Denmark

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Mika68
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Denmark

Post by Mika68 » 27 Aug 2004 07:03

I suppose that danish people lived almost in peace conditions. Lights were on in cities and Danish Army didn't participate war. Danish had their own government and laws. For example Finnish children were sent to Denmark to escape the war.
Only sign that Denmark was occupied country was German troops in the country.
Allied bombed very rarely Danish targets.

Denmark was "lucky guy" of the war.

Mikko H.
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Post by Mikko H. » 27 Aug 2004 08:27

Denmark was "lucky guy" of the war.
...until 1943. In that year Germans started a crack-down on Danish liberties, and the German rule became more intrusive and oppressive.

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kstdk
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Post by kstdk » 27 Aug 2004 16:38

Hello to Finland

I dont know how "lucky" we were !!!

The occupation of Denmark the 9th. of April 1940 did, as you say - go relatively quiet ( only 20 Danish soldiers or so died !! ) and the germans did take the country almost without resistance.

However the Germans did enforce their rules quite early, and the city lights was closed and there were rules that restricted peoples free movement, for the rest of the war.

The resistance began almost instantly, but accelerated from august 1943 thats correct, and then there were "sperrgebiet" almost all over the country.

I think we had our share of the war, but you guys are quite right in assuming that Denmark did not see regular actions of war as other countries did.

A lot of Danish resistance fighters were killed by the Germans, and most families had or knew someone that had relations to the resistance.

Regarding the bombing of Danish targets by the British, there were several airraids on Denmark right from 1940 - so you are not right in your statement on that !!

I will find some documentation for you to read up un, so that - maybe - you will change your opinion on how "easy" Denmark get through the war.

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Johan Björklund
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Post by Johan Björklund » 28 Aug 2004 08:51

As a spokesman from a true lucky country often considered letting down their scandinavian neihgbours in the war, I still get annoyed buy the way danes wiew their part in the war.

"Resistance started almost instantly" -How much resistance was the fact that 103 000 danes went to germany for work in spite of their tradeunions protests?
How much resistance was the fact that Waffen-SS was allowed by Denmark to open recruitingstations (Which Sweden refused to do) where 1000 danes signed up?

It is true that Denamrk from august 1943 put up some gutsy resistance where a lot of freedomfighters were killed, but one must bear in mind that this was at a time when Germany was losing all over the world.

After the war , or in the very end almost every dane had been part of the resistance.
However most "resistance" was limited to muttering about germany at the dinnertable while they actually did nothing strategic about it outside the frontdoor.

After the war Denmark executed 46 collaborators and imprisoned 15 000(including many waffen-SS soldiers). It is easy to be couragous when you are on the winning side.
The real lucky ones were the few who stood up openly when no one else did.
Like many resistancefighters in euorope the vast majority showed itself when the war was won, beating up women and harrasing kid related to the german occupants.
The resistancemovement is very much overrated by those who had something to hide during the war.

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kstdk
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Post by kstdk » 28 Aug 2004 09:43

Hello Mr. Björklund

No reason to get anoyed, i quite aggree with you on that oppinion !!!

But, i am talking on behalf of all those who really did do something. For instance my own father and several of his brothers ( they were 13 children ). He lived on af farm, and the land was divided by barbed wire and trenches and maschinegunposts of the former Luftwaffe airfield "Fliegerhorst Rom", and they already in 1940 - 41 reported of the german movements in and around the airfield ( they send their messages, via Sweeden to England ). Later they were deeeply involved in the resistance by means of reporting, sending messages reporting about german troopmovements and about their building activities in the western of jutland, which in fact was "Sperrgebiet" !!

They did their work - quiet and calmly ( couragely, i would say ) through out the war, and on the 5 of may 45 - they delivered their equipment and weapons back, and as my father says:

Quote: " We went home, the job was done - and the rest we left over to all "the holy of the last days": Unquote !!!

My family has been deply marked by this attitude ever since - and we all have military careers, myselve included - i am still in the armed forces - with an attitude that says: "Never again a 9 th. of april"

I can agree with you, that it was a shamefull act that so many of my countrymen did in fact follow the germans and even enlisted in "Freikorps Dänemark" - but however - did´nt also Swedes and Norwegians, Dutch and Belgian and French people do so ??? Even in spite the fact that theese countries did put up a real fight against the occupation of their countries.

We must have a look of the proportions here, Denmark being a very small country - we at the time almost had no army - and the fact that the army DID indeed want to fight - but a thing that we did have, was a very "naive and cowardish" government !!!!

I would very much want to disguss this problematic theme, but i have - as you can see - a very personal attitude towards this.

Best regards
Kurt
kstdk.

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Johan Björklund
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Post by Johan Björklund » 28 Aug 2004 13:39

kstdk: I hold nothing against the Danish army as the germans invaded.
As in Norway as Sweden the army had been reduced to nothing in the thirties and military resistance was very limited. Expecting Norway, Sweden and Denmark to resist a geman invasion is not fair when even the French army as well as the British exp. force in 1940 were outclassed.
And they should have been the biggest threat to Germany!

I very much respect people like your family that did the right thing under the circumstances.
What annoys me is the afterwar history that portays a country full of resistancefighters, when the truth was that the majority collaborated.

In my opinion that is perhaps not a crime, not even enlisting in the waffen-SS (yes some 300 swedes joined as well) is a crime, if you consider that most of them did so for the adventure more than being 100 percent nazis.

I think the situation developed like it did becuase our governments simply had misjudged the threat from germany in the thirties and people tried to make the best of the situation when they were finally occupied.

The sad thing about it is that when the struggle was finally over, people who had risked nothing suddenly appeared all over the place trying to benefit from others deeds.
It is often those people that later gain power and position in society apart from "the best people" like norwegian poet/bomberpilot Nordahl-Grieg wrote in his poem during the war:" The best people always dies, it is the second best ,that rules the world"

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Post by Colbro » 29 Aug 2004 14:06

I think that the level of German interest in Scandinavian countries, is reflected in the number of troops that they used to occupy them. The strategic importance of Norway, for multiple reasons, was much greater than that of Denmark. This was reflected in the number of troops stationed there, per capita of population. Last year I was in the Resistance Museums both in Oslo and Copenhagen and saw these figures. I cannot remember offhand, what they were but believe me, the difference was quite significant.
Sweden of course, remained neutral. My own country, due to a combination of factors, such as the English Channel (the scheisse kanal) the Supermarine Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane, the pilots that flew them and the Royal Navy, remained unoccupied. Except for the Channel Islands. What happened there was probably a microcosm of what would have happened had the Nazis invaded. Resistance? Certainly! Collaboration? Certainly.
Even without any occupation, there were still a few people in the SS in Germany, carrying the armband "Britisches Freikorps."
It's very easy to earmark and condemn a country for its perceived lack of resistance but many factors are to be taken into consideration. Certainly the Nazis did not have a consistent policy of how they treated the soldiers and especially the civilians of territories they invaded and occupied. You only have to look at how they behaved in Russia.

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kstdk
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Post by kstdk » 30 Aug 2004 07:24

Hello

I think we are getting closer to the real reason why things went the way it did !!

The government in Denmark at that time, were in fact having negotiations with the germans prior to the occupation of Denmark the 9. th of april 1940. The foreign minister Mr. Scavenius was having talks with German officials about "easign up on things" for Denmark - when or if the germans were to use Danish territory in purpose of invading Norway.

There are maybe doubt on whether that is correct, but it is a fact that He went to Germany several times in 1939, and we today have stated evidence, that theese talks have taken place - even pictures of Mr. Scavenius and Mr. Ribbentrop ( the German foreign minister ) shaking hands in Berlin ( see picture ).

There was not that kind of friendliness and cooperation among the Danish people and the German intruders when they came that april morning - i can assure you of that !!! There were a lot of frustration in the Danish Army, and among the officers and soldiers there were a lot of anger, because of the governments decision to surrender just after one day of resistance.

Later many of the same officers and soldiers enlisted the "Freikorps Dänemark" to fight the Russians - out of anger and frustration but also of idealism and influenced by the German propaganda, convinced to fight the "Bolchevism". A pharakoks is the fact thougt, was that the Danish government gave its permission to thoose officers, and promised them that they could return to the Danish Army, when the war was over - meaning - that the Government was sure that the Germans would win the war !!!!

The tide of things to happen in the following years, turned the attitude especially from August 1943 - and the hard resistance followed by German reprisals ( like in all other occupied countries ) forced the Government to change its opinion, and Denmark became "allied" - but for long we were "out in the cold" by the British, and was not "considered reliable" - and therefore the Danish resistance were having a hard time getting aknowlidgement so that it could have support, supply and the help it so badly needed.

So - the buttom line here is, that the governments, and the official Denmarks attitude ( not the peoples ) is to blame for the fact, that Denmark was for a long time - considered very friendly towards Germany, almost allied with Germany.

Regards
Kurt
kstdk.

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Post by Fubbik » 15 Nov 2004 19:06

A regrettable fact is that a number of Danish thugs used the resistance as a cover for robbery and murder of people they for some reason or other did not like. After the war many wanted them to be brought to justice, but the government preferred to hush it up.

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kstdk
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Post by kstdk » 15 Nov 2004 21:06

Hello

But now - year 2004 - the government will try some of the cases, along with the case against SS man Søren Kam. Due to new EU laws it is now possible to have him out of Germany for court in Denmark.

At the same time they will try some of the "murders" of the resistance, killings of people who at that time was said to cooperate with the Germans. Now it shall be prooved if that was the case, or - as "fubbik" says - they were criminals just killing for personally reasons.

Regards
Kurt
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BDMhistorian
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Post by BDMhistorian » 15 Nov 2004 21:12

One thing I have noticed (nor exactly about Denmark in particular but about all the occupied countries) is that if you listen to people know, they make it sound like everyone was a Resistance fighter and nobody a collaborator.

There's a lady in the Netherlands who keeps saying that there were no Dutch collaborators but a really strong Dutch Resistance who made a big difference in the outcome of the war. When asked how come then that there was a Dutch Nazi party and that the Netherlands had a huge percentage in SS volunteers, she said the numbers were "wrong".

Of course, listen to the French. They'd have you believe they won the war all by themselves without the help of any of the Allies, and no Frenchman ever collaborated with the Germans.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that what we are told now and what really happened seem to be two very, very different things...

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Post by varjag » 16 Nov 2004 12:09

There is no doubt that Denmark was - in Third Reich parlance - long regarded as a 'model occupancy'. Regardless - there was little organised Danish resistance before the end of 1943. And little of that sprung from Denmark but far more so from the Special Operations Executive in London - whose job it was 'to fan the flames'. Denmarks war contribution - went heavily to the Germans! Not in those few boys in Freikorps Dänemark - they were insignificant. But in the tens of thousands of tonnes of meat, pork, grain, potatoes, butter and cheese that the Germans fed their armies on. as they bled Denmark white.

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Topspeed
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Post by Topspeed » 26 Nov 2004 13:56

Denmark was real lucky during WW II.

They also managed to save 95% of their jews. Most of them like Nils Bohr took a boat ride to Sweden. Even those who got deported to KZ-camps did get a special treatment on the camps based on the fact they had been promissed a fair treatment during improsonment. In other words: they received help aid packages from west.
It is quite interesting how diverse the handlings were considering where one ended up and from where !

I don't think finns would have been treated as well if they gave up without a fight to the soviets in Winter War or in Continuation War. :D


rgds,

Juke

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panzertruppe2001
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Post by panzertruppe2001 » 26 Nov 2004 19:06

Is it true that in May, 1945 there was a Danish uprising against the Germans? Something like Prague uprising. Does anybody has details?

Panzertruppe2001

kkibak
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Post by kkibak » 01 Dec 2004 22:10

Good question, does anyone have any details on this?

My grandfather was in Holger Danske (a Danish resistance group) and I am now writing a paper on the resistance. Unfortunately my grandfather passed away several years ago so I can't just get him to answer my questions.

That said, I was wondering if any of you can reference some good sources on the Danish resistance? I speak a little Danish, but not enough to get through thick books/texts so I'm wondering if anyone has good sources of information on Danish resistance during world war II. I am especially interested in individual groups/personal stories AND the views of people who think that Denmark didn't resist (but I'm also interested in anything regarding Danish resistance in WWII). For example, the post above by the Swedish guy (Sorry, forgot your name) is really helpful for me when writing a paper like this because I want to be able to address those types of feelings.

Thanks!
Kristian

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