehensive overview that underlines occupied Denmark’s historical importance to Hitler as a prop for the model Nazi state and revealing the savage conflict among top Nazi brass for control of the country This is a story of ordinary glory of simple courage and moral fortitude that shines out in the midst of the terrible history of the twentieth century and demonstrates how it was possible for a small and fragile democracy to stand against the Third Reich .

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