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Motorboat used to take Jewish people in Denmark to safety in Sweden

Object | Accession Number: 1989.222.1

Motorboat named Lurifax (later Filuren and Solskin), used by members of the Helsingør Syklub (Elsinore Sewing Club), a Danish resistance group, to transport Danish Jews from German-occupied Denmark to neutral Sweden across the Øresund Strait in October 1943. The boat was one of several the group used to rescue the Jewish refugees and their non-Jewish relatives facing deportation to concentration camps. Later, it ferried weapons and supplies, as well as resistance members, back and forth to Sweden. Between October 1943 and May 1944, the Club transported approximately 1,400 people across the strait, including more than 700 of the 8,000 Jewish people in Denmark at the time. The escape route from Helsingør, Denmark, to Helsingborg, Sweden, was called the “Kiær linjen” (Kiær Line), “Police line,” or “H-H line.” Erling Kiær, a member of the Club’s inner circle, used money from a wealthy Jewish passenger to buy the sturdy, wooden boat. It had space for roughly 12 to 14 passengers, and could cross open water at 3 knots. Helsingør, situated at the narrowest point along the strait, was well suited for the task because it lay only three miles from Helsingborg, just opposite in Sweden. In good weather, the round-trip crossing could be made in a couple of hours, and several crossings could be made each night. The Club was one of many groups of Danes organized spontaneously in October 1943 to rescue Jewish refugees. These groups were only able to operate because they had the support and aide of many locals on both sides of the strait, including local police officers, doctors, and those willing to provide temporary shelter. All of these individuals faced arrest, deportation to concentration camps, or death for helping the refugees and resistance members.

Date
manufacture:  approximately 1930
use:  1943 October-1944 May
Geography
manufacture: Svendborg (Denmark)
use: Helsingør (Denmark)
use: Helsingborg (Sweden)
Classification
Tools and Equipment
Category
Vehicles
Object Type
Motorboats (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Vessels.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mr. Preben Munch-Nielsen
 
Record last modified: 2020-10-30 09:28:46
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn939