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DENMARK

In The News

Denmark's Andersen Museum Acquires Fairy Tale Manuscripts


Denmark

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Denmark, country occupying the peninsula of Jutland (Jylland), which extends northward from the centre of continental western Europe, and an archipelago of more than 400 islands to the east of the peninsula. Jutland makes up more than two-thirds of the country’s total land area at its northern tip is the island of Vendsyssel-Thy (1,809 square miles [4,685 square km]), separated from the mainland by the Lim Fjord. The largest of the country’s islands are Zealand (Sjælland 2,715 square miles [7,031 square km]), Vendsyssel-Thy, and Funen (Fyn 1,152 square miles [2,984 square km]). Along with Norway and Sweden, Denmark is a part of the northern European region known as Scandinavia. The country’s capital, Copenhagen (København), is located primarily on Zealand the second largest city, Århus, is the major urban centre of Jutland.

Though small in territory and population, Denmark has nonetheless played a notable role in European history. In prehistoric times, Danes and other Scandinavians reconfigured European society when the Vikings undertook marauding, trading, and colonizing expeditions. During the Middle Ages, the Danish crown dominated northwestern Europe through the power of the Kalmar Union. In later centuries, shaped by geographic conditions favouring maritime industries, Denmark established trading alliances throughout northern and western Europe and beyond, particularly with Great Britain and the United States. Making an important contribution to world culture, Denmark also developed humane governmental institutions and cooperative, nonviolent approaches to problem solving.

This article covers principally the land and people of continental Denmark. However, the Kingdom of Denmark also encompasses the Faroe Islands and the island of Greenland, both located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Each area is distinctive in history, language, and culture. Home rule was granted to the Faroes in 1948 and to Greenland in 1979, though foreign policy and defense remain under Danish control.

Denmark is attached directly to continental Europe at Jutland’s 42-mile (68-km) boundary with Germany. Other than this connection, all the frontiers with surrounding countries are maritime, including that with the United Kingdom to the west across the North Sea. Norway and Sweden lie to the north, separated from Denmark by sea lanes linking the North Sea to the Baltic Sea. From west to east, these passages are called the Skagerrak, the Kattegat, and The Sound (Øresund). Eastward in the Baltic Sea lies the Danish island of Bornholm.


Postwar recovery

1948 - Faroe Islands granted self-government within the Danish state.

1949 - Denmark joins Nato.

1952 - Denmark becomes founder member of Nordic Council.

1953 - Constitutional change leads to a single-chamber parliament elected by proportional representation female accession to the Danish throne is permitted Greenland becomes integral part of Denmark.

1959 - Denmark joins European Free Trade Association.

1972 - King Frederick IX dies and is succeeded by his daughter Margrethe II.


Why 90 Percent of Danish Jews Survived the Holocaust

A Danish ambulance driver huddled over a Copenhagen phone book, circling Jewish names. As soon as he𠆝 heard the news—that all of Denmark’s Jews would be deported by the Nazis the next day—he knew he had to warn them.

The man was just one of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of normal Danes who sprang into action in late September 1943. Their objective was simple: Help their Jewish friends and neighbors. Soon, Jewish people were sneaking out of Copenhagen and other towns, headed toward Danish shores and into the crowded holds of tiny fishing boats.

Denmark was about to pull off a spectacular feat—the rescue of the vast majority of its Jewish population. Within hours of learning that the Nazis intended to wipe out Denmark’s Jews, nearly all Danish Jews had gone into hiding. Within days, most of them had escaped Denmark to neutral Sweden. The miraculous-seeming rescue of over 90 percent of Danish Jews happened thanks to ordinary Danes, most of whom refused to accept credit for the lives they saved. 

Nazi soldiers marching through in Denmark on April 9, 1940.

In April 1940, German forces invaded Denmark. They didn’t meet with much resistance. Rather than suffer an inevitable defeat by fighting back, the Danish government negotiated to insulate Denmark from the occupation. In return, the Nazis agreed to be lenient with the country, respecting its rule and neutrality. However by 1943, tensions had reached a breaking point.

Workers had begun to sabotage the war effort and the Danish resistance had ramped up efforts to fight the Nazis. In response, the Nazis told the Danish government to institute a harsh curfew, forbid public assemblies, and punish saboteurs with death. The Danish government refused, so the Nazis dissolved the government and established martial law.

The Nazis had always been a forbidding presence in Denmark, but now they made their presence known. Danish Jews were among their first targets. The Holocaust was already in full swing across occupied Europe, and without the protection of the Danish government, which had done its best to shield Jews from the Nazis, Denmark’s Jewish population was in danger.

Then, in late September 1943, the Nazis got word from Berlin that it was time to rid Denmark of its Jews. As was typical for the Nazis, they planned the raid to coincide with a significant Jewish holiday—in this case, Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Marcus Melchior, a rabbi, got word of the coming pogrom, and in Copenhagen’s main synagogue, he interrupted services.

“We have no time now to continue prayers, said Melchior. “We have news that this coming Friday night, the night between the first and second of October, the Gestapo will come and arrest all Danish Jews.” Melchior told the congregation that the Nazis had the names and addresses of every Jew in Denmark, and urged them to flee or hide.

As Denmark’s Jewish population sprang into panicked action, so did its Gentiles. Hundreds of people spontaneously began to tell Jews about the upcoming action and help them go into hiding. It was, in the words of historian Leni Yahil, 𠇊 living wall raised by the Danish people in the course of one night.”

The Danish people didn’t have pre-existing plans designed to help the Jews. But nearby Sweden offered an obvious haven to those who were about to be deported. Neutral and still unoccupied by the Nazis, the country was a fierce ally. It was also close—in some cases, just over three miles away from the Danish coast. If the Jews could make it across, they could apply for asylum there.

Danish culture has been seafaring since Viking times, so there were plenty of fishing boats and other vessels to spirit Jews toward Sweden. But Danish fishermen feared losing their livelihoods and being punished by the Nazis if they were caught. Instead, the resistance groups that swiftly formed to help the Jews managed to negotiate standard fees for Jewish passengers, then recruit volunteers to raise the money for passage. The average price of passage to Sweden cost up to a third of a worker’s annual salary.

𠇊mong the fishermen there were some who exploited the situation, just as it is equally clear that there were more who acted without regard to personal gain,” writes historian Bo Lidegaard.

A boat full of people to escape the Nazis in Denmark in 1943. Boats were used for some 7,000 Danish Jews who fled to safety in neighboring Sweden.

Passage was a terrifying ordeal. Jews congregated in fishing towns, then hid on small boats, usually 10 to 15 at a time. They gave their children sleeping pills and sedatives to keep them from crying, and struggled to maintain control during the hour-long crossing. Some boats, like the Gerda III, were boarded by Gestapo patrols. Others sailed with gas obtained by careful rationing in towns like Elsinore, where the 𠇎lsinore Sewing Club,” a resistance unit, helped a few hundred Jews make the crossing.

The rescues weren’t always successful. In Gilleleje, a small fishing town, hundreds of refugees were cared for by locals. But when the Gestapo arrived, a collaborator betrayed a group of Jews hiding in the town church’s attic. Eighty Jews were arrested. Others never got word of the upcoming deportations or were too old or incapacitated to seek help. About 500 Danish Jews were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto.

Still, it was the most successful action of its kind during the Holocaust. Some 7,200 Danish Jews were ferried to Sweden, and of the 500 who were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto, only 51 did not survive the Holocaust.

The rescue seemed miraculous, but some factors did lead to its success. Werner Best, the German who had been placed in charge of Denmark, apparently tipped off some Jews to the upcoming action and subtly undermined the Nazis’ attempts to stop the Danes from helping Danish Jews. And Denmark was one of the only places in Europe that had successfully integrated its Jewish population. Though there was anti-Semitism in Denmark before and after the Holocaust, the Nazis’ war on Jews was largely viewed as a war against Denmark itself.

After the war, most Danes refused to take credit for their resistance work, which many had conducted under false names. Ordinary people who never considered themselves part of the Danish Resistance passed along messages, gathered food, gave hiding places or guarded the possessions of those who left until they returned home from the war.

The rescue of Denmark’s Jews was an extraordinary feat—one that wouldn’t have been possible without ordinary people. 


Respecting History, Investing in Future

The Denmark Youth Baseball and Softball organization is set to receive a nice donation within the next year, thanks to the Circle Tap ‘Field of Dreams II’ magazines and the selflessness of Rodney and Tina Christensen.

In summer of 2017, Denmark local Randy Peronto was umpiring a little league baseball game in Maribel, when he heard discussion of Circle Tap’s field (now John Miller Field) celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018.

That’s when an idea sparked.

“When I got done umpiring, I came around and talked to Clare [Miller] and said somebody should put together a human interest story on that,” said Peronto. “Clare thought that it would be a great idea for me to do.”

Peronto began writing, interviewing, and collecting different pieces of history to strategically include within the magazine. The idea behind the special collectors’ edition was to drum up interest for the annual Boys of Summer tournament (July 6-8) and the International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament, which will be taking place at Circle Tap, Veterans’ Memorial Park, and Maribel Lions Park in August of 2019.

Peronto put his idea in partnership with Chris Wood, a publisher originally from Denmark, who helped edit the 24-page magazine. Wood suggested bringing Rodney and Tina Christensen, owners of Christensen Printing in Shawano and Denmark natives, into the project for the printing.

Once the magazine–packed with pictures, excerpts from newspapers, and the story of Circle Tap’s founding–went to press, the Christensen’s thought of an idea.

“Rodney had come to a meeting once it was all said and done with, and Rodney told us he was going to donate all of the printing costs to the youth programs in Denmark,” recalled Peronto. “We hope to raise as much money as we can to support Rodney’s donation to the youth programs here in Denmark.”

Christensen said it was a no-brainer when he came to the decision to waive the $4,300 printing fee.

“I was brought up in Denmark. I played ball there when I was young. Just the history of being with Denmark and my wife and I are able to help out now,” said Rodney Christensen. “Being brought up with the Denmark values, if you can help out, you help out.

“We want Denmark kids to be able to play.”

Christensen, along with most of the others involved with the project, has a unique tie to Circle Tap. That’s where he worked, bartending in the late 1970’s, before getting into publishing. Christensen worked as the president and publisher of the Shawano Leader for 27 years before founding Christensen Printing in 2010.

That’s why Peronto, Christensen, Wood, and company came to the agreement that 100% of the proceeds from the magazine, which is currently being sold in 37 different locations, will be donated to the Denmark Youth Baseball and Softball organization.


Timeline: Denmark

10th century - Kingdom of Denmark unified and Christianity introduced.

1397 - Union of Kalmar unites Denmark, Sweden and Norway under a single monarch. Denmark is the dominant power.

1729 - Greenland becomes Danish province.

1814 - Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden.

1849 - Denmark becomes constitutional monarchy two-chamber parliament established.

1914-18 - Denmark is neutral during World War I.

1918 - Universal suffrage comes into effect.

1930s - Welfare state established by governments dominated by social democrats.

1939 - Denmark signs 10-year non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany.

1940 - Nazi invasion meets virtually no initial resistance. Government accepts occupation in exchange for measure of control over domestic affairs.

1943 - A determined campaign by the Danish resistance prompts Germany to take over full control of Danish affairs. Thousands of Danish Jews manage to escape to Sweden.

1945 - Germany surrenders and occupation ends. Denmark recognises Iceland's independence, which had been declared in 1944.

1948 - Faroe Islands granted self-government within the Danish state.

1949 - Denmark joins Nato.

1952 - Denmark becomes founder member of Nordic Council.

1953 - Constitutional change leads to a single-chamber parliament elected by proportional representation female accession to the Danish throne is permitted Greenland becomes integral part of Denmark.

1959 - Denmark joins European Free Trade Association.

1972 - King Frederick IX dies and is succeeded by his daughter Margrethe II.

1973 - Denmark joins the European Economic Community.

1979 - Greenland is granted home rule. Denmark retains control over Greenland's foreign affairs and defence.

1982 - Poul Schlueter becomes first Conservative prime minister for almost a century.

1985 - Legislation passed banning construction of nuclear power plants in Denmark.

1992 - Danish voters reject the Maastricht Treaty on further European integration in a referendum.

1993 - Schlueter resigns after being accused of lying over a scandal involving Tamil refugees social democrat Poul Nyrup Rasmussen becomes prime minister.

Danes approve the Maastricht Treaty after Denmark is granted certain opt-outs.

1994 - Poul Nyrup Rasmussen returned to power in general election.

1998 - Poul Nyrup Rasmussen again returned to power.

2000 - Danes reject adoption of the euro as their national currency by 53% to 47%.

New bridge and tunnel link Copenhagen with Malmo in southern Sweden. The new road and rail link makes it possible to travel between the two countries in just 15 minutes.

2001 November - Elections put right-wing coalition led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen into government. Rasmussen campaigned on a pledge to tighten immigration rules and put lid on taxes. The election saw the far-right Danish People's Party win 22 seats and become the third largest party in parliament.

2002 February - New government measures aimed at reducing immigration spark controversy.

2004 August - US and Denmark sign deal to modernise Thule air base on Greenland.

2005 February - Liberal Party leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen wins second term as prime minister in coalition with Conservative Party. Far-right People's Party strengthens presence in parliament by two seats.

2005 July - Diplomatic dispute flares up with Canada over the disputed tiny island of Hans in the Arctic.

2006 January - February - Cartoon depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, published by a Danish newspaper in 2005, spark belated mass protests among Muslims in a number of countries as well as unofficial boycotts of Danish goods.

2007 February - Government says Denmark's 470 ground troops will leave Iraq by the end of August. Denmark was one of the original coalition countries to take part in the 2003 invasion.

2007 November - Government of Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen wins third term after early elections.

2008 February - Police uncover a plot to kill one of the cartoonists whose depictions of Muhammad sparked outrage across the Muslim world in 2005. Major papers reprint one of the cartoons, prompting some protests.

2008 November - Greenland referendum approves plans to seek more autonomy from Denmark and a greater share of oil revenues off the island's coast.

2009 April - Finance Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen takes over as prime minister and acting Liberal Party leader on the resignation of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who had been elected NATO secretary-general.

2009 July - Denmark plans to set up an Arctic military command and task force because the melting ice cap is opening access to Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

2009 December - Denmark hosts UN climate change summit. Great hopes are invested in the Copenhagen summit but it ends without a legally binding global treaty being agreed.

2010 January - A Somali man is charged with trying to kill the Danish artist whose drawing of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2005 sparked riots around the world.

2010 December - Three men are charged with planning to attack the offices of a newspaper which printed cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. A fourth is released and a fifth is held in Sweden.

2011 February - Denmark approves underwater tunnel from Lolland island to the German island of Fehmarn, at a cost of $5.9bn. It will be built in 2014-2020 and speed up transport links between Scandinavia and continental Europe.

Somali man Mohamed Geele is found guilty of attempted murder and terrorism over trying to kill Muhammad cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

2011 March - Immigration Minister Birthe Roenn Hornbech is sacked after 36 stateless Palestinians were wrongly refused citizenship.

2011 July - Denmark reimposes border controls in bid to curb illegal immigration. Many question the legality of the move under the 1995 Schengen agreement, which abolished internal borders within much of western Europe.


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Reconstructing History

By Alex Strouf, The Denmark News

Mark Johnson. (Courtesy of Artisan Restoration)

Denmark native Mark Johnson has been self-employed his whole life.

Johnson is the owner of Artisan Restoration, based in Kasota, Minnesota where he now resides. Artisan specializes in both the restoration and rebuilding of log cabins.

Johnson fell in love with the business back in 1976, and that love has only grown.

“It’s interesting. It’s challenging. It’s rewarding,” said Johnson. “It’s historic preservation, it’s green construction, and it’s all rolled into one.”

Johnson’s passion has taken him through Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin restoring what he believes to be over 60 cabins in the past forty years.

None, though, have ever come this close to his roots.

Johnson, a 1970 graduate of Denmark High School, has done cabins in River Falls, Norman, and even as close as Mishicot in the past decade.

As most entrepreneurs will tell you, self-employment allows for amazing business experiences.

Not only is Johnson’s newest project just up the road from his high school, it’s also the cabin he spent holidays during his childhood.

The cabin, located at 217 North Wall Street, was the home of Johnson’s grandparents in the mid-1900’s. After Johnson’s grandfather passed away in 1982, the house switched hands a number of times before last winter.

In March, United Cooperative purchased the land on N. Wall St., including the home. United eventually put the house, not the land, up for sale at a decently low price. That’s when Johnson’s phone rang.

“My niece called me up and told me that the place had a For Sale sign in front of it,” said Johnson of an April phone call. “I looked into it and it found out that it was just the cabin that was for sale.”

Although he thought he remembered hearing it was a log cabin from his younger years, Johnson had to make sure he was actually purchasing a log cabin. Otherwise, he would have no idea how to move the house to Minnesota.

“You know I was always told this was a log cabin but I never saw the wall,” said Johnson. “I actually hired somebody to come over here and punch a hole in the wall before I bought it just to make sure I wasn’t the biggest fool of the earth.”

Truth be told, Johnson wasn’t a fool, and his newest project was born.

In May, the plan was laid out and everything was getting underway.

In June siding began disappearing, along with windows, doors, and the upper floor.

Throughout the last month, crews have been stripping the log cabin down to just about that: logs.

Before the disassembly process began, Johnson took a final walk through the cabin, standing exactly where he did almost four decades ago.

Inside, the cabin had some worn-down floor, original stairs, and the same wooden pillars going across the cabin as it has since the structure was built.

Disassembly began on Monday as the roof of the home, which was cut into four sections, was taken off by a forklift. That allowed the following days to consist of drilling, lining up, and taking off the logs that made up the downtown Denmark cabin.

The only part that will remain of the cabin is the flooring, as it is too thick to just take out.

“We’re going to take it down to the floor. And I don’t know if we’re going to try to get any of the floor,” said Johnson.

“We’ve got at least two layers of flooring to pull off.”

As the moving process will begin next week, all of the wood that makes up the cabin will remain the same. Although there are more rules and regulations when it comes to building, Johnson and his team have very specific–yet sturdy–measures to take to preserve as much as possible of his grandparents’ former home.

“What we’re going to do is we’re going to take a big drill bridge like a one inch diameter drill bit and we’re going to drill through the top log all the way through it and into the next log a little bit,” Johnson said.

“You know the cabin is never going to blow away because of a tornado,” Johnson joked.

As for what will happen with the cabins, it doesn’t sound like a normal project for Artisan. At this point, their owner is pondering on whether or not he wants to keep this cabin for himself.

“I’ve got to I’ve got a vacant lot next door to me and I’m thinking about putting it up there,” Johnson said. “I might [build it] as my retirement home or maybe I’ll sell it to a total stranger. At least if I sell it to somebody it’ll still be close to me.”

Regardless of the future for the home, it’s clear that a piece of Johnson’s life in Denmark will move with him to his new home in Minnesota.


Folk Music

A very special branch of folk music comes from the Danes. While there is no particular Danish instrument, the country's folk music comes with a distinguished sound that is pleasing to the ear. It's often easy to identify which part of Denmark a folk song came from based on linguistic expressions, intonation, and dialects. During the national Romantic movement of the 1800s, many classical composers incorporated local Danish folk music to give their music a unique national character.


History of Denmark

For a relatively small country, the history of Denmark is a bit of a convoluted one. The culture of Denmark, too, has taken many twists and turns throughout the years. The Danes were actually a Swedish tribe who migrated south to Jylland in 500 AD. For three hundred years they maintained this land, before unleashing themselves onto Europe under the name &ldquoThe Vikings.&rdquo

This is a bit of a misnomer, however &ndash thanks to cultural ignorance and competing stories, the term Vikings has been cast upon hundreds of different tribes and groups of warriors. Since many of the tales of Vikings were related by fleeing victims that didn&rsquot see the point in taking the time to question the invaders about their cultural heritage, various Viking clans were attributed to Norse marauders when really they were Danes, and vice versa. Swedish clans only helped to confuse things. One thing they all had in common (and its influence on the culture of Denmark today is obvious) is extremely advanced shipbuilding skills, a trade that has earned many a Dane a paycheck throughout the years.

One of the most interesting questions in Denmark History is: why did the Vikings, after hundreds of years of living in the wildernesses of Scandinavia, suddenly decide to explode across Europe, delving into lengthy battles with the British and Germanic tribes, even going so far south as to fight the Muslims in Seville? Many historians continue to debate whether it was over economic or religious issues. The former was only exacerbated by lengthy warfare, while the latter was solved by the Vikings gradual conversion to Christianity. Either way, Viking descendants were scattered all across the continent, with large populations in France, Germany, and even Spain during this time in Denmark history.

Denmark Map

The reign of the Vikings was short, but an important chapter in the history of Denmark. As the dark ages moved along, the people of Europe grew better skilled at defend themselves, and the Vikings continued a crippling war against England. Though they eventually won, trying to keep the two kingdoms aligned proved even harder.

The shift towards a kingdom also came gradually, and the oldest monarchy in the world was born. In the 14 th century, the kingdom had stretched to include Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. With such a vast empire at this point in Denmark history, it&rsquos no wonder why the culture of Denmark influenced both Western Europe and Scandinavia. It also set the seeds for civil war, though, as the Swedes eventually broke away in the 1500s, and then promptly began a long and brutal war between the two countries for hundreds of years. The most volatile era in the history of Denmark since the days of the Vikings, the siege of Copenhagen lasted three years just by itself, and the Danes were never to return to rule in Sweden.

The renaissance was kind to the culture of Denmark, marked mainly by an architectural boom throughout the islands, as castles and cathedrals sprouted up all across the countryside. Everything seemed to be going well for the Danes, and would continue until the kingdom foolishly (in hindsight anyway) sided with Napoleon in the early 1800s. Mercilessly attacked by the British for this transgression, much of Copenhagen was destroyed. Disheartened, this period of Denmark history also saw the loss of Norway to Sweden in 1814.

Since then - outside of an unfortunate Nazi occupation in World War II - Denmark has been at peace, quietly growing into one of the most advanced and progressive nations in the world. Their high standard of living was derived from their post-war efforts to look inward and focus on their shipping and agricultural industries, as well as a highly successful welfare and healthcare systems. While Denmark may never again enjoy the political relevancy of the past, it has carved its niche out as a land of prosperity, a land of highly educated people that preach responsibility and affability.


Watch the video: Δανία - Ελλάδα 0-1 προκριματικά Παγκοσμίου Κυπέλλου 1982 15101980 (July 2022).


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