Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:
I am one of the volunteers in the Project who responds to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will get other responses from my colleagues.
I have number of books that deal with the Holocaust in Scandinavia. For example:
Norway's Response to the Holocaust : An Historical Perspective
You might also wish to visit the following sites on the WWW.
Is a web-site operated by the Jewish community in Norway. They have text in both Norwegian and English. One of their pages: http://www.dmt.oslo.no/english/1e.html
deals with the problems of restitution of property. Another:
covers some aspects of the Holocaust in Norway. You might also try sending them an e-mail to obtain specific information:
Det Mosaiske Trossamfund i Oslo
RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE IN EUROPE TODAY
There are only a small number of Jews in Northern Europe:
Denmark: Around 8,000, mainly in Copenhagen- Almost all were rescued from ultimate Nazi deportation by being smuggled in fishing boats to neutral Sweden. Some Soviet Jews have more recently settled in Denmark.I hope that this information will help you delve deeper into the subject.
Harry W. Mazal OBE
Andrew Mathis responds:I am one of the volunteers who answers questions for the Holocaust History Project.
My colleague, Harry Mazal, has already given you ample information concerning the Holocaust in Norway, and you say that you have read about Denmark's situation during the Holocaust.
Regarding Sweden, it was neutral during WWII, and unlike other neutral countries -- for instance, Belgium -- it was not invaded by the Nazis at any point. This was probably because, like Switzerland (also neutral), it provided the Nazis with needed resources -- in the case of Sweden, this was steel to build Panzer tanks.
This dealing with Nazi Germany notwithstanding, as you're probably aware, Sweden took in 98% of Denmark's wartime Jewish population. Furthermore, the Swedish government went to extraordinary means to save Jewish lives during the war. Most notable in these efforts was Raoul Wallenberg. Please see this article for information on him:
Finland was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939 and surrendered in 1940. In return, Finland joined Nazi Germany in its 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union, though, surprisingly, few Finnish Jews died as a consequence. Nazi figures on the Jewish population of Finland in early 1942 listed 2,300 Jews in Finland, and their death toll was remarkably low.
Finally, Iceland was, at the onset of World War II, part of Denmark, but it was occupied early in the war by Allied Forces to prevent any possible attack on Canada or the U.S., and its small Jewish population remained protected.
Andrew E. Mathis, Ph.D.
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Last modified: October 8, 2000