Recommendation to Postpone Dealing With Danish Jews Until the End of the War


Conversation between German Minister Renthe-Fink and Danish Foreign Minister Scavenius, August 24, 1942
(From a report by Renthe-Fink)

...[Scavenius] is convinced that the Danes will adjust to the New Europe of their own good will and accept all the attendant undertakings if left alone in all other matters.... Mr. Scavenius repeatedly stressed that no action should be taken against the Jews in Denmark at the present time because the Danes would regard this as a negation of their ideals. Admittedly, this will change with the approach of the end of the war and the New Order in Europe, but in the meantime anti-Jewish measures will cause unrest. Furthermore, one should bear in mind that the longer the war lasts, the more difficulties will have to be resolved in any case. It is not wise to aggravate them by making [the Danes] take up the Jewish problem now. Even Brigadefuehrer Ohlendorf agrees that a people should not be transformed overnight and that solving the Jewish problem should be postponed until the end of the war. The Foreign Minister added that we would only exacerbate the anti-German mood if Danes are removed from their positions as a result of our pressure.

Source: Quoted in Leni Yahil, "The Rescue of Danish Jewry: Test of a Democracy," Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1969, p. 445, note 101.


Source: Yad Vashem