Fleeing Jews in Danish fisherman's boat

The Rescue Route

A day trip from Copenhagen, the Danish Jews’ route to safety in 1943 can be traced along the coast of Denmark through the small fishing villages from there the Jews were ferried across the Strait to Sweden.

The Danish Riviera

Today, as you drive along the coastline from Copenhagen to Elsinore you approach what is known as the Danish Riviera. Affluent suburbs merge into parks, forests and farmlands that are studded with fairytale villages, mansions, beaches and little fishing ports. The sea is never far away. The coast road runs along the Øresund Strait, the passage between the Kattegat – the last arm of the North Sea – and the entrance to the Baltic.

Neutral Sweden

Sweden is a constant presence during the drive up the coast. In the north, where the Sound narrows down to a smoothbore cannon shot from Hamlet's Kronborg Castle, the Swedish town of Helsingborg is visible even on a cloudy day. It was the close proximity of neutral Sweden, whose lights beckoned for five years to an occupied and blacked-out Denmark, that made the Rescue possible and converted this coast into an escape hatch. Leo Goldberger, author of The Rescue of the Danish Jews, explains “before the majority of Danish Jews were ferried across to Sweden, that country on October 2, 1943, issued a proclamation welcoming all Danish refugees.”

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Jews in Denmark - Brief Historical Overview

Though a very small minority group, the Jewish people in Denmark have made significant contributions to the economic, political, cultural and scientific development of Denmark.