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Denmark's Defiance: Protecting a Nation’s Jews in WWII
Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Article in a U.S. newspaper, 1943 (National Museum of Denmark)
Please Note: This program has a rescheduled date (originally February 20, 2019).
In 1943, most of occupied Europe was hunkered down against the Nazis. The people of Denmark—led by their king—dared to stand up for their Jewish countrymen in what is considered to be one of the largest actions of collective resistance to aggression in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany.
On Oct. 1 of that year, Hitler ordered the arrest and deportation of all of Denmark’s 8,200 Jews. The king, political leaders, and ordinary civilians united in their response to prevent such human devastation. Over the course of two weeks, they hid, protected, and then smuggled out of the country—on ships, schooners, fishing boats, and anything else that floated—all but about 450 of the country’s Jewish population. At war’s end, most returned to Denmark to find their homes and businesses in good condition.
Join historian Ralph Nurnberger, retired lecturer in international relations at Georgetown University, as he recounts this extraordinary act of courage on the part of an entire nation under severe duress.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)