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Danish Jews Escape

View of a Danish fishing boat that was used in the rescue of Jews during the occupation of Denmark. Driven by Thormod Larsen, this boat is now on display in the Permanent Exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

View of a Danish fishing boat that was used in the rescue of Jews during the occupation of Denmark. Driven by Thormod Larsen, this boat is now on display in the Permanent Exhibition of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Frihedsmuseet

September 20, 1943

From September 20 into October, 1943, approximately 7,200 Danish Jews escape to Sweden with the help of the Danish resistance movement and many individual Danish citizens.

Resistance workers and sympathizers initially helped Jews move into hiding places throughout the country and from there to the coast; fishermen then ferried them to neutral Sweden. The rescue operation expanded to include participation by the Danish police and the government. Over a period of about a month, some 7,200 Jews and 700 of their non-Jewish relatives traveled to safety in Sweden, which accepted the Danish refugees.