Danish Jews were saved because they were compatriots

lifted from Vårt Land.no,  google translate

Does this mean the time has finally come in Norway to examine and address the terrible crimes that were committed against Norwegian Jews? Not only in monetary terms, which took long enough before any settlement was reached, but also what kind of attitudes motivated this despicable crime? Unfortunately, it would seem that since this aspect has been actively hidden away from the public discourse and we have become addicted to a heroic narrative which, under scrutiny, is not always consistent with actual facts. Could this be the reason why classic anti-Semitc traits which were documented in the Holocaust Center Survey, have yet to be addressed in the Norwegian public discourse?


Danish Jews – saved because they were compatriots

While Jews were recorded in both Norway and the Netherlands , Danish Nazis had to literally steal the name lists from the Danish Jewish community, writes Bo Lidegaard , editor in chief of Politiken , the new book .

( Courtesy of Press Publishing renders eg an excerpt from the book Country Men – the rescue of the Danish Jews in 1943. The book is written by Bo Lidegaard , editor in chief of the DABSKA newspaper Politiken . The Norwegian version has a separate epilogue Norwegian readers where the situation of Jews in Norway and Denmark and the Netherlands is compared ) .

Prelude . In April and May 1940, Germany to the surprise attack on the three small neutral countries of Denmark , Norway and the Netherlands. The countries were constitutional monarchies with entrenched democratic governance and with only limited support to the local Nazi parties . They had a functioning central government – and a more or less well-integrated Jewish population element .

In the years before the occupation had also received a number of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany despite the fact that Norway and Denmark led a particularly restrictive refugee policies. Although there were significant differences among the three countries in terms of size , history and population, they also had much in common, and in contrast to the countries and peoples of Eastern Europe were in Germany considered suitable for a ” peaceful ” incorporation in the new European order that the Third Reich envisioned after victory . Moreover belonged to the people of the three countries in different varieties a higher standing race by the Nazi conceptions was destined to lead.

Very different. The size of the Jewish befolkningsislettet was very different in the three countries . While about 2,100 people – or less than 0.1 percent – three million people had Jewish roots, the corresponding figure in Denmark more than 7,000 people , representing just under 0.2 percent of the four million Danish citizens. In the Netherlands, lived significantly more Jews , and around 140,000 citizens of Jewish origin accounted for 1.6 percent of a total population of 9 million .

In all three countries , there was a disposition to anti-Semitism , and especially in 1930 there were forces that tried to breathe these coals . However, we have no comparative historical studies showing differences and similarities between the Jewish position in the three communities . In general we can say that the Jews were well integrated at least in parts of the community in the three countries, but also that there is no direct correlation between befolkningselementets integration and anti-Semitism , the German Jews were known as particularly well integrated. Anti-Semitism did not matter in any of the three countries considered the most radical forms which were known from Germany.

Although it initially being many similarities , given the occupation dramatically different consequences for the Jewish population group in the three countries . In the Netherlands , three out of four Jews killed in Norway more than a third . In stark contrast to these figures made ​​it overwhelmingly majority of Danish Jews to escape and get to safety in Sweden.

Refused entry. In Norway and the Netherlands did not entail the registration requirement and discrimination against Jews any significant ” expense ” of the German occupation , as there was the responsibility of the local authorities , who chose to cooperate on measures that were required .

The situation was diametrically opposite in Denmark , where the Danish government and the Danish government consistently denied any step in this direction . There was also clear from the beginning for Germany at least attempt to move in this direction would lead to a breakdown of cooperation. It was only when the government came back this way was opened for occupation , which lingered many days when the opportunity arose.

Perverse logic. The difference illustrates a perverse logic. The Nazis could produce the first ” modest ” measures which relatively insignificant , as long as it concerned the confiscation of radio equipment , registration of property and stamping with J in identity papers. It made it difficult for local authorities to take any major conflict in refusing to contribute to measures in isolation are not seemed essential.

However, this mechanism also worked the other way . If the initial discrimination could be presented as relatively insignificant, why would the Germans then insist on them , risking cooperation with the local authorities?

Danes’ consistent rejection of the existence of any “Jewish problem” at all , and the Danish government’s repeated warnings that they could not participate in any action against Jewish compatriots , made it difficult for the Germans to get started with the first fatal measures. Therefore the Jews of Denmark never faced the registration requirements of , and they were not getting special stamps in their papers or were required to go with the yellow star , like the Jews in the Netherlands had after the 3rd May the same year .

Differences and explanations. How can we now explain why so many Norwegians and so many of the Dutch civil administration actively participated in the arrests and deportations of their Jewish compatriots , when only a few years earlier was no widespread , and certainly not a militant , anti-Semitism in those countries ? Why were so many who were with ? And why were there so few who said no?

When the difference between the very different course of events in the three occupied countries to be explained , the decisive factor early Nazi seizure of power in Norway and the Netherlands , who from the beginning saw the consequences of a direct Nazi rule , which Denmark was spared . The use of violence and terror against the civilian population had managed to gain a foothold in Norway and the Netherlands , while the Danes still had almost been spared such horrors .

Stealing name lists. While Jews were recorded in both Norway and the Netherlands , Danish Nazis had to literally steal the name lists from the Danish Jewish religious community , because in Denmark already in 1930 had dropped to record religious affiliation matters relating to the census .

Yet it was mainly the seized membership lists and J – stamped which was crucial in the registration of Jews in Norway . Moreover, NRK’s ​​license lists used to look after people with Jewish sounding names . A further difference was that the Danish police and the administration did not participate in the operation in Denmark , while the police played a crucial role in the implementation of actions against the Jews in Norway and the Netherlands.

No moral judgment . So many years later and it does not make any sense to make a moral judgment on people under the worst possible circumstances was forced to make difficult choices between bad options.

We all hope that we would have belonged to those who took the courageous choices , and who rejected the fatal options. But none of us knows how we would have reacted , and we are not able to fully understand each individual’s dilemma in the same way as they found them .


10 comments for “Danish Jews were saved because they were compatriots

  1. : )
    October 14, 2013 at 2:49 am


    I’m very impressed by this young man:

    I hope there will come more young people that write about subjects they see and conect to in a postive way in Norwegian media!

  2. October 14, 2013 at 3:24 am

    yeah, read it last night, unusually precise from such a young man. Going to translate, but not the quickie google version, this level of sophisticated thought requires careful translation!

  3. : )
    October 14, 2013 at 4:32 am


    as I read your readers they try to understand the situation for the Jews that lives in Norway and want people to be happy and safe. Some use the page as a blow out, and that makes it really fun to read!

    As a child was I mobbed as the Devil child at school, I find it odd that this man can go on and write that he believe Jews have the Devil to their father.

    As I see this man he needs help to understand that this is not normal behavior in a democracy. But for him a democracy is probably the devils work, if I understand him right. Poor old man!

  4. martin
    October 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm


    I have been reliably informed by a very thoughtful religious Christian that Jesus himself criticised a Jew and told him that the devil was his father. This is all rather strange for me, as I always believed that the man called Jesus, the Christian Messiah, was born a Jew. It is without doubt, that the greatest tragedy for many is that the idea of a messiah named Jesus was only written 300 years later, when the new religion, became anti Jewish.

    Like you, as a youngster I have been asked why I killed Jesus, when I’d never even heard of him. I was most put out, as I exclaimed my innocence that I had never killed anyone. Like you Norwegian, I have been asked how I can hide my horns and is this the reason why Jews wear hates. Like you Norwegian, I have had my bottom touched and asked where my tail was.

    wow, Christianity has some serious problems and no wonder why the religion is under attack from Islam. I do believe that Islam will roll back the gates of Europe totally at some stage in the future if the established churches are anything to go by. I did mention to you when questioned by religious Christians why they can forgive everyone but the Jews for allegedly murdering their god. I ask why they can love all mankind, yet show such hate for the Jews and why they believe that forgiveness for any crime is paramount because Jesus died for their sins.

    It does appear that forgiveness is a Christian concept and an eye for an eye etc is a Jewish one without forgiveness. I ask what is the point of forgiving someone, like a top Nazi who shows no remorse? How can I forgive someone for murdering other people? This is not my right, nor any one else except those that were murdered, or treated badly. These same people complain at the social problems in the UK, and expect the sentence to meet the crime, yet all they then want is to forgive? What sort of madness is this?

    I remind these people, that they want forgiveness for themselves, as I explain, that they are not judged, nor pardoned for the sins of their fathers. The Christian value is that all babies are born guilty. I cannot understand this logic and I wonder if this is why so many babies are murdered by hateful parents.

    Christianity, whether religious or not has a serious problem in coming to face facts of their appalling history of genocide against the Jews for 2000 years. un fortunately, the church today is still in it’s early stages and is unable to counter it’s own inherent hate for the Jew. i.e. the devil

    Interesting, Christians believe we are the devil, which is probably why we win so many Nobel prizes, while the Muslims believe we are descendants of pigs and monkeys. Which do you consider is the most faulty argument?

    From mid to late 20th century, the good old BBC radio used to transmit the readings and views of priests at Easter time. If you wanted to understand Jew hate within Christianity, this was the time to hear it.

    Norwegian the hate for the Jew and Israel is understandable. Jealousy and fear. Remember even the Talmud was forbidden by the church in Europe and in many cases, probably still is today. How farcical. Now you can understand why recious Jewish artefacts, books etc were burned by the Nazis in Germany and applauded by many.

    I am not a proud person, however, I have my self respect and all will recognise me as a Jew. As a Jew, we have a right to respect our beliefs, laws, writings and traditions, much of which laid the cornerstone of European “civilisation.” Unfortunately, we were thanked by those in a hateful manner, rather than one of love.

  5. : )
    October 15, 2013 at 12:10 am


    when I came home from school and told I was mobbed the first time I expected that my mother and father would call the teacher and talk to her. Insted they called my aunt because my cosin had had the same teacher. I was told that my cosin had figured out how to handle the teacher, so I could do it to, beside both my parents had been mobbed and they found their ways. I quicly understood it was my lack of knowlege about Jesus that was where I sufferd and no one at home would help me with any kind of information. Every morning our teacher made us sing a German song because, so many people behaved bad against the Germans, we the new generation had to show forgivness. I was clueless about the war, the Hansa period of Bergen, I believed school was about learning to read and write. I ended up sitting and looking out of the window. I refused to do my homework and spent most of the time alone in my grandfathers big garden helping him and lisend to all his stories and it was the best time of the day. Every evening my stomach hurted and my grandfather sang songs and we made plans what we where going to do after school the next day. At school I just did my best to look ordinary, I remember the other girls made comments on my look all the time. When I was nine I asked my mother to cut my long hair, I just became a girlboy that had no interest in girl things anymore beside all the boys in the class had no interest in something like me so I used my time to think about the world outside of the school and what I wanted to do in my life when school was over.

    When I was 10 I started to sing and it was the begining of a good and safe periode out of my home. I opened up at school let my hair grow again, had girl friends and fell in love with a boy that was two years older than me. And he showed interst back so the other girls incluede me in their plans and games. Still today I always look forward to the day I went singing. I became really good, but since all song her in Norway is controlled by religious my granfather sad to me it was better to spend time on friends and school when I did so well. As an adult I passed university with good mark on my thesis, one exhange year, active in student politic, lots of friends

    I do the time things that I like her in Norway, I have learnt a way to not tell to many people my hopes, but to people that I trust and that I know want to help me. Sometimes I have been really fooled by people that presented them self as helpers, as this Elias, that is what that has hurted me most and other.

    I disslike revenge and bitterness. I think its best to not inform people that hurt one but find a new way forward. I learnt that when the Christian children beated me as a child and laugh that Jesus forgave them, I sad I’m alive I don’t care if you pray to something that you can’t prove exist, good luck in your life as a shit bag!
    I was told as a grown up that the parents told their children not go to my home the years we had the teacher. Infact has many of my ex classmate has left Christianity and sad sorry to me for their behaivor, they blame religion and the teacher that was really odd. At my old school they have told me that with all they know about school bulling today my old teacher would have been fiered, and that its more than I that have told about bad memories about this person.

    Until 2010 was I alone with all this, yesterday I thougth about the person that started to open me up, he sad I would probably trow him out of my life and reuse to speak to him anymore. Martin I believed I hidded my scars so well and felt
    so proud about being in controll with things as an independed person. I think its
    very important that most people are given the freedom to explain to others their own identity as the unike person we all are. Sometimes I like to just relax and don’t say anything more than my age and talk to the people I like in a room. Other times I think its important that a person know as much as possible about me to prevent missunderstandings from happening.

    But all the time I see that I take in impulses form the world around me so with out the world I would not have been me, as with Judaism its inspierd by the world and its humans and God asked the Jews live as he wanted humans to live. Its sad that the Christians thinks its the Devil that inspire the Jews, because Christians inspier me to be a better me with their low behavior to non beliving humans,animals, environment, democracy, the law, history etc.

    Most Jews I meet that behave odd suffer mentaly from Jew hate, what suffer the Christians of? Why can’t they love their next as they love them self? Its really odd!

  6. : )
    October 15, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Martin and McG,

    I have really sad what I want. Elias is trying to get attention and show how much the Jews are after him on VD. Poor man that has a paranoia for Jews. I stay to my ordinary emails to people that I know well, and drop out of anykind of discussion on the web and in life with people that has ego at the size of Elias and try to explain the big picture. My guess one find this caracter all over the world, but its no exuse to not calm him more down on VD!

    McG please remember to translate the good articel from the young Norwegian that was very positive, even if its more fun to argue with old Elias (you are old Elias so don’t wip about that to!). Bring forward the good news as well from Norway!

    Tanks for lot of fun and blow outs if felt good to just be ordinary!

  7. martin
    October 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Norwegian, my brother in law and sister in law from Norway are staying with us at this time. The are both members of MIFF. (Are you a member of MIFF? I hope so, as the more members they attract, the more powerful they can become). He asked me, if I will now come to visit the family in Norway, considering that Norway now has a more civilised and potentially democratic government then before. I confirmed my decision will remain as before – No.

    Why not? Well for two reasons really. A new government will not change the vile Nazi types who are really running your country. The police and judiciary, the media, the academia with schools etc, the unions, the elitist establishment who pull the strings behind the government. They will not change and therefore, any change of direction in Norway will be minimal., Secondly, as old as I am, if any one (and I don’t care how big or strong they are) chose to insult me for being a Jew, my size 13 (46-7) shoes will be slammed hard between their legs. Now I don’t mind partaking in Norwegian hospitality by being jailed. However, I would refuse to pay a penny in fines, to help the Norwegian economy.

    I have never began a fight and yes, I have walked away and yes, ran away from a large group as a youngster. But I don’t run away and will hold my ground. I have too much self respect to just accept fascist/nazi ideology from anyone.

  8. : )
    October 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm


    I’m very unsure where to put MIFF and the Jewish organisations her in Norway. All of them open up for heavy topics that I don’t dear to say my true opinion, in fear of being stamped as an extremistic activist. Its to many people trying to get things as they want them to be sadly!

  9. martin
    October 20, 2013 at 5:31 am

    Norwegian, just what are your opinions regarding the heavy topics? I doubt that you are more extreme than Eric R., or I.
    From where I am, yes, MIFF does appear to want a more understanding of Israel and for the establishment to become more decent, and democratic than they are today. However, the Jewish community still seems to be as quiet as a burial site. What your thoughts here then?

  10. : )
    October 20, 2013 at 7:58 am


    as you and Eric R. I don’t see my self as very different form others humans I meet, its just not very smart to write one opinions on the web or send emails to unknown persons. Things like that is used as prove on your mental condition and if you keep on to a odd subject like Jews or Israel for more than some years one can be stamped as an extremist and then door closes. Some subject even if I have opinions I refuse to say them just to play safe and have a easy life. I think most people think and act like that.

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