In the corridors of history, there are moments that shine with the indomitable human spirit. Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark at the Museum of Jewish Heritage takes us back to one such chapter. In this blog, we embark on a journey through the pages of various books that offer glimpses into this remarkable rescue mission. These books not only teach about the history of what happened, they recount the bravery of those who stood against the tide of oppression and illuminate the enduring power of courageous action.
A Conspiracy of Decency: The Rescue of the Danish Jews During World War II (2002)
By Emmy E. Werner
A Conspiracy of Decency: The Rescue of the Danish Jews During World War II by Emmy E. Werner is a book that chronicles the inspiring and successful rescue of Danish Jews during World War II. It highlights the collaborative efforts of Danish citizens, officials, and resistance movements in saving nearly the entire Jewish population of Denmark from the Holocaust. The book showcases a remarkable example of humanity’s capacity for compassion and moral action in the face of oppression and danger.
Beyond the Shadows: The Holocaust and the Danish Exception (2018)
By Judy Glickman Lauder
Beyond the Shadows: The Holocaust and the Danish Exception by Glickman Lauder explores Denmark’s unique response to the Holocaust during World War II. It focuses on how the Danish people, with the support of their government, managed to rescue and protect the majority of their Jewish population from Nazi persecution. The book delves into the factors that enabled this exceptional rescue operation and its lasting impact on Holocaust history.
Catherine’s War (2012)
By Julia Billet
Catherine’s War by Julia Billet is a novel that tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Rachel who is forced to go into hiding during World War II to escape the Nazi occupation of France. She assumes a new identity as Catherine and is sheltered by a kind-hearted Christian family in the French countryside. The book chronicles Rachel’s struggles, friendships, and the challenges she faces while living in secrecy during the war. It’s a tale of survival, resilience, and the bonds of friendship in the midst of adversity.
By Bo Lidegaard
Countrymen by Bo Lidegaard recounts the courageous efforts of the Danish people in saving the majority of their Jewish population during the Holocaust. It highlights the cooperation between Danish citizens and authorities, as well as the unexpected intervention of the SS officer Georg Duckwitz, which played a crucial role in the rescue operation. The book sheds light on this lesser-known aspect of Holocaust history, emphasizing the humanity and bravery exhibited by many Danes during this dark period.
Harboring Hope: The True Story of How Henny Sinding Helped Denmark’s Jews Escape the Nazis (2023)
By Susan Hood
Harboring Hope: The True Story of How Henny Sinding Helped Denmark’s Jews Escape the Nazis by Susan Hood is a book that recounts the true story of Henny Sinding, a Danish woman who played a crucial role in assisting Denmark’s Jews in escaping the Nazis during World War II. It highlights her courageous and selfless efforts to save lives and provides an inspiring tale of resilience and hope in the darkest of times.
Henny and Her Boat: Righteousness and Resistance in Nazi Occupied Denmark (2017)
By Howard S. Veisz
Henny and Her Boat: Righteousness and Resistance in Nazi Occupied Denmark by Howard S. Veisz tells the story of Henny and her boat during the Nazi occupation of Denmark. It focuses on the courageous acts of resistance and righteousness by ordinary Danish citizens who risked their lives to save Jewish neighbors and friends from the Holocaust. The book highlights the bravery and humanity of those who defied the Nazis and played a vital role in the rescue of Danish Jews.
Henny’s Boat: The Maritime Rescue Operation that Saved Denmark’s Jews and Sparked a Nationwide Revolt Against the Nazis (2022)
By Howard S. Veisz
Henny’s Boat by Howard S. Veisz is about the maritime rescue operation that saved Denmark’s Jews during World War II and triggered a nationwide revolt against the Nazis. The book explores the heroic efforts of ordinary Danes who rallied together to ferry Jewish citizens to safety in Sweden, defying the Nazis and ultimately saving lives. It highlights the courage and unity of the Danish people during a dark period in history.
Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust (2014)
By Loic Dauvillier
Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier is a graphic novel that tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Elsa during the Holocaust. It follows Elsa’s journey as she is hidden from the Nazis by a kind-hearted woman named Mrs. Rose. The book illustrates the fear, loss, and resilience experienced by Elsa and her family during this dark period in history.
Impossible Escape: A True Story of Survival and Heroism in Nazi Europe (2023)
By Steve Sheinkin
Impossible Escape: A True Story of Survival and Heroism in Nazi Europe by Steve Sheinkin is a gripping true story of survival and heroism in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. It chronicles the incredible and daring escape of Jewish refugees from the Nazis and their remarkable journey to freedom. The book highlights their courage, resourcefulness, and the extraordinary individuals who helped them evade capture and persecution.
In Denmark It Could Not Happen: The Flight of the Jews to Sweden in 1943 (1998)
By Herbert Pundik
In Denmark It Could Not Happen: The Flight of the Jews to Sweden in 1943 by Herbert Pundik provides a concise account of the events surrounding the escape of Danish Jews to Sweden during 1943. It explores how Danish citizens and resistance groups played a pivotal role in saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust, emphasizing the unique circumstances that prevented the Nazis from deporting the majority of Denmark’s Jewish population.
I Will Come Back for You (2011)
By Marisabina Russo
I Will Come Back for You by Marisabina Russo is a touching children’s book that tells the true story of a Jewish mother and daughter during the Holocaust. It narrates their separation and their unbreakable promise to reunite, showcasing the enduring power of love and hope during dark times.
Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust (2016)
By Jennifer Rozines Roy
Jars of Hope: How One Woman Helped Save 2,500 Children During the Holocaust by Jennifer Rozines Roy tells the true story of Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who, during the Holocaust, rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. She accomplished this incredible feat by smuggling the children out and placing their identities and locations in jars for future reunification. The book highlights her bravery and the hope she brought during a dark period in history.
Little People, Big Dreams: Anne Frank (2018)
By Illustrated by Sveta Dorosheva, Written by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Little People, Big Dreams: Anne Frank by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara is a children’s book that provides a brief and accessible introduction to the life of Anne Frank. It tells the story of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who went into hiding during World War II to escape the Nazis and wrote a famous diary. The book highlights her courage and the impact of her writing on the world, emphasizing the importance of tolerance and understanding.
Nothing to Speak of: Wartime Experiences of the Danish Jews 1943-1945 (2011)
By Sofie Lene Bak
Nothing to Speak of: Wartime Experiences of the Danish Jews 1943-1945 by Sofie Lene Bak provides a concise account of the Danish Jewish community’s experiences during the Nazi occupation, focusing on their collective efforts to protect and rescue Jews from deportation, ultimately emphasizing acts of courage and survival.
Number the Stars (1989)
By Lois Lowry
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is a novel set during World War II in Denmark. It follows the story of a young Danish girl named Annemarie Johansen and her family as they help their Jewish friends escape from the Nazis. The book explores themes of courage, sacrifice, and resistance against the backdrop of the Holocaust.
By Jennifer A. Nielsen
Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen is a historical fiction novel set during World War II. It follows the story of Chaya, a Jewish girl who becomes a courier for the Jewish resistance in Nazi-occupied Poland. Chaya risks her life to deliver vital messages and documents, highlighting the bravery and sacrifices of those who resisted the Nazis.
Star of Fear, Star of Hope (1993)
By Jo Hoestlandt
Star of Fear, Star of Hope by Jo Hoestlandt is a short and poignant children’s book that tells the story of a young Jewish girl named Helen during the Holocaust. The book follows the friendship between Helen and a young French girl named Marie-Claire. Marie-Claire helps Helen by giving her a small, yellow star-shaped badge to wear, which serves as a symbol of hope and friendship in a time of fear and danger. The story highlights the kindness and bravery of individuals in the face of adversity and the enduring power of friendship.
The Book Thief (Anniversary Edition) (2005)
By Markus Zusak
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a novel set in Nazi Germany, narrated by Death. It tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who steals books and finds solace in reading during the horrors of World War II. The book explores her relationships, especially with a Jewish refugee hidden in her basement, and her experiences growing up during a tumultuous time. Ultimately, it’s a tale of love, loss, and the power of words to both destroy and heal.
The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate (1995)
By Janice Cohn
The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate by Janice Cohn tells the story of how a town united against hate when menorahs were vandalized during Hanukkah. It highlights the community’s resilience and commitment to tolerance and understanding, emphasizing the importance of standing up against bigotry and discrimination. Fifty years later, the impact of the events from half a century ago still reverberates, evident in the profound commitment of the city of Billings to actively engage in movements dedicated to combating hatred and antisemitism. This enduring dedication serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of unity and tolerance forged in the face of adversity.
The Jews of Denmark in the Holocaust: Life and Death in the Theresienstadt Ghetto (2020)
By Silvia Goldbaum Tarabini Fracapane
The Jews of Denmark in the Holocaust: Life and Death in the Theresienstadt Ghetto by Silvia Goldbaum Tarabini Fracapane examines the experiences of Danish Jews during the Holocaust, particularly their time in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. The book delves into the challenges, living conditions, and survival strategies of Danish Jews in this ghetto, shedding light on their resilience in the face of adversity and the tragedy that befell many of them during this period.
The Rescue of Danish Jewry: Test of a Democracy (1969)
By Leni Yahil; translated from the Hebrew by Morris Gradel
The Rescue of Danish Jewry: Test of a Democracy by Leni Yahil examines the successful rescue of Danish Jews during World War II. It explores how the Danish democracy, under Nazi occupation, managed to save most of its Jewish population through collective efforts of the Danish people and their government. The book highlights the remarkable story of rescue and showcases the resilience and humanitarian values of the Danish society during a critical period in history.
The Rescue of the Danish Jews: Moral Courage Under Stress (1987)
By Leo Goldberger
The Rescue of the Danish Jews: Moral Courage Under Stress by Leo Goldberger is a brief account of the heroic rescue of Danish Jews during World War II. It highlights the moral courage of Danish citizens who united to save their Jewish neighbors from deportation to Nazi concentration camps. The book underscores the importance of human decency and collective action in the face of adversity.
The Whispering Town (2014)
By Jennifer Elvgren
The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren is a children’s book set during World War II in Denmark. It tells the story of a Jewish family hiding from the Nazis in a small Danish town. The townspeople secretly help the family by providing shelter and protection, and they communicate through whispers to keep their secret safe. The book highlights the bravery and kindness of ordinary people during a time of great danger and persecution.
The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark (2000)
By Carmen Agra Deedy
The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy is a children’s book that tells the story of how King Christian X of Denmark stood up against Nazi occupation during World War II by wearing a yellow star himself and encouraging his citizens to do the same. This symbolic act of solidarity and resistance serves as a powerful message of defiance against oppression and unity in the face of adversity.