Denmark

Question:

I have heard a story that some Jews were hiding in Denmark during WW2, and when the Nazis were looking for them, the king of Denmark & most of the Danish people wore yellow stars, which protected the Jewish people. Do you know if this is true, and where I could find information about it?

I would like to write a childrens' book on this subject but am having trouble verifying the story or getting any more information.

Mikkel Andersson answers:

I am one of the volunteers who responds to questions by our readers. It is possible that you will receive other answers from my colleagues.

Unfortunately the story is not true. Though the Danish King, Christian X, showed great solidarity with the Jews and publicly spoke against deportation, he never wore the Yellow star. In fact, the yellow star was never introduced in Denmark.

Unlike so many other occupied countries no discriminatory measures were taken against Jews in Denmark until August of 1943 when the Danish Goverment, which had up until then been coorporating with the Germans, was forced to resign and the administration was taken over by civil servants and the German occupational forces.

In the beginning of October 1943 a mass-deportation of the Danish Jews was planned, but because it leaked out and swift action was taken by the Danish resistance and people ca. 7200 escaped to nearby Sweden. 477 were caught by the Germans and deported to Theresienstadt now in the Czech Republic where 53 perished.

The following sites may be of interest.

Yad Vashem - The Israeli Holocaust and Martys Museum - Information about the rescue of the Danish Jews:

http://www.yad-vashem.org.il/righteous/bycountry/denmark.html

A discussion from the academic H-Holocaust discussion group about the myth of the king and the yellow star:

http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/Holocaust/danish-rescue.html

Regards,

-Mikkel

Denmark

Related Links:

back to the list of questions