In October 1943 Hitler ordered the mass arrest of Jews in Denmark. Thousands of Danish Jews fled to Sweden, hundreds were deported to concentration camps. By the end of the war six million European Jews had been killed during the Holocaust. Most Danish Jews had survived. What they had experienced during escape, exile and concentration camps was to them - by comparison - 'nothing to speak of'.
Now for the first time the witnesses break their silence and speak openly about the consequences of the war. This book is about their experiences. It is a book about loss, separation and the price of survival; about what happens to human beings when they are torn out of everyday life and are forced to make dramatic choices.
For the first time it is possible to tell the story of all the children who were hidden in Denmark when their parents fled to Sweden, and the long term consequences of escape, exile and deportation are finally illuminated. The wartime experiences of the Danish Jews did not end with the German capitulation in 1945. The war has left deep impressions that continue to the present day.
By Sofie Lene Bak with an afterword by Bjarke Følner. English translation by Virginia Raynolds Laursen.
Sofie Lene Bak (born 1973) holds a PhD in History. She is curator and the project manager of the research and documentation project concerning the wartime experiences of the Danish Jews 1943-1945 at the Danish Jewish Museum.
Bjarke Følner (born 1976) holds a master's degree in History and Minority Studies. He is curator at The Danish Jewish Museum.