The Danes Resisted The German Occupation, Nonetheless.



                     Members of the Danish Resistance Battle Nazis In 1945


Demark was an aberration in the national history of Nazi Germany. It became a client state after a brief and mostly well-planned and bloodless invasion.  German planning put Wehrmacht and commando forces overnight into a dozen places where the Germans could bring the entire country to shutdown. Resistance was light and one could say that the Danes did not go to battle sedulously. Rather, they capitulated almost from the opening shot. Six hours after the Germans invaded, the Danes surrendered and as a result suffered one of the more lenient Nazi occupational operations.


Yet the Danes themselves weren’t entirely without pride. Their spirit of cooperation lasted for three years, but boiling beneath the surface was the notion that the Danish character was anchored in a deep-seated love of democracy and self-determination. The Danes never accepted the depraved and distorted Nazi world-view, and so the state of cooperation was profuse with obfuscation as well. The Dane followed Nazi orders half-heartedly, cooperated with counter intelligence operations and passed information to partisans. 


Almost all of the Jews in Germany, Poland, Austria and the Balkan perished in Nazi Germany held territory. In Yugoslavia, only 60 percent of the Jewish population perished. A quarter of French Jews were killed, but Denmark lost about 1% of their Jewish populations. Hannah Arendt commented that the Danes offered a massive passively resistant effort in support of the German occupation. People hid Jews, housed them, lied to the Germans and helped Jews escape the region. All told, less than 500 Jews died in Denmark because of the German occupation.


This is almost a teachable moment. No occupation ever wins out unless it becomes something other than an occupation. You can make people do something they don’t want to do for long.




                             Danish Anti Aircraft Crew


Source: Wiki




1 thought on “The Danes Resisted The German Occupation, Nonetheless.”

  1. Martin Bechmann

    When the Germans launched Operation Weserübung 15,000 ill-equipped Danish soldiers, half of which were recruits with only 3 months of training, was facing an invasion force of 40,000 well-armed, well trained and battle experienced German soldiers. Nevertheless, the Danish soldiers fought bravely as long as the fighting lasted.

    But even if the fighting between Danish and German troops in an international perspective were few and limited, this was the bloodiest battles that Danish soldiers have been involved in since 1864. Before the morning was over, 16 soldiers had lost their lives while 22 were injured. German losses in Denmark was around 203 dead.

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