by lyle e davis
Denmark is a peaceful place. A beautiful country. Surrounded by the sea, the Danes have a great love for the ocean, sailing, exploration, recreation, and are known as a peaceful, hard-working folk. Denmark is the home of many fine farms . . . gentle rolling hills and flat meadows . . . unlike her neighbor, Norway, seldom do you see anything resembling a mountain in Denmark.
Being of Danish heritage, I went “home” to Denmark in 1988. I was struck not only by the beauty of the country but of its people. Beautiful women, handsome men, excellent food and drink, lovely homes . . . and a comfortable lifestyle. Much of the countryside resembled my native state of Minnesota. Indeed, there are many Danes who settled in Minnesota as the topography of the land reminded them of home.
I was also struck by the strong sense of nationalism. Almost every home had a Danish flag flying . . . every boat in the ocean, in the harbors, in the rivers . . . all flew the Danish flag. It felt good to know these people loved their country so deeply that they felt moved to display to one and all that national love.
That strong feeling of nationalism would give rise to a burning desire in a young 17 year-old boy to protect and defend his country . . . to the extent that he would not only become a skilled spy, saboteur, and solid member of the Resistance Movement . . but would also become a prisoner, subjected to torture and deprivation. He tolerated and endured because of his strong love of Denmark and her people.
That love for country was trampled upon on April 9th, 1940, when Germany suddenly invaded Denmark. The Danes were stunned and could not understand why this was happening.
In the beginning, the Germans attempted a friendly relationship with the Danes, however, during the next few years the Germans showed their true colors by increasing their demands for food to be exported to Germany, in addition to feeding 240,000 German soldiers in Denmark.
Frode Suhr remembers the day well:
To read this fascinating account, go here: