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When the Jews Fled - A Self-Guided Tour in Gilleleje About October 1943

Take the self-guided city walk in Gilleleje. Go back to Gilleleje in the year 1943, where the Germans controll Denmark, and Danish Jews are on the run. Embark on your own journey; follow the map and the small bronze plaques that provide information along the way.

The Escape of the Jews from Denmark

Imagine you are back in 1943. World War II has been raging for four years. Denmark has been occupied for over three years. Now, the lives of Danish Jews are truly in danger, as orders have been issued to the Gestapo to arrest and deport them.

The only hope for the Jews is to reach Sweden and seek asylum. Many of them come to Gilleleje and hide, including in the church, before local fishermen sail them across the Kattegat Sea in the darkness of the night. They don't know whom to trust: who might be informers and who will help. It's a battle for life and death.

Follow the Map of the Escape from Gilleleje

Embark on the self-guided city walk and visit the places that had significance in the Jews' escape from Gilleleje to Sweden. Museum Nordsjælland's map will guide you to important points in the town that tell the story of the dramatic days in October 1943.

Everyone is welcome on this city walk

The walk is particularly suitable for families with older children, but everyone is welcome – young and old. Bring your family, a couple of good friends, a grandparent, or go alone. The tour is self-guided.

Places to See Along the Route

The tour passes by the locations in Gilleleje where memorial plaques with Jewish symbols and Hebrew script have been placed to commemorate the days in October 1943. Here are the places that the tour goes by:

Gilleleje Station: The city walk begins here. Around 1300 Danish Jews arrive at the station by train. They are hidden by locals until they can cross the Kattegat. For example, some small children are sedated and smuggled in cardboard boxes.

Corner of Gilleleje Main Street and Østergade No. 2. Some of the first Jews in Gilleleje come into contact with locals who can sail them to Sweden at the haberdashery store.

Østergade No. 5B, the Loft. Around 60 Jewish children and adults hide in the loft on October 6, 1943. The Gestapo passes by and looks inside but does not go up to the loft. The Jews are not found and continue to Sweden.

Gilleleje Harbour, Auktionskajen. The schooner Flyvbjerg is about to take Jews on board, but suddenly someone shouts, "The Germans are coming!" The crowd panics, and the schooner has to cast off before everyone is on board.

Gilleleje Church, the Church Loft. After the panic at the harbour, around 60 Jews are hidden in the church loft in Gilleleje. The Germans arrive with machine guns, search the church, and take the Jews to the Horserød detention camp.

Gilleleje Hovedgade No. 53, the Old Community House. Around 20 Jews and some resistance fighters hide in the community house. Suddenly, there is noise outside, and the resistance fighters go out the back door to see what is happening. At the same time, the Germans break in through the front door and arrest the Jews.

Østergade No. 20, Museum Nordsjælland - Skibshallerne. This is where the tour ends. Visit the special exhibition about October 1943 at the Museum Skibshallerne. Note: If you take a picture of one of the memorial plaques, you will receive a 15 DKK discount on the museum entrance fee.