This is a translation of an excerpt from a letter to the editor of the conservative Danish newspaper, Berlingske Tidende printed on 06.10.93

The Escape of the Danish Jews to Sweden during WW2

By Ole Kreiberg

The 50 anniversary of the of escape of the 7000 Danish Jews in October 1943 to Sweden was celebrated by the American Jews. According to the American Jews it was the whole Danish people and nation that out of some kind of "heroism" saved the Jews. As a Gentile Dane I find this embarrassing and nauseating.

When this event is mentioned it is often forgotten how much money "heroic" Danes received for their effort. An example from the book, October 1943 by the former anti-German resistance leader Aage Berthelsen page 67-69 shows that a skipper received 100,000 DKr (app. US$ 16,000) for sailing 230 Jews to Sweden the night between the 8th and 9th October 1943. Exactly how much this sum of money corresponds to today after 50 years of inflation I am not sure, but in 1943 a skilled worker in Denmark earned around 5,000DKR (app. US$ 800) per year. The skipper had bought the boat for 25,000 DKr (app. US$ 4,000). This means that he received 4 times the value of the boat for a single trip over the narrow sound between Denmark and Sweden. Because the engine of the boat was not able to start that night a "heroic" fishing boat skipper scored further 17,000 DKr (app. US$ 2,600) for towing the boat to Sweden.

Beside the Jew transportations many Danes also earned well on deliveries of war material, provisions etc. to the Germans. In fact Denmark had the highest standard of living among all the countries in Europe involved in the war including Germany.