Monday, May 28, 2007

The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy

The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy

The king of Denmark was determined to protect all Danes during their occupation by the Nazis. In simple and determined defiance of the Nazi commanders he had the Nazi flag removed permanently from the palace. As the legend goes, he knew the Jewish people were being singled out, forced to wear a scrap of yellow cloth in the shape of the Star of David, and then sent to the concentration camps. He wondered, "If you wish to hide a star, where would you place it?" You would place it in plain sight, on the clothing of the king and every Danish citizen.

This book is for younger children, but included here for its testimony of individual bravery among occupied peoples. It has grown powerful as a legend, often repeated. But it can not be authenticated. Here is a list of powerful acts that are true:

  • "The beloved king of Denmark did indeed ride unescorted and unprotected through the streets of Copenhagen"

  • "Stories about the king's support of Danish Jews began to circulate throughout Europe as early as 1943, including his threat to wear the yellow star in solidarity with the Jews."

  • "No Jews within Denmark were forced to wear the yellow star."

  • "Among the Nazi-occupied countries, only Denmark rescued the overwhelming majority of its Jews."

  • "Over 7,000 Danish Jews were smuggled to Sweden in fishing boats, 12 to 14 at a time, by a group of Danes called the "Helsingor Sewing Club."

  • "Of the almost 500 Jews deported to Theresienstadt, all but 51 survived due in large part to the Danish government's intercession on their behalf."

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