King Christian X and the jews (A 100 things #17)

During the German occupation of Denmark, Christian X kept up with his morning rides through Copenhagen. In 1943, the Independent Jewish Press Services, that the King, after hearing the news of the new Nazi laws to identify Jews in Denmark by the armband said: “When that happens, I will myself wear the yellow star on my uniform, and I will order my staff to follow my example.”

From this, the lore that he wore the yellow starred armband on his rides arose.

But research from 2001 showed that the Independent Jewish Press Services, Inc got it from The Jewish Telegraphic Agency in London who had a story in 1942.   allegedly got the “news” from either Danes in exile or  The National America Denmark Association , who wanted to improve Denmark’s reputation abroad after the weak fight against the German invasion – and it was fiction.

And the myth ended up living for a long time.

The truth ended up being that a large majority of the Danish Jews ended up escaping to Sweden in 1943, and survived the war thusly.

There is an examination of history by the Danish-Israeli doctor and historian, Dan Kaznelson, that describes this escape, and the part the Danish health service did to aid this escape. The hospital in Bispebjerg in Copenhagen was the coordinating force with a young doctor called Køster being the driving force.

Since there were so many Jews and so little time, there was a lack of funds to give to the fishermen (who would get the Jews over the Øresund strait to Sweden) and taxi-drivers (who would get them to the boats.) The ambulances from the hospital were not enough.

Køster then sent two nurses to Sorgenfri Palace where King Christian was in house-arrest. His health was not good, so two nurses would not arise suspicion. The nurses were sent to ask the King personally for funding. Køster’s written report was that “the nurses did not leave the palace disappointed,” leading Kaznelson to (according to Berlingske) conclude that the King did supply funds for the transport of Danish Jews to Sweden.

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