Originally Posted by Valberg R
Wow! thanks Muhler for these stories and photos!
I have been very interested in the occupation of Denmark in WWII ever since I saw Flammen og Citronen, and as such I appreciate your posts on this subject greatly
My pleasure. You may wish to request the mods to set up such a thread with the DRF and WWII.
It's a huge
subject, involving not only Christian X, but just as much Frederik X and Queen Ingrid and to a large degree QMII as well.
Not to mention close relatives of the DRF - A princess was deported for being a collaborator.
And close friends - one of whom was killed on the Eastern front.
Originally Posted by FasterB
It must be before his fall from the horse in 1942. He never rode again after that fall
Thanks, FasterB. I wasn't sure.
Originally Posted by gerry
how did he fall? My guess is that his horse was startled by the crowds, but I would be interested in the story
Well, I don't know. Perhaps someone else can answer that?
Lets have a look at the Liberation. 5th May 1945.
The in DK famous liberation message was send in a BBC broadcast early in the evening on the 4th May. - Causing instant jubilation in the streets.
The German soldiers had withdrawn to the barracs, for them it was over.
The surrender was to take effect the next day.
A little Princess named Margrethe woke up at Amalienborg and wondered about the commotion outside. Her nanny gave her a bottle with fizzy water, lemon. That's something QMII remembers vividly. That was a very rare treat!
Later on she tasted genuine chocolate, for the first time she could remember.
Resistance fighters turned out in force on the streets already on 4th May. Armed with ad hoc weapons and sporting a resistance armband. - The numbers of resistance fighters had swelled very dramatically in the last few months of the war. They were not all equally respected by the veteran members, who somewhat contemtously referred to many of them as the Latter Day Saints.
The celebrations continued through the night and the next day as well.
There is a famous photo of a sign hanging in the door of a shop saying: "Closed due to joy".
Almost as soon as the message came through from London the rounding up of collaborators began. Eventually some 16.000 were arrested and tried for collaboration. Driven through the streets in open trucks they were subjected to mockery and the wrath of people.
Treason and collaboration could carry the death penalty and the government decided to carry through with the first 50 or so executions - simply to quell the population's thirst for revenge. The rest were to be pardoned. IRRC more than 40 were executed in the first years after the war. Ironically they were mainly the little fish, because their trials were not as complicated as the more serious traitors.
After a number of years in prison, most convited traitors were stripped of their citizenships and deported to Germany.
Collaborators recieved various sentences.
Nevertheless there are still a few unsolved murdercases after the war, where it is widely suspected that this was a revenge killing.
Those who were liquidated during the war, were almost all labelled collaborators or traitors - to this day. And the killings declared legal. Even though it has turned out that quite a few were liquidated out of mistake, some were innocent and some were simply victims of crime.
Girls who had fraternized with the Germans were also rounded up. They were populary known as fieldmatrasses.
The traditional punishment of cutting their hair started already in the last year of the war. My mother took part in at least one such incident and to the day she died, she looked back on that with glee.
A couple of days later the German soldiers marched off to the border. Notice how the soldiers form a protective screen around the women. Some of them are clearly German blitzmädels, but others look like they are civillian. No doubt they were terrified of what would happen if the crowd got their hands on them.
But there was also a lot of fighting going on in the days after the Liberation with many casualties. Collaborators and members of HIPO and the Schalburg Corps, were desperate. Their world had finally collapsed and what would happen to them now? Would they just be put up against the nearest wall? Others were diehard Nazis intent on going down in flames.
It took a couple of days before British troops rolled into Denmark and they were of course cheered all the way.
Around the same time the 5.000 man strong Danish Brigade, which had been formed, equipped and trained in Sweden arrived in Copenhagen.
Their primary task was to ensure law and order - something the Resistance had taken care of until then - but also just as much to prevent a Communist takeover. Secondary to provide the force necesssary for the interim government that was to be set up.
But the 5th May and the days after was not cause for joy everywhere in DK.
The commandant on the island of Bornholm, refused to surrender to the nearest Allied forces, the Soviets. He pleaded to Copenhagen for them to send a British officer, even if it was just a single second lieutenant, he would lay down his arms to him on the spot. - No such officer could be found and the Soviets started to bomb Bornholm.
The German garrison surrender after a couple of days, but not before quite a few Germans and islanders had been killed. - And the Soviets were not in a hurry to leave Bornholm afterwards.
The White Buses with Danes from the concentration camps arrived home shortly after the Liberation. That evacuation of Danish as well as Norwegian prisoners had been organised by Count Bernadotte of Sweden.
In fact Danish (and to a great degree Norwegian as well) prisoners were treated fairly well in the concentration camps - because the Danish civil servants, backed by Count Bernadotte continually checked on them and send Red Cross packages to them.
The Nazis didn't treat them nice because they had gone soft. The prisoners were a valuable barganing chip in the dealings with Sweden, who acted as a go-between with the Allies. Because many Nazis had seen the writing on the wall and now it was about presenting a good figure and displaying goodwill. - It was also easier to get away with being lenient towards Danish and Norwegian prisoners than against say Jews and Soviet prisoners. They were de facto treated a little worse than western Allied POW.
Nevertheless a number died in the camps and many came back broken.
Later on the first guards battallion of the Royal Lifeguard relieved the temporary police guard at Amalienborg. A very big day.
For the first couple of years the guardsmen were armed with confiscated German Mausers, before switching to the M1 Garand - that little detail is good to know when it's about figuring out when a picture is taken...
Amalienborg had seen it's share of drama thorugh the war. There were skirmishes there on the 9th April.
The Royal Lifeguard maintained their guards until 1943 when the military was taken. That again led to skirmishes, with at least one projectile flying through the window into the office of Christian X. It was the King himself who ordered a ceasefire, but he couldn't help a little snide remark when addressing the German officer in charge, calling him: "My brave officer".
Then the police took over the guard duty until 1944 when the police was taken, again leading to skirmishes.
Until the end of the war, i.e. the evening of 4th May, it was German soldiers who performed guard duty. Then members of the Resistance took over.
Towards the very end of the war a secret tunnel was dug under Amalienborg, ready to evacuate the King if need be. - But much more about that later in the Amalienborg thread.
Everything was scarse during the war but people still needed clothes. Relatives of mine have told how sheets were remade to cottoncoats and how curtains were converted to summerdresses.
It also became a sport to mock the Germans in subtle ways in any way possible. One favorite was to wear a cap in RAF colors, red, white and blue. - When that was banned (humour was never something the Nazis were good at) girls instead walked the streets three together, one in a blue dress, the other in a white dress and the third in a red dress.
Communal singing became very popular, with songs whose lyrics was to put it mildly open to interpretation. One of the most popular was: Ugræs er føget over hegnet - Weed has blown across the fence.
For decades after the war it was tradition to place two candles in the windows on the 4th May. But now that is becoming a rare sight.