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DARKNESS OVER DENMARK by Ellen Levine Kirkus Star


The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews

by Ellen Levine

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: June 15th, 2000
ISBN: 0-8234-1447-7
Publisher: Holiday House

History comes alive in this moving story of the heroic Danes who defied the Nazis during the occupation of Denmark. Levine (A Fence Away From Freedom, 1995, etc.) weaves a historical narrative into the real-life experiences of 21 Danes who were young in 1940. She puts the account of a very small country that managed to save nearly all of its Jewish citizens from German concentration camps in context by asking how this could have happened. Citing Edmund Burke—“The one condition necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”—Levine makes her point that the Danish people refused to do exactly that. Beginning with the Nazi invasion of Denmark on April 9, 1940, Levine depicts the Nazi occupation from 1940–43. Then she takes the reader back in time to understand the migration of the Jewish people to Denmark; the freedom of religion they enjoyed there; and the history of ghettoization and anti-Semitism in other countries. She picks up the story again to describe the resistance movement and the events leading up to the hiding and ferrying of Jews out of the country to Sweden. The photographs, from the dramatic cover to the portraits of the interviewees, are dramatic and effective. Source notes, biographical sketches of the people interviewed, a chronology, and an author’s explanation of her research technique are both interesting and useful as research tools. A fascinating blend of historical background and the impact of events on real people. (Nonfiction. 10-14)