More than 7,000 Danish Jews were evacuated to Sweden in October 1943. After crossing the Øresund by boat and landing on Swedish shores, approximately 6,000 of the refugees were interviewed by the Swedish Police Authority, to whom they disclosed a wealth of information about their lives in Denmark and the logistics of their escape. The Police Authority’s records have only recently been uncovered and explored by Danish scholars.

Therkel Straede, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, discusses the police records and what they reveal about this extraordinary feat of rescue.

Watch the program below.


This program's original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.

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Ari Goldstein: i'm already Goldstein Senior Public programs producer at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust and it's my pleasure to welcome you to today's program with turkel Strada.

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Ari Goldstein: Who will share a new and fascinating perspective on the rescue of Danish Jews during the Holocaust.

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Ari Goldstein: Since 1995 terkel has served as Professor of contemporary history at the at the University of Southern Denmark in Odin so.

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Ari Goldstein: He is teaching and research experience around the world, including in Israel, Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada, Brazil United States and, at the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen.

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Ari Goldstein: In 2001 terkel was awarded a Congressional citation award by the US House of Representatives for outstanding achievements in holocaust, research and education.

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Ari Goldstein: terkel's lecture today will focus on a new database of records from the Swedish police authority and what those records tell us about the Jews who escaped to Denmark.

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Ari Goldstein: please feel free to share questions for turkle in the zoom chat and we'll address as many as we can, at the end of the program without further ado, welcome to circle and feel free to get started i'll put up your slides.

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Therkel Str?de: Thank you so i'd like to thank.

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Therkel Str?de: You for for for the introduction i'd like to thank jack League and the Museum of Jewish heritage for inviting me to take part in this very successful as serious as I understand the talks and I love to be here.

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Therkel Str?de: I first, first of all i'd like to thank everybody who's joining in because.

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Therkel Str?de: A very large audience audience which humbles me, of course, and it's great that so many people will take interest in something that happened.

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Therkel Str?de: At the rim of the European continent, more than 75 years ago, so I look forward to presenting you with some little known material and try to sketch out what that material can be used to.

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Therkel Str?de: can tell us in terms of better understanding and what happened in Denmark during October 1943 change of slide please.

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Therkel Str?de: If I go down my stairs at a time and around the corner, this is what I will see it's the coastal town canal in central Copenhagen with its side canals and I see veteran and vintage ships, as well as the newer leisure boats during October 1943 some 1300 Jews fled to Sweden from the Copenhagen.

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Therkel Str?de: harbors proper and estimated 300 alone from the canals of Christians home in the very Center of the capital and very close to the German headquarter.

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Therkel Str?de: quarters and during those days, Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany it's mighty neighbor and let's start change of slides and let's start by.

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Therkel Str?de: by getting the larger framework of the events right, so the Nazi persecution of the Jews, not a starts, of course, with the Hitler take a world power, and I put in just the milestones of the in the European theater and then you're in berk racial laws.

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Therkel Str?de: Which defined for for the first time to the Nazis who was actually a Jew, and who should actually be discriminated and persecuted like two years after the tape over power, and then we see a very strong.

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Therkel Str?de: radicalization of anti Jewish policies at the annexation of Austria and and after that and and particularly after the attack on Poland and the.

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Therkel Str?de: turn over from various politics of the driving Jews out of Europe to physical to total physical annihilation happens with the attack ins on the Soviet Union, and when we look at Denmark during the same period, we can see that the immediate takeover of power.

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Therkel Str?de: resulted in a refugee wave, not a very big one, but one which was.

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Therkel Str?de: considered a big problem in Denmark really Jews and non Jews fled to Denmark for political reasons, also for Racial reasons in 1940 we have the German occupation there's little.

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Therkel Str?de: there's little combat and the Danish Government, which was led by the Social Democratic Party.

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Therkel Str?de: decided to enter a kind of policy of cooperation and this policy would actually hold for three years, three years, guaranteeing the Danish authorities quite a substantial.

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Therkel Str?de: element of autonomy autonomy, but also guaranteeing the Germans that they could get deliveries from a Danish agriculture, which was very.

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Therkel Str?de: productive in 1943 a lot of the danger population had got enough of the cooperation policies and politics and we had a growing resistance.

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Therkel Str?de: We had a wave of general strikes the so called organs uprising at and as a result, the Germans stepped up their demands to the Danish Government and the Danish Government decided to resign, the immediate punishment from the Germans.

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Therkel Str?de: On September the eighth 1943 the German right point plenipotentiary burner best that's the guy to your very left.

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Therkel Str?de: requested permission in Berlin to deport the Danish Jews and Hitler was of course happy to grab that permission.

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Therkel Str?de: But in the course of September of September.

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Therkel Str?de: burner best got second thoughts about the effects on the long term Danish German relationship and he arranged that and wanting be slipped out the two leading Danish politician from the Social Democratic Party by a gear, if we go to which was a German secret agent and and.

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Therkel Str?de: and his top 10s and talk immediately then advised the leading personalities of the Jewish community, including rabbi mark who's made here.

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Therkel Str?de: We will meet later on tonight and a few days later October, the first we have the unit shown the manhunt which was conducted in nationwide and but at that time most Jews had gone underground and we see them fleeing.

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Therkel Str?de: And this is the start of the rescue operation, which has made Denmark kind of kind of famous in the hole.

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Therkel Str?de: In the whole field of of Holocaust studies and the events of the Holocaust and not to forget, of course, that some of the Danish Jews didn't make it across to Sweden.

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Therkel Str?de: And those who were caught alive alive were deported to Theresienstadt to the ghetto and and only liberated from there very few days before the end of the war.

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Therkel Str?de: So change of slides please, and I could I could recommend to you books in English are and some of them some of you might know them already bowl years ago a couple of years ago 2013 wrote this.

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Therkel Str?de: This recount, which is the newest in English, he was at that time, the chief editor in Chief of politicking he is.

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Therkel Str?de: A very known history Danish historian back in 1968 Lima yeah he's a professor of at the Hebrew university and a scholar of yard rushing wrote her dissertation on the same subject and.

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Therkel Str?de: New York university professor Leo goldberger who was himself as a child survivor of the rescue.

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Therkel Str?de: publish this book in 1987 I can also recommend to you a small brochure that I did my cell phone Minister of Foreign Affairs affairs and and.

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Therkel Str?de: Just in case you want to read more change of slide please.

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Therkel Str?de: So when we look at the Holocaust, we have the general the general figures here and the triggers are frightening I mean the the fancy conference at of iseman had counted that 11 million Jews in.

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Therkel Str?de: In all of Europe and the intention was from 1941 on to kill all of them, and the Germans, managed to kill 6 million, and if we then compare with Denmark.

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Therkel Str?de: which had a population of 4 million people it's a small Jewish communities small population population very well integrated almost say.

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Therkel Str?de: But not that there wasn't anti Semitism in Denmark, not at all that's where that was the case to, and we can see that I humans figures were not realistic, because when a survey was done in 1944 of the all the Jewish refugees in Sweden.

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Therkel Str?de: They came up with this figure approximately 7600.

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Therkel Str?de: and on top of them, we would have to count the deportees to Theresienstadt and the 116 us not many, but each of them, of course, tragedy.

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Therkel Str?de: who lost their lives, due to the prosecution now.

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Therkel Str?de: Counting Jews meant in those days that the Nazis, of course, would define who was a Jew, and they were defined by ratio criteria and not by the identity of the individuals, not by religion, not by a cultural cultural personal identity, but only on by descent.

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Therkel Str?de: These figures change of slide please.

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Therkel Str?de: are difficult to relate to very often, especially if you teach young people they're difficult and this one is to.

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Therkel Str?de: It is the graph illustrating the percentage of Jewish population lost in the Holocaust and we see that Yugoslavia, Holland and Lithuania come up with more than 90% of the total population being killed and in the other end we see Denmark.

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Therkel Str?de: So, but still statistics numbers difficult to relate to what we need, I think is very much the personal stories and one story of course change of slide please would be the.

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Therkel Str?de: The the the motive of the boat the metaphor of the boat, this is the reconstructed.

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Therkel Str?de: picture, there is, but the boat is a strong symbol of what happened during October 1943 in Denmark and our country is surrounded by water, most of it is just islands.

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Therkel Str?de: And so, getting this persecuted J juice into safety meant to see live them to Sweden and Sweden at that time was norm neutral during World War Two and in 43 had grown willing to accept the Jewish refugees and and there was another important thing, which is the.

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Therkel Str?de: The close distance between these short distance between the eastern part of Denmark and the western part of Sweden of the Strait of herb restaurant which most of the Jews would cross had.

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Therkel Str?de: is only like four to 10 or 10 miles or something some at some points even less and when when.

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Therkel Str?de: The metaphor of the boat is a very strong picture really it it tells us something about the danger.

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Therkel Str?de: That the refugees were thrown into the situation of vulnerability, it also it also tells us about an equalizing element of the Nazi prosecution.

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Therkel Str?de: Since the Nazis targeted all US rich Jews poured us old us even children, young Jews and young Jews and and juice, no matter of faith.

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Therkel Str?de: No matter of the group affiliation and the boat is like everybody is being tossed into the same very vulnerable situation and the book becomes a symbol, also in literature change of slide please.

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Therkel Str?de: And here we have four siblings.

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Therkel Str?de: sister three brothers who made it across to the Strait of Eros on, and they have they went back to the particular place and found the boat they came across.

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Therkel Str?de: And they found an or we'd had which have broken, now that could have meant disaster, but in this case it broke very close to the Swedish coast, so they managed to get.

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Therkel Str?de: A get a land with one or only and they wanted this triumphant picture taken in order to send it to their father who had fled, but on another transport and also arrived safely some other place.

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Therkel Str?de: In Sweden, and for many years, this or this piece of an always, the only authentic artifact from the rescue of the Danish Jews change of slide please.

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Therkel Str?de: and impart we have two vessels which are known to have participated and documented to have participated in the rescue, which are still afloat.

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Therkel Str?de: And one of them is the gap three, which is the property of the Museum of Jewish heritage and it's makes because the connection between Denmark and the museum are very strong.

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Therkel Str?de: it's a Danish lighthouse tender which means actually a fishing vessels, which was, which was used for the different purpose, and it was operated by light in the usual crew, you could say and a group of resistance fighters, with a young woman of 19 years old, when you're sending in in in.

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Therkel Str?de: See organized managed to rescue an estimated 300 us across to Sweden during October for each we bought this particular vessel which operated out of kristen's House can now right.

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Therkel Str?de: so to speak, outside of the House i'm speaking from right now, I understand that how advice.

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Therkel Str?de: Is in the audience tonight and it's from i'm happy about that, because he wrote a a fascinating book about hitting me and her book wrote a few years.

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Therkel Str?de: ago I can recommend that very most change of slide so and the other boat is located in Denmark in the harbor of dogma which is right south of Copenhagen international airport.

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Therkel Str?de: Efficient village very beautiful and Peter risk one and the Museum of our own says boat and has has been working condition and it did a number of trips to.

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Therkel Str?de: The harvests, on the other side in.

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Therkel Str?de: The industrial harbor of lean on the concrete factory.

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Therkel Str?de: and transported some 70 Jews, and now I say I say some and about and so on, so forth, and this is one of the problems that we will try to solve and the the the and precise nature of our knowledge about the actual transportation it changed slide please.

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Therkel Str?de: This boat has recently surfaced you could say I mean come come out of.

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Therkel Str?de: Nowhere the Danish National Museum Museum has just put it on its display as it reorganized the Museum of Danish resistance.

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Therkel Str?de: and very few people have seen it because the museum was opened in in October last year and then close again down in November, because of corona.

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Therkel Str?de: And it's a much simpler and more primitive boats than gather three and the Elizabeth it has no steering cabin, as you can see it used partners sales, but it also had a small petrol engine to to.

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Therkel Str?de: to operate it and, and this is the boat that will take us across to Sweden, please check the slide.

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Therkel Str?de: This is Europe, this was Europe like it looked in October 1943 all Nazi domination pretty much all over the continent.

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Therkel Str?de: But the Nazis are being pushed back in Italy and they're being pushed back by the Soviets on the eastern front and in the middle, you see the you see the Silhouette of Denmark, which we Danes have been brought up to consider kind of anthropomorphic like looking like a family with.

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Therkel Str?de: With with with one person here and in in in in my young days it was always a man and a woman and women and children or the route and so on, so far.

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Therkel Str?de: it's like that's kind of silly but but that's that's how we were told about our.

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Therkel Str?de: Business topography of our country you see the Silhouette you see the proximity to Sweden here, you also see the bridge which wasn't there in those days, there was no bridge here, no bridge here and only ferry.

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Therkel Str?de: Services and then you see the capital, which is where most of all, the Danish Jews about 6000 out of 7000 and we're living.

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Therkel Str?de: And you see the Swedish coast here and and here we have here we have a map which is.

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Therkel Str?de: Stating some of the points of departure and some of the points of arrival, but by far, not all of them, because it was hundreds of transports.

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Therkel Str?de: That went across in those days, most of them in the first two weeks of October and the Eastern most of these green dots is the place that I will i'm going to take you to and how do I go and.

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Therkel Str?de: What how do, how am I going to do this, please change the slide and I will introduce you to this website at safe haven DK.

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Therkel Str?de: And it's available in Danish and and in English really the rescue of course was a clandestine decentralized highly improvised operation, it was done by amateurs.

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Therkel Str?de: And of course it was a security issue pro that that would put would.

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Therkel Str?de: Would for a bit the MPs people involved in generating records of any kinds of course, so we have much uncertainty about the actual transports, the numbers and so on, so forth the specifics of the transport no registration was done on the on the poor side of demarcation.

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Therkel Str?de: embarkation sorry but in Sweden at the side of demarcation incoming refugees were registered already when red.

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Therkel Str?de: refugees were coming over in the summer of 43 when the first ones arrived, and they would be interrogated by the Swedish police, which of course had fear that German spies could sneak in or that plane criminals could want to escape from Denmark and Sweden and continue their criminal.

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Therkel Str?de: Be behavior so at one point Danish researchers got the ideas from the what was then the data Center for Holocaust and genocide studies it doesn't exist anymore regrettably.

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Therkel Str?de: And that they would comb through a variety of Swedish local and regional archives and they found a lot of these police records which were located decentralized in the places where they had originally been made.

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Therkel Str?de: And it is later the later stage this material was then after the Center had been dismantled this material that's collection.

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Therkel Str?de: became digitalized and eventually made available on this website, but it is very little known and very little used, especially outside of Denmark and I hope that.

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Therkel Str?de: There might be people out there listening today who might have.

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Therkel Str?de: I have had the the the urge to try to look for specific people, maybe relatives and so on, so forth in the database and let me change of slides, please.

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Therkel Str?de: Let me introduce you to what kind of material this database hold and what it's good for.

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Therkel Str?de: Let me take the example of town, which is that particular boat, which is now on display at the Danish National Museum, and nobody has seen it.

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Therkel Str?de: And it did, only one crossing on October, the second 1943 you remember the German police action was on October, the first, so this is a very early crossing and.

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Therkel Str?de: The participants in this crossing we're all called to to the police station police headquarters of malware, which is the local, regional law largest city.

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Therkel Str?de: and on October 5 they were interrogated and this generated a number of police reports and, as you can see, they are in.

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Therkel Str?de: In a particular format and the format is in Swedish and Danish because the Swedish police would use their parts for security reasons.

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Therkel Str?de: purposes, and they would share this material copies of it with the Danish Refugee administration in Sweden, and now, and I am presenting you to Abraham steinbach.

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Therkel Str?de: And Obama steinbach was a medical student at the University of Copenhagen, he was born in 1919 he was born in Copenhagen.

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Therkel Str?de: He was his nationality was Danish his religion was Jewish he lived in Griffin filled scale, which was a poor neighborhood of working class district.

00:24:26.400 --> 00:24:30.480
Therkel Str?de: In those states, you would call it a get although there was no specific Jewish.

00:24:31.380 --> 00:24:41.610
Therkel Str?de: Identity about it, but the juice wouldn't have didn't have much money would also have to live in these like two one or two or three room room small apartments.

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Therkel Str?de: And now, how come a medical student doesn't have money because he came from a very modest background, he was not married at the time, he was single and he's asked why did you why did you.

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Therkel Str?de: Come to Sweden and his hands service, the persecution of Jews here, you can see, he has arrived on the third.

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Therkel Str?de: Now, in the in the form, you can see that he sailed from Denmark, the day before close to midnight from the little town not town it's not really a town it's a village course called learn.

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Therkel Str?de: And it took him more than six hours to get there i'll get back to that how could it take so long for such a short distance he landed in scanner.

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Therkel Str?de: which is close to the Danish to the Danish coast really and was carrying a very modest sum of Danish money and when he was interrogated he also.

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Therkel Str?de: He also indicated that he had no assets in Sweden, he was carrying no passport.

00:25:53.910 --> 00:25:57.030
Therkel Str?de: Clearly, he had fled with pair on very short.

00:25:58.080 --> 00:26:06.990
Therkel Str?de: notice, he was not alone in the boat oh one very important thing, of course, should be mentioned how did you get to Sweden.

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Therkel Str?de: And I got to Sweden on a fishing boat, which has been had been caught from a fisherman in that particular village they had been bought bought from from from the fisherman change of slides, please.

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Therkel Str?de: Oh yeah well.

00:26:29.970 --> 00:26:30.660
Therkel Str?de: Come on.

00:26:32.340 --> 00:26:33.840
Therkel Str?de: Sorry, and.

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Therkel Str?de: This is, this is, this is the.

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Therkel Str?de: route, he was taken taking from where he lived in court in central Copenhagen and all down the the East, the western coast of the earth, and he was driving by bike, which was the safest way of driving.

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Therkel Str?de: And even down to here.

00:26:58.950 --> 00:27:15.090
Therkel Str?de: But the people who came along with him, probably took a cab I can turn late i'll tell you why then the crossing is something like this, and the reason for it taking six hours is that somewhere out here.

00:27:16.620 --> 00:27:18.030
Therkel Str?de: The engine broke down.

00:27:19.290 --> 00:27:26.550
Therkel Str?de: So they were in a boat and they worked four hours to get that engine working again they have.

00:27:27.780 --> 00:27:44.400
Therkel Str?de: A young fisherman, who was on the boat and a Danish policeman who was with them and, eventually, they made it to scanner and from there, they were taken to the Miami police headquarters and change of slide please.

00:27:45.600 --> 00:27:46.800
Therkel Str?de: Here we have Abraham.

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Therkel Str?de: As I mentioned in 33 he was a student of medicine had already, like a number of years of study behind him, he was he was born in new home, we know we can know from this.

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Therkel Str?de: From the records, a new home was another like very poor neighborhood in those days, today, it says tourist trap and people who visit Copenhagen love to go there to have to sit out door and drink and eat.

00:28:13.980 --> 00:28:25.350
Therkel Str?de: But in those days, it was a very poor how urban neighborhood so he comes from very modest background, what have here we have a one of the few pig pictures I be.

00:28:26.070 --> 00:28:42.420
Therkel Str?de: known from him is this one, which is from his you just class in 1930 he went to your school and obviously his parents who came from Lithuania, and I mean from that was part of Russia in those days.

00:28:44.190 --> 00:28:45.630
Therkel Str?de: When when they came to Denmark, he.

00:28:46.920 --> 00:28:57.780
Therkel Str?de: thought it would be important that he learned his mother tongue, and this is what he looked like shortly before he died in 2009 and abrahamic.

00:28:59.010 --> 00:29:05.490
Therkel Str?de: completed his medical study at the University of loans and Northern Ireland it's a common name in Scandinavia.

00:29:06.900 --> 00:29:22.410
Therkel Str?de: And in 1945 at the at the liberation he came back to Denmark data is clinical training in Danish hospitals, then he went to Israel for four or five years and for in 59 he went back.

00:29:23.100 --> 00:29:32.430
Therkel Str?de: And he didn't go back to Denmark, but go back they go they go back to Sweden and became a general practitioner in a rural district in.

00:29:33.390 --> 00:29:48.150
Therkel Str?de: South central Sweden was held in very high esteem by the local community he made a raised a family, he was very keen on traveling in eastern as well as Western Europe in his caravan.

00:29:49.440 --> 00:30:05.190
Therkel Str?de: With the family and 11 years ago he he died, it is very probable that it you to school, he learned about Alto man got to know apple Hamilton man change of the slide please.

00:30:07.740 --> 00:30:12.330
Therkel Str?de: Yes, So here we have our home, here we have his brother younger brother.

00:30:13.440 --> 00:30:19.350
Therkel Str?de: Who was a worker, and here we have Solomon steinbach he will with his father and his mother Berta.

00:30:20.310 --> 00:30:31.380
Therkel Str?de: And, and on the boat was where other people, so there was another family Sammy Alto man who was a dentist young dentist, as you can understand, like.

00:30:32.100 --> 00:30:52.110
Therkel Str?de: Barely graduated his father who came from a social layer higher than the Stein box, who had who had finished mercantile school and had a diploma in English and was working as an insurance agent in those days and his wife door.

00:30:53.550 --> 00:31:03.390
Therkel Str?de: So these two Jewish families are on the boat and so he spent Hoover the young fisherman i'm I mentioned, and an Anti an identified Danish policeman.

00:31:04.680 --> 00:31:05.370
Therkel Str?de: All of them.

00:31:06.600 --> 00:31:09.900
Therkel Str?de: were in interrogated except for the policeman.

00:31:11.520 --> 00:31:18.990
Therkel Str?de: And, by the same Swedish police officer and we should change the slide again.

00:31:23.700 --> 00:31:41.340
Therkel Str?de: This is so this is where they This is where they left from this is learned fishing village, I mean they've lived this small tiny fishing harbor this picture was made last year it was made earlier in 1943 in October.

00:31:42.150 --> 00:31:52.440
Therkel Str?de: It was a very windy day it was rainy it was all so much darker and say left, and this would be the last day so of Denmark, for I wanted to half years.

00:31:52.890 --> 00:32:03.450
Therkel Str?de: And they would go out here, and this way out, and they would go to Sweden that way, and so they had this engine failure and imagine the fear.

00:32:04.170 --> 00:32:11.910
Therkel Str?de: of sitting in a boat trying to cover themselves with a canopy in order to during the rain, to make that.

00:32:12.570 --> 00:32:34.080
Therkel Str?de: primitive motor work it and always fearing that a German patrol boat would come by and discover them, but that didn't happen, and they got there to Sweden, eventually, but not all of the transports of course we're successful, we must see change of slide please.

00:32:35.370 --> 00:32:51.750
Therkel Str?de: Here is another type of material that the Swedish police has has has generated it's a visa application, and it is the visa application of Ram is Marcus Marcus melky of Copenhagen, not the Chief Rabbi Chief Rabbi fried.

00:32:52.920 --> 00:33:04.500
Therkel Str?de: fried ego was deported to Theresienstadt with his with his wife brought markers milk, who was the one who got the warning from the social democratic leaders.

00:33:05.340 --> 00:33:18.660
Therkel Str?de: And communicated it in the synagogue to the Jewish community he arrived in Sweden with his three children, one of them later becoming the Chief Rabbi of Denmark bent milk to.

00:33:19.260 --> 00:33:35.730
Therkel Str?de: The son of whom is a rabbi in Israel and the grandson of whom is also a rabbi and they were the meter is my cosmic his wife was also a column K also came along with a on on this.

00:33:37.530 --> 00:33:42.780
Therkel Str?de: On on on this particular topic, but it is a different one, it took place on October 12.

00:33:43.800 --> 00:33:58.200
Therkel Str?de: Not from that harbor we were talking about, but from a business, which is very in the deep south of Denmark and was a trip that took more than 11 hours because the.

00:33:59.430 --> 00:34:01.680
Therkel Str?de: difficulties of navigation really.

00:34:02.850 --> 00:34:04.890
Therkel Str?de: In the in this.

00:34:06.600 --> 00:34:22.680
Therkel Str?de: visa application, you can see rabbi melky is writing it is my intention to return to Denmark and soon as the situation allows it and logically for that he applied for a six month visa.

00:34:23.250 --> 00:34:33.720
Therkel Str?de: But it took one and a half years before the Jews could actually turn and return to Denmark change of slides, please.

00:34:35.280 --> 00:34:35.850
Therkel Str?de: Yes.

00:34:38.400 --> 00:34:56.910
Therkel Str?de: The American family was what we call an old Danish Jewish family there Stein punk family was a what what the family, which was a family, which marks the Jews were called the Russian Jews coming out of various parts of Russia.

00:34:58.050 --> 00:35:08.970
Therkel Str?de: And, like most of the Jews, we ended up in America, actually, and those are the two largest groups of Jewish refugees and the third group is that of.

00:35:09.390 --> 00:35:29.130
Therkel Str?de: German Jewish Austrian Jewish and check Jewish refugees who had come to Denmark or when did during the 30s and now we're Honorable on the run for a second time and Anna bernheimer is one of those and what we have here is her application for a refugee passport.

00:35:32.190 --> 00:35:38.670
Therkel Str?de: She needs it, in order to move around in Sweden for identification and so on, so forth, and.

00:35:39.240 --> 00:35:56.760
Therkel Str?de: As she if we read this whole document which is several pages long, we can see that she also explains that she had a Danish Refugee pack passport at home in Denmark, but because of the persecution of the Jews and in Germany, she had no German passport.

00:35:57.870 --> 00:36:07.860
Therkel Str?de: And that she is also applying to stay in Sweden until April 1 which means six months that was kind of a standard so.

00:36:09.660 --> 00:36:20.550
Therkel Str?de: Please notice one thing she's coming across already on the 30th of September, which is before the German police starts chasing people.

00:36:22.170 --> 00:36:30.300
Therkel Str?de: Why is that she got the warning or maybe she didn't even need a warning Maybe she was just like you can say she had to feel.

00:36:30.720 --> 00:36:40.170
Therkel Str?de: That something's going to happen now, because she knew what the Nazis were like from the time when she was back in Frankfurt or mine where she lived.

00:36:41.160 --> 00:36:54.240
Therkel Str?de: For a couple of years after the Nazi take a world power, she was a widow, and she also explains in this in this paper that she is willing to work in domestic services.

00:36:54.840 --> 00:37:03.240
Therkel Str?de: and said that she would certainly not cost the Swedish state any money she could provide for herself if she just got that kind.

00:37:04.410 --> 00:37:12.480
Therkel Str?de: of work, so we have these three different groups of Jews who were part of the same rescue operation and sometimes even.

00:37:12.750 --> 00:37:24.450
Therkel Str?de: You would meet them, they would meet in the same boat, even if they came from very different backgrounds and also, of course, had very different experiential background for.

00:37:25.560 --> 00:37:34.680
Therkel Str?de: Like for for for for for coping with the new and difficult situation let's change the slide again.

00:37:35.940 --> 00:37:46.650
Therkel Str?de: Now, I mentioned that on the steinbach and i'll tell man boat was also a Danish fisherman, and that was spent Hoover.

00:37:48.060 --> 00:38:06.180
Therkel Str?de: He also was interrogated by the same Swedish police officers and and he was actually coming across in order to help navigating it was like Abraham steinbach had actually done some like sports navigation.

00:38:07.980 --> 00:38:24.630
Therkel Str?de: So he knew about the fairing at sea, but they thought it better to take bend over along he a young, a young guy and probably the one who actually in the first place, make the contact possible between a bomb and the fisherman who saw the boat.

00:38:27.960 --> 00:38:42.510
Therkel Str?de: But bent whole didn't want to go back to Denmark and he explains it here, he was afraid that he might be forcefully recruited to German Sir Sir Labor service but Denmark didn't have that kind of things.

00:38:43.500 --> 00:38:52.680
Therkel Str?de: At this time, but, of course, the situation was a different one without a Danish government so many people would expect that to happen, or to come in the future.

00:38:53.160 --> 00:39:02.790
Therkel Str?de: Also, he is stressing his anti Nazi attitude, and for this reason he doesn't want to go back, he has bringing he's bringing his Danish passport.

00:39:03.780 --> 00:39:16.590
Therkel Str?de: Is down here, no, no, no, no, where was some somewhere in somewhere in in in in in the in the form it's also noted that he's bringing his his Danish passport, but.

00:39:17.250 --> 00:39:30.870
Therkel Str?de: He now becomes a refugee and since he was a single young man he's taken to a refugee camp for young single men and they were to be trained as in logging, which is very.

00:39:31.980 --> 00:39:42.210
Therkel Str?de: Which is a very important industry in Sweden, but bent was basically a seafarer he was a fisherman grew up as a fisherman had also worked on.

00:39:42.990 --> 00:39:58.050
Therkel Str?de: On on ships really as a seaman and wanted to get back to this, he didn't feel well in the woods, he would he wanted water under his feet so in 1944 he has already.

00:39:59.700 --> 00:40:17.190
Therkel Str?de: He has already got a job on a motor motor schooler Swedish motor schooner and he has been traveling around Swedish waters with cargo and at one point in Stockholm, he got a job with the police, because he didn't have a specific that specific.

00:40:18.210 --> 00:40:43.200
Therkel Str?de: Siemens passport, which was needed in Sweden to work at a ship, and this is what he is he's a he took this from his application for Siemens passport, please note the 17th of June 1944 he is asking and he's already at the ship and the ship owner is also supporting his wish.

00:40:44.490 --> 00:40:49.800
Therkel Str?de: He obviously got the permission he got the Siemens passport and.

00:40:52.350 --> 00:41:04.290
Therkel Str?de: Little more than two months later he lost his life as his the motor schooner on the way back from lubick in Germany, with a coal aboard.

00:41:05.220 --> 00:41:26.370
Therkel Str?de: ran on, to our mind, and three of the four crew of former killed, so this is his grave his tombstone back in the little city where the story of Abraham steinberg and his family, his flight started he ended his life in the on the water.

00:41:28.140 --> 00:41:30.420
Therkel Str?de: Next slide please.

00:41:31.800 --> 00:41:37.110
Therkel Str?de: i'm going to have to reach a conclusion because I see that there are an awful lot of questions.

00:41:38.580 --> 00:41:39.240
Therkel Str?de: Just.

00:41:40.380 --> 00:42:00.030
Therkel Str?de: Some fragments that I have shown you from this archive which probably shows you the richness of the material, but also some reservations that we have against using it, so the receiving side compensates for the lack of records on the deport deportations side, and if we combine these.

00:42:01.650 --> 00:42:11.760
Therkel Str?de: Informed inform me this information with written memoirs with accounts that are made also oral history testimony and the police records can are very strong.

00:42:13.050 --> 00:42:14.520
Therkel Str?de: to sort of.

00:42:16.020 --> 00:42:32.370
Therkel Str?de: To make a foundation of this kind of more memoir type material, because the police is pretty accurate about dates about facts and so on, so forth, whereas survivors testimony is not very.

00:42:33.330 --> 00:42:45.090
Therkel Str?de: often contains mistakes to these things, the material, however, is diverse it's uneven in its quality it's not the same form that is used everywhere in Sweden.

00:42:46.680 --> 00:43:02.040
Therkel Str?de: In some some police stations develop their own and so on, so forth, so it's not exactly the same information you get from everyone it's also incomplete, it is, it is only 6318 individuals who are.

00:43:03.060 --> 00:43:17.610
Therkel Str?de: encompassed by the by the material and that's not all of the refugees, it contains on truthful information because some of the refugees had fear of the Swedish police or had fear of any police really.

00:43:18.720 --> 00:43:23.880
Therkel Str?de: Because of an experience they had earlier, for instance, refugees in Germany.

00:43:24.930 --> 00:43:35.610
Therkel Str?de: And they were uncertain about the Swedish position because it was a brand new fact that Sweden had taken the side of the allied it used to be on the German side in the beginning of the war.

00:43:36.810 --> 00:43:50.880
Therkel Str?de: And the material and clearly needs contextualization and this one problem with it, it is of course that it reproduces the traditional what we call rescue focus of the Danish story.

00:43:51.540 --> 00:44:01.770
Therkel Str?de: As as a contributing to making for get or invisible those who got caught the also ended up in Theresienstadt those few who perished.

00:44:02.550 --> 00:44:14.490
Therkel Str?de: because these are the success stories that are being recorded the digital registration and salts has also contains mistakes, so if you try to enter this material.

00:44:14.850 --> 00:44:24.780
Therkel Str?de: You would also have to kind of feel your way through, it might not or they might the the the summary you get first might not actually be accurate.

00:44:25.260 --> 00:44:35.460
Therkel Str?de: In accordance with the actual documents, but you can click on to the documents and make your own judgment about that the advantages of course.

00:44:36.000 --> 00:44:48.480
Therkel Str?de: This material give you basic insights into individual flight stories, it is good for verification, in many cases and it's very good for genealogical research, of course.

00:44:48.990 --> 00:44:57.780
Therkel Str?de: somebody who might have family who came across would be able, probably to trace their way across the eurozone, and so on, so forth.

00:44:58.200 --> 00:45:07.050
Therkel Str?de: So it's supplements the oral testimony very good and lays out new avenues for further research research and.

00:45:07.860 --> 00:45:18.480
Therkel Str?de: It contains a large number of refugees, but not all, and some of them, as you already saw some of the refugees are non Jewish or do and some odd and most are Jewish.

00:45:18.810 --> 00:45:37.260
Therkel Str?de: So we also have the possibility of sort of getting a feel for the interaction between Jews and non Jews between Jews and helpers and so on, so forth, through that material sometimes very often we can we can we can get certainty about who was along on a particular boat.

00:45:38.460 --> 00:45:54.900
Therkel Str?de: And this is a way of like building or understanding the nets networks of entangled stories in a very hectic and highly cat chaotic situation when networks played an important very important role for rescue.

00:45:55.980 --> 00:46:05.280
Therkel Str?de: We can see patterns when did which kinds of juice get across the German refugees were the first to react, it seems.

00:46:06.270 --> 00:46:14.190
Therkel Str?de: And many Danish Jews couldn't really believe in the beginning, that this was actually true that this was actually going to happen because.

00:46:14.790 --> 00:46:27.720
Therkel Str?de: They had been used to living a complete normal life throughout the first three years of the German occupation, with no stars no registrations no discrimination only with the.

00:46:28.590 --> 00:46:45.750
Therkel Str?de: The animosity of knowledge Danish Nazis being expressed again and again, but that is something that i'd say I mean anti Semitism is something that these also Danish Jews were used to kind of not that it was not a terrible thing.

00:46:46.830 --> 00:47:01.650
Therkel Str?de: Rescue networks non Jewish and Jewish networks, and I am, I think, in the case of the case of Abraham steinbach is a very good one, because it shows us that it is a young Jewish man, a man.

00:47:02.160 --> 00:47:16.890
Therkel Str?de: Who actually takes the initiative he reacts promptly he doesn't wait and see, he doesn't ask for advice or if he does he does that very quickly, where, which means that the people he would need to give him advice.

00:47:17.490 --> 00:47:34.560
Therkel Str?de: Also, where to go and where to probably find a boat would be at hand and ready to talk and right away, he also organizes he raises money he buys the boat, although it is part of the deal that the one who sold it will get it back.

00:47:35.640 --> 00:47:41.580
Therkel Str?de: So it's kind of a it's that's not a proper proper buying of the boat but.

00:47:42.750 --> 00:47:52.920
Therkel Str?de: Still, this boat was bought for a substantially lower some than many people had to pay many, many Jews had to pay to get across.

00:47:54.690 --> 00:47:58.770
Therkel Str?de: i'd say that to me going through a lot of this.

00:47:59.790 --> 00:48:13.590
Therkel Str?de: material has emphasized that the story about the Danish rescue is not only the story about gentiles for whichever motives be like good, be they more like.

00:48:14.190 --> 00:48:23.700
Therkel Str?de: personal gain motives and so on, so forth gentiles helping and rescuing Jews gentiles being the actives Jews, being the passes.

00:48:24.330 --> 00:48:36.960
Therkel Str?de: And when we look to in into the individual crossings and try to imagine the chain of decisions that a person like our home would have to do in the course of this very hectic.

00:48:38.790 --> 00:48:58.860
Therkel Str?de: hectic procedure, we also see that Jews played a very important active role in their own rescue and others, at least if we compare too much of the literature on this issue on this issue and you insight and change of slide please.

00:49:00.420 --> 00:49:08.280
Therkel Str?de: This is just advertisement for the two projects that's projects that I have running these days, one about the Danish Jews and Judaism start.

00:49:08.700 --> 00:49:25.260
Therkel Str?de: I mean that group which didn't make it across to Sweden and another project on the merit team evacuations, from the studio of concentration camp it the ball in the Baltic Sea, in the end of World War Two and 1945.

00:49:26.340 --> 00:49:28.380
Therkel Str?de: Thank you for your attention.

00:49:31.980 --> 00:49:37.320
Ari Goldstein: Thank you very much, that was fascinating and there's a lot of questions here so i'm going to try to get get through a bunch of them.

00:49:37.860 --> 00:49:53.910
Ari Goldstein: And there are a couple questions about money changing hands, you mentioned that Abraham bought his boat was it did most Jewish refugees pay money for their departure were some taken over through the generosity of fishermen, how often was the boat loan or bought.

00:49:56.010 --> 00:49:59.460
Therkel Str?de: Most Jews had to pay a substantial sums to get across.

00:50:00.540 --> 00:50:11.670
Therkel Str?de: And this an explanation to that which is you can say the market structures, certainly many people want to get out in the country.

00:50:12.270 --> 00:50:19.320
Therkel Str?de: This is not something that's that fishermen normally do they all it's also not they're not allowed to go to the sweetest side.

00:50:19.770 --> 00:50:33.000
Therkel Str?de: So they had to be convinced that he would go and and fisherman many fishermen demanded high sums of money in order to get across some of the first people to get across already during September.

00:50:33.690 --> 00:50:50.760
Therkel Str?de: we're belong to some of the rich richest families in Denmark and could pay what what he was asked, in a situation where there was know what can you say it was not usual that the option to take us would exist at all and that, of course.

00:50:51.870 --> 00:51:02.760
Therkel Str?de: among fishermen started a rumor that there was a lot of money to be earned so we have all these examples of fishermen actually earning really, really good money on.

00:51:03.840 --> 00:51:18.330
Therkel Str?de: On transportation, but very, very, very, very quickly resistance organizations entered into the bargaining between the Jews and the fisherman and took over that part, so the Jews would pay to every.

00:51:19.320 --> 00:51:34.890
Therkel Str?de: Year refuge the rescue organization and the rescue organization would pay the fishermen, so that that wouldn't be the same type of of bargaining between between them directly, and this course, the.

00:51:36.300 --> 00:51:54.180
Therkel Str?de: The songs to go low to go down substantially, we also have examples that fishermen to use across for nothing, and at one point actually way back it was I interviewed a fisherman who operated out of Castile powerball.

00:51:55.500 --> 00:52:11.850
Therkel Str?de: A in on on on the like right here in Copenhagen, and he told me that he and his father, they had about only with the sale and rewards and they would take they took money from the first two transports, then they bought themselves in engine.

00:52:12.900 --> 00:52:32.220
Therkel Str?de: And then they thought okay we've got enough out of this, and now we can take more people and the rest of them, they took for free, so you have altruism and you have the most horrible profiteering combined in in this operation and which of course means that.

00:52:33.570 --> 00:52:38.370
Therkel Str?de: Many Jews had a very unpleasant experience.

00:52:39.630 --> 00:52:52.200
Therkel Str?de: In these bargaining situations, and it was very it was very good and it was also a prioritized aim of the rescue organizations to sort of come between and make sure.

00:52:52.560 --> 00:53:05.010
Therkel Str?de: That Jews who had money could pay for those who didn't have money and I don't think we have any examples, at least no examples have been recorded that anybody has been left left behind.

00:53:05.700 --> 00:53:17.610
Therkel Str?de: Because he couldn't bring up the money, so how somehow this function, but it was it was it was money like he was like the average price for a crossing was.

00:53:18.450 --> 00:53:29.310
Therkel Str?de: Around 1000 Danish krona, and for that you would be able to buy if if you're sort of calculate in today's money you would be able to buy a small car.

00:53:29.760 --> 00:53:30.810
Therkel Str?de: wow per person.

00:53:32.460 --> 00:53:46.350
Ari Goldstein: So when they arrived in Sweden, what conditions did most this is coming up in a bunch of questions what conditions did most refugees face and was did the Swedish Jewish community play a role and sort of resettling these people are was the government very involved.

00:53:46.860 --> 00:53:53.730
Therkel Str?de: Now the government was involved, it was primarily a government government operation to to to take care of the.

00:53:55.080 --> 00:54:00.690
Therkel Str?de: ball refugees who came over from Denmark, and in this respect, the streets had learned from.

00:54:02.370 --> 00:54:12.210
Therkel Str?de: What happened a year earlier when the Norwegian Jews flat across the land across the forests and the mountains to Sweden, because in the beginning.

00:54:12.810 --> 00:54:24.720
Therkel Str?de: They used to turn them back and then eventually they took them in and they have they found out that this was not the way to do it and there was an agreement and secret agreement between the Danish underground.

00:54:26.520 --> 00:54:36.990
Therkel Str?de: And, and the and the, and the Swedish authorities that they should be taken care of and then my cat very big assets in Sweden, because Denmark exported foodstuff to.

00:54:37.740 --> 00:54:48.570
Therkel Str?de: to Sweden, Sweden has never been able to feed itself so they imported a lot and that money was frozen in on accounts in Stockholm and they were used to finance.

00:54:49.680 --> 00:55:00.540
Therkel Str?de: Both the Jewish and non Jewish refugees, the number of juice I mentioned mentioned that salat 7600, we know that for sure, because there was a survey made by a Jewish.

00:55:01.170 --> 00:55:21.000
Therkel Str?de: sociologist in 1944 in the camps and and about three times as much non Jews like 30 23,000 non Jewish refugees in the course of 1943 4445 but the non Jews came later, which means that the administration was up and running.

00:55:22.440 --> 00:55:34.290
Therkel Str?de: To provide for the Jewish refugees, when the non Jewish started arriving most of them being members of the resistance or family members so resistance fighters and so on, so.

00:55:36.990 --> 00:55:50.400
Ari Goldstein: terkel there's a couple questions from Terry and ronnie and someone else about the the myth of the Danish King and the yellow stars, I wonder if I know it's not exactly what the rescue, but I think would be very helpful if you could sort of explore that for us.

00:55:50.970 --> 00:55:57.480
Therkel Str?de: it's a very it's a it's a it's a it's a very steady legend, but it is a legend and that we do.

00:55:57.810 --> 00:56:06.360
Therkel Str?de: I actually prepare this slide for because the ignite anticipating after having spoken on this issue many times in Israel, many tribes in.

00:56:06.690 --> 00:56:20.880
Therkel Str?de: In the United States, Canada and and and other places I anticipated that we this question would come up, and it is important, where does that legend come from it never happened the King never wore the Jewish he also never threatened to do it.

00:56:21.900 --> 00:56:34.830
Therkel Str?de: It is a legend but the legend came out of Swedish newspaper and here you have the date for it Steve Steve Kirk was was a Danish not actually in Norwegian cartoonist.

00:56:35.700 --> 00:56:53.400
Therkel Str?de: Dan Morgan it's cartoonists you know who made it to who fled to Sweden already at the earliest an early stage, because he may have made anti Nazi drawings and so on, so forth, and came to work for a leading Swedish newspaper in your goteborg.

00:56:54.630 --> 00:57:12.000
Therkel Str?de: And, at one point he published this this drawing a we have the we have the better use this one, we have the Prime Minister talk about astounding Social Democrat, but at that time, the government contained all the democratic party's not only the Social Democrats.

00:57:13.140 --> 00:57:34.110
Therkel Str?de: which was like 50% of the world's the rest was the Liberal Party and send and conservative parties, but then the other half so astounding is sitting next to the King Christian the 10th and his speculating, Your Majesty, what should we do if the Germans demand that.

00:57:35.280 --> 00:57:44.250
Therkel Str?de: The Jews were the the yellow star now, as you probably know, it was introduced in Germany and Western Europe.

00:57:45.150 --> 00:57:49.710
Therkel Str?de: By a September 1941 so it was quite a new thing, and it was not.

00:57:50.430 --> 00:57:59.010
Therkel Str?de: Another tall impossible that the Germans would come up with this idea, because they were pressurizing the day nice authorities to start working on Anti Jewish laws.

00:57:59.340 --> 00:58:08.070
Therkel Str?de: But the Danish Government always said there's no Jewish question in Denmark it's not oh that's no problem we won't do that and so anyway.

00:58:09.270 --> 00:58:17.610
Therkel Str?de: astounding is asking the the key their king, what should we do if the Germans come up with this demand on the king, say, well, I guess, then we'll all have to wear one.

00:58:19.500 --> 00:58:26.220
Therkel Str?de: And this is just a cartoon and speculation, you know it did, however, contain.

00:58:27.420 --> 00:58:45.030
Therkel Str?de: The opinion of the social Social Democratic Party of the Danish politicians at large and of the King, who has no political power, really, but had a symbolic symbolically power in those days and and and then in 1943.

00:58:46.560 --> 00:58:57.060
Therkel Str?de: Sweden Sweden was a neutral country the American press was operating freely and can and had to report sent to the harvest and they started telling this story.

00:58:58.740 --> 00:59:06.570
Therkel Str?de: Because it was a good story, and it was also you could say it was like suitable for propaganda use back in the United States and Canada.

00:59:07.800 --> 00:59:17.220
Therkel Str?de: So this is this is where this is really where it where it entered into the international media stream in the allied countries.

00:59:18.000 --> 00:59:34.920
Therkel Str?de: And from there, it became a subject of popular literature, especially Leon who his books have a passage about the King which which, which is highly fiction fictitious but still has.

00:59:36.090 --> 00:59:45.360
Therkel Str?de: Created the picture, with many, many, many people, Jews and non Jews all over the world, that the King was actually taking this kind of action he never thought about it.

00:59:45.810 --> 01:00:01.860
Therkel Str?de: And the Germans never introduced the Star of David in Denmark, the only Danish Jews who wore the styles worthy for 470 who were deported to do this, instead, and that one single man who was deported to Auschwitz.

01:00:02.880 --> 01:00:07.380
Ari Goldstein: amazing the way that that that cartoon prompted this myth, which is lived for so long.

01:00:07.770 --> 01:00:21.360
Ari Goldstein: I unfortunately it's it's three o'clock here and I want to keep us on time so we'll have to close it here, even have as many more questions but turkel a very big thank you from all of us at the museum, for your time and for sharing this insight with us into the rescue.

01:00:22.710 --> 01:00:31.530
Ari Goldstein: we're going to send out a recording of today's presentation, along with some of the resources of the turtle mentioned tomorrow via email so look at for that in your hand boxes.

01:00:31.860 --> 01:00:43.050
Ari Goldstein: And we hope that you'll come visit our Danish rescue boats at gerda three at mystic seaport Howard is clarified in the audience that nobody was charged for passages on the garden that that was.

01:00:43.200 --> 01:00:43.650
Therkel Str?de: that's true.

01:00:43.950 --> 01:00:52.710
Ari Goldstein: that's true story of generosity so so you can learn about that particular story at mystic seaport where our artifact is on long term loan.

01:00:53.130 --> 01:01:03.840
Ari Goldstein: or come visit us at the Museum in New York for for a deeper look into the Danish rescue, but in any case, a big thank you turkel Thank you to all of you who joined us on new knowledge people in the audience, who have.

01:01:04.200 --> 01:01:15.330
Ari Goldstein: Family in the Danish rescue who are part of the rescue themselves it's especially meaningful for us to have you here today and I just wish everyone continued safety and best wishes.

01:01:15.840 --> 01:01:16.830
Therkel Str?de: Thank you for having me.

01:01:17.730 --> 01:01:19.770
Ari Goldstein: A characterful good evening in Denmark.

01:01:20.190 --> 01:01:20.760
Good evening.


We would like to express our appreciation to the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) for supporting this public program. Through recovering the assets of the victims of the Holocaust, the Claims Conference enables organizations around the world to provide education about the Shoah and to preserve the memory of those who perished.

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