” (Erik Scavenius was the Danish foreign minister who became prime minister at the insistence of the Germans after the Danish government resigned in 1943.) The king responds by asserting, “We’ll all have to wear yellow stars.” Matters came to a head in Denmark during the summer of 1943 when strikes and other overt resistance activities against the Germans resulted in a demand from Hitler that the Danish government declare a state of emergency.
The architecture by Daniel Libeskind (who also did the Jewish Museum in Berlin), was among the most striking parts of the museum.(Surprisingly, it was not until late 1941 that the display on clothing of a yellow Star of David with the word ‘Jude’ printed on it by Jews was mandated by law in Germany.) Denmark entered the tragic saga on the morning of 1940, when German troops overran the country and an ultimatum was delivered: if Denmark offered no resistance, Germany would respect Danish political independence.The Danish government and monarch, with no real options, quickly capitulated, and the five-year long occupation of Denmark began.These were near several of the towns where Jews were smuggled on fishing boats across to nearby Sweden in 1943.I visited around the time of Passover so when I looked out over the water towards Sweden, it made me realize that the Danish Jews also had an exodus to escape a different kind of oppressor as they ferried across the Oresund strait towards freedom.Fewer than 500 Danish Jews were deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia, and nearly 90% of them survived to return to Denmark after the war.(Only these few hundred Danes who were sent to Theresienstadt were made to wear yellow stars identifying them as Jews.) Although this legend may not be true in its specifics, it was certainly true enough in spirit.The space was a kind of labyrinth and the floors, walls and ceiling were slanted.I learned that Jews have lived in Denmark for 400 years.When the Germans ordered Jews in occupied Denmark to identify themselves by wearing armbands with yellow stars during World War II, King Christian X of Denmark and non-Jewish Danes thwarted the order by donning the armbands themselves.See Example( s ) From the German occupation headquarters at the Hotel D'Angleterre came the decree: ALL JEWS MUST WEAR A YELLOW ARMBAND WITH A STAR OF DAVID.