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Oral history interview with Tage Kaarstad

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.391.0002

Tage Kaarstad, a Danish citizen (Professor at Odense University and Constitutional Adviser to Queen Margarthe II), provides his historical view starting with the German invasion of April 9, 1940; the conditions of Denmark’s surrender; the formation of the Danish policy towards Jews, and the broad support to help them escape to Sweden; his thoughts on Georg Duckwitz (an assistant to Germany’s most senior civilian official Werner Best); the fate of the 500 older or reluctant Jews who chose not to escape and were sent to Theresienstadt, including his friends, the Friediger family; the actions of the Wehrmacht General Van Hannecken, Werner Best, and the Swedish Government that contributed to the successful escapes; the August 1943 declaration of martial law; the increase in Danish resistance in 1943, aided by the Allies’ Special Operation Executive (SOE), the weakening of the Danish government, and the formation of the illegal, quasi-governmental Freedom Council; the role of H.H. Koch, Permanent Undersecretary of Social Affairs, as well as Koch’s role in arranging the White Buses that rescued Norwegian and Danish citizens from Neuengamme and Buchenwald in March 1945, transporting them to Sweden; the goods and services Germany took from Denmark and its local impact; his sense of how Denmark’s image was affected by its wartime actions; the activities of Henrik Kauffmann, the Danish Ambassador to the United States; role of the Churchill Club in the resistance movement; two other major Danish resistance groups, including the one Communist group called BOPA (Borgerlige Partisaner) and Holger Danske; the post-war treatment of criminals and the official purge of the Danish police; the wartime battles at Amalienborg Castle; and the experiences of listening to BBC broadcasts and hearing about the people in the news, such as John Christmas Møller, Churchill, Eisenhower, and Montgomery.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Tage Kaarstad
Sandra Bendayan
interview:  1994 June 10
1 videocassette (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Chalice Well Productions
Record last modified: 2020-03-26 09:35:57
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