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Fishermen Establish Regular Ferry Service for Refugees Between Denmark and Sweden

October 11, 1943
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

hundred Danish Jews were landed in Sweden yesterday and another 800 reached here on Friday. German naval vessels continue to patrol Danish waters, however, and four of the ships carrying refugees have been sunk. Several Danish fishermen have also been arrested.

The new arrivals report that in many instances Gestapo agents have forced their way into churches to seize Jews who had sought shelter there. Among the Jews who have already been deported from Denmark, they report, is Chief Rabbi Fridiger, who has been sent to the fortress prison of Terezin in Czechoslovakia, together with scores of older Jews. Other reports received today state that trucks piled high with goods taken from Jewish homes can be seen in the streets of Copenhagen daily. The household goods are being shipped to Germany for use by persons bombed out of their homes by the American and British air forces.

The Dagens Nyheter reports that Einar Mellerur, chief of the Copenhagen constabulary, has been arrested for declaring at a police meeting that the Danish police reject all responsibility for the brutal treatment of the Jews. The paper adds that in several districts in the Danish capital street fights broke out between Danes and Nazis because of the mistreatment of Jews. Many Jews continue to commit suicide, the Dagens Nyheter says, but Danish papers have been instructed not to publish obituary notices of Jews.

A Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent today visited the southern coast of Sweden where he met and spoke with hundreds of Danish Jewish refugees. The refugees, among whom were several hundred stateless Jews, confirmed reports that some 1,500 Danish Jews had been seized by the Gestapo in the Rosh Hashonah raids. Several hundred old Jews have already been deported, while the younger men have been sent to labor camps, they said.

Most of the refugees to whom the J.T.A. correspondent spoke were in good spirits despite the fact that they had lost all their worldly possessions. A number of them had been hit by family tragedies. Several women have received reports of husbands killed or drowned while escaping; and many children were vainly waiting at the homes of Swedish fishermen, night after night, for their parents to appear.

The refugees told the correspondent that three factors were chiefly responsible for their success in reaching Sweden. They are: 1–Active assistance by the Danish police and fishermen, many of whom have been arrested as a result; 2–Passive aid by German soldiers, including even some officers, and boat guards; and 3–Active help by certain German and Austrian soldiers.

The Swedish radio reported today that the Commander-in-Chief of the Danish armed forces, Gen. Goertz, has protested to Gen. Von Hannenken, chief of the German forces in Denmark, against a German statement which said that interned Danish soldiers would be released when all the Jews in Denmark had been arrested. “As chief of the Danish army,” Gen. Goertz wrote, “I strongly protest this interconnection which has no foundation in reality and I want to add that the personnel of the Danish army will not accept favors at the expense of other citizens.”

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