Gilleleje
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Fishing idyll with a dark past

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" The town of Gilleleje, on the fashionable and affluent North Zealand riviera, was originally just a location for landing fish. In the late Middle Ages, as seasonal fishing became year-round, the fishermen settled, building their own church. This was in 1538; 50…

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Church attic sealed their fate

Time / Periode 1500 1945
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On the night of 2 October 1943, Jewish households in Denmark were visited by the Gestapo. But the majority of Jews had been warned and more than 7,000 managed to escape to Sweden, but 481 Danish Jews were sent to the concentration camp at Theresienstadt. Many of the fleeing Jews were smuggled to Sweden by fishermen from Gilleleje. Around 80 did not make it into the boats and were hastily hidden in the church attic in Gilleleje. The Gestapo were tipped off by an informant, and a raid on the night of 6 October resulted in the largest single number of Jewish arrests during Denmark's Occupation. Only one boy escaped capture, by hiding behind a tombstone. The next refugees to arrive at Gilleleje were instead hidden in summer houses, and within the week that followed, some 500 Jews made it to Sweden.

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Church attic sealed their fate

On the night of 2 October 1943, Jewish households in Denmark were visited by the Gestapo. But the…

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