Denmark’s Daring Rescue Operation that Saved its Jews from the Nazis

by Leah Rosenberg

Denmark was a country that tried to save its Jews from the hands of the Nazis. What they did is unbelievable – government and citizens alike.

How Denmark Saved its Jews

This is absolutely incredible. Denmark cared about its citizens – including the Jewish people. Not only did the government intercede on their behalf, but regular citizens did as well. They not only hid the Jews at first, but they helped them escape to safety in Sweden – around 7,000 Jews were saved during that operation.

It is even more unbelievable that the effort to save Jewish people did not stop there. When hundreds of Jews were deported to Theresienstadt, Denmark was able to deliver food and medicine to its Jews there. Because Denmark cared, most of the Jewish people who lived in Denmark before WWII survived the Holocaust.

Gratitude – Hakarat Hatov

In Judaism, there is an idea called “Hakarat Hatov” – literally meaning “Recognizing the good.” A Jewish person starts off the day with the prayer “Modeh Ani.” It is the first thing he says before even getting out of bed. It is a prayer thanking G-d and recognizing that He returns a person’s soul after sleep. Judaism teaches to have gratitude – to G-d of course but also to others. And that is why Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum, recognized the good that Denmark did for its Jewish citizens. The Jewish nation must show gratitude to King Christian X, the Danish Resistance, and the ordinary citizens who were willing to risk their own lives to save the Jews during the Holocaust.

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