Monday, April 5, 2021

Review of "The Rescue of the Danish Jews: Moral Courage Under Stress," edited by Leo Goldberger

 Review of

The Rescue of the Danish Jews: Moral Courage Under Stress, edited  by Leo Goldberger ISBN 0814730116

Five out of five stars

Chronicle of a national expression of moral courage

 Of all the nations under military occupation by Germany in the Second World War, Denmark was arguably the best off. The oppressive thumb of the Germans was rather light, the legal Danish government independently functioned for approximately three years before the members resigned as a body. This helped the Danes when they carried out their great rescue.

 There were less than ten thousand Jews in Denmark at that time, most of which were otherwise undistinguished from their fellow Danes. When the Germans got around to rounding up the Jews in an attempt to add them to the killing list, the Danish people almost universally rose up to hide them and then spirit them off to neutral Sweden. It was an incredible act of national will, unlike in other countries there were few instances of betrayal.

 As is pointed out in this book, it was a German that tipped off the Danes regarding the planned roundup, giving them time to alert everyone to the danger and take the Jews into hiding before they could be transported to Sweden. There were also almost no instances of the vacated Jewish property being looted. Their neighbors performed the upkeep tasks, so when the Jews returned, all of their possessions were as when they left.

 This book describes one of the most incredible examples of an entire nation rallying to protect the smallest of minorities. Most of the participants risked their lives when doing so, nearly always helping people that they did not know. In an age when most people acquiesced to the massive event now called the Holocaust, this book chronicles the actions of a nation that stood up against the monstrous evil.

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