Resistance Newpaper period 3

November 25, 2014  |  By  | 

DENMARK- After Nazi occupation of Denmark in the 1940s, Danish citizens helped Danish Jews escape the Nazis by going over the Baltic Sea to freedom in neutral Sweden. In all, experts estimate about 6,000 Jews were saved from execution in Nazi death camps. The Danish rescued the Jews because they simply viewed their Jewish counter- parts as Danish citizens in trouble. The rise of Nazism in Germany during the 30s led to the second World War in Europe. The Nazis, after their large land conquests in Greece, Yugo- slavia, Bulgaria, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, most of Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, and parts of the Soviet Union, started perse- cuting the Jews of Europe. It first started as taxation and discrimination against the Jews, then finally culminated in the deportation to newly formed concentra- tion camps in Ger- many, Po- land, and other parts of Eastern Europe. These con- centration camps killed thousands each day, and were not taken out of service until liberation by either the Soviets or the Allies. Unlike Poland and the other occupied territo- ries, the Germans decided to allow the Danish to rule themselves so Germany could focus its resources on the war front. The Danish cooperated with the Germans; however, when the Germans came for the 6,000 Danish Jews, co- operation ended. The Danes, unlike other Euro- pean nations, viewed their Jews as regular Danish citi- zens who were facing perse- cuting and eventual exter- mination if nothing were to by transporting them from Denmark to Sweden. Munch-Nielsen hid Jews in fishing boats and sailed across the Øresund water- way of the Baltic Sea be- tween Denmark and Swe- den. Born on June 13, 1926, Munch-Nielsen was raised by his grandmother along with his five siblings and SNEKKERSTEN, DENMARK - Grateful people all around the world today still thank the Danish hero Preben Munch-Nielsen, for saving their loved ones from the Nazi’s grasp during World War two in 1943. He has passed away in October of 2002, as a hero that saved over 1,000 Jews commuted 25 miles to school in Copen- hagen every day. In Munch- Nielsen’s early school days he recalled, “There were very few Jews in my elementary school, but I didn’t think of them as Jews, we were all just Danes.” From when he was little he viewed the Jews as equals which was probably why he was so eager to join the resistance. In the spring of 1940, his life was about to be turned around. Munch-Nielsen tells of his first encounter with the nazis, “In April 1940 I arrived in Copenhagen, DANISH JEWS ESCAPE NAZI CAPTURE PREBEN MUNCH-NIELSEN, A HOLOCAUST SAVIOR Danish Resistance RESISTANCE “The Danish rescued the Jews because they simply viewed their Jewish counterparts as Danish citizens in trouble.” be done. The Danish people rose up, helping the Jews escape to nearby neu- tral Sweden. The Danes helped hide Jewish families in their houses as the Gestapo searched through their towns. Surprisingly, only an estimated 1% of the Danish Jewish population was captured (60 people). The Danes used small fishing boats to ferry the Jews across the Oresund Strait which is the shortest route (16 km/10 mi) between Denmark and Sweden. The Danes saved most of their Jews in contrast to other European nations, who couldn’t. For example, Poland, Continued on page __ The red arrows represent the path the es- caping Danish Jews took. 2

More from Stu