In late September, 1943, the Nazis decided to deport the entire Jewish population of Denmark, numbering 7,800 persons. A high-level Nazi attaché, Georg Duckwith, determined that he could not live with the proposal and informed the Danish resistance. He is credited with a critical decision that saved thousands lives.
The way in which those lives were saved is quite remarkable. Literally within 3-4 days, Danish Jews by the thousands were ferried on fishing vessels across the Oresund from Denmark to Sweden. How was such a thing accomplished? Knud Dyby was a police officer, a skilled sailor, and an active member of the Danish underground. When he learned of the impending roundup, he used his police access to identify the Nazi patrol routes between Denmark and Sweden. He took part in planning the massive effort to rescue the Danish Jews. He arranged temporary hiding places in local hospitals and near the fishing docks. He, himself, ferried 1,888 people to safety and also managed 5 fishing skippers that sailed unceasingly between Denmark and Sweden with weapons, intelligence, news, and fleeing Jews. When the Nazi round up began on October 1, it was quickly deemed a failed campaign and called off… 7,220 of the 7,800 Danish Jews were nowhere to be found.
Denmark was liberated in May 1945, and the following year, Knud moved to the United States. He died in September 2011 at the age of 96, an unsung hero. Thank you sir.