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How Denmark saved its Jews: http://www.salon.com/2013/09/22/cou…

As Hannah Arendt wrote in “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” Denmark “is the only case we know of in which the Nazis met with open, native resistance, and the result seemed to be that those exposed to it changed their minds.” Even the Germans charged with executing the order to arrest Denmark’s Jews pursued it halfheartedly, because, both Arendt and Lidegaard believe, they were confronted by a unified people who, though “defenseless and occupied” refused to accept or participate in their twisted version of reality. “They had met resistance based on principle,” Arendt explained, “and their ‘toughness’ melted like butter.”

I worked, in the early 90s, with an older Jewish Danish woman who delighted in teaching me Danish off-color words and slang. She also told me the story of her family's race to the seaside to try and get the boat to Norway, and being stopped at a German roadblock, and the Gestapo officer who searched their car spotting her and her siblings hiding under the cushions in the backseat, shining his light on her, winking, then waving them on anyway. This account goes a long way towards explaining things like that.


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