The project's focus on the viewpoint of the victims has revealed that 10-20 % of the Jewish children were hidden in Denmark, when their parents fled to Sweden. The children were left with non-Jewish foster families or in children's homes and many stayed there until the liberation nearly two years later. These children have experienced not only survivor guilt, which is conspicuous in Danish Jews, but they experienced a double betrayal: first abandoned by their parents and later by their foster parents, when they were reunited in1945 with a father and mother whom they often could neither remember nor recognize. The story of the hidden children in Denmark is now told for the first time, and the project is the first systematic national investigation of their situation and memories.
Read more about the hidden children.
The Danish Jews disappear by and large out of the history books and the collective memory at the moment when they crossed the Danish border – either to arrive in a safe harbour in Sweden or as a deportee in a cattle car to the concentration camp Theresienstadt. This has meant that the conditions during exile and the consequences of deportation and flight are virtually unexplored in a Danish context. At the same time little research has been done on the difficult transition from war to peace in 1945, when 8000 people returned to Denmark to regain their housing, property and positions, traumatized by the experiences of flight, separation and deportation. The project thus exceeds the traditional tendency in occupation historiography to view the period 1940-45 as a closed circuit: "the dark parenthesis in Danish history".
Read more about the exile and returning home.
The memorials which have been erected in remembrance of the wartime experiences of the Danish Jews bear witness to significant and surprising characteristics of the post-war memorial culture in Denmark, Israel and the United States. Even though the flight in October 1943 today is a world famous event, the project has uncovered that only a miniscule number of the many memorials erected in Denmark just after the war refer directly to the flight of the Danish Jews in October 1943 or to other aspects of the wartime experiences of the Danish Jews. And the majority of those that do refer to the Jews have been raised within the last 20 years.
Read more about memorials and memorial culture.
Now you can catch a glimpse behind the scenes at the museum, and see what else is going on. Follow us @thedanishjewishmuseum
Get a discount of 10% at selected cafés by showing your ticket from the museum (Photo: Eddie Michel Azoulay).
- an exhibition about Jews in Denmark
The exhibition is a broad story of Jewish life in Denmark and focuses on co-exixstence and indentity through 400 years. Read more...
September 1'st - 31. of May:
Tuesday - Friday: 13 - 16
Saturday - Sunday: 12 - 17