Countrymen: The Untold Story of How Denmark's Jews Escaped the Nazis Hardcover – 6 Mar 2014
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The rescue of the Danish Jews is surely one of the most extraordinary - and genuinely moving - stories of the last century... A tremendously stirring book --Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
Based on contemporary diaries written by a number of Danish Jews, Lidegaard has written of exactly how the escape of two families was planned and carried out, hour by tense hour. It is as exciting as any spy thriller --Richard Overy, Sunday Telegraph
Magisterial... The story Lidegaard tells of how Danes, from the top bureaucrats, Church leaders and police officials down to the humblest fishermen, helped the Jews escape when the Germans tried to deport them to concentration camps in October 1943, is indeed astonishing and heart-warming. --Ian Buruma, Guardian
Lucid, compelling and scrupulously fair... Combines all the immediacy of personal drama with an unerring sense of the wider implications of Denmark's achievement --David Crane, Spectator
Magnificent... Bo Lidegaard has retold this story using astonishingly vivid unpublished material from families who escaped, and the testimony of contemporary eyewitnesses, senior Danish leaders (including the king himself), and even the Germans who ordered the roundups. The result is an intensely human account of one episode in the persecution of European Jews that ended in survival. --Michael Ignatieff, New Republic
Countrymen is extraordinary. I will not soon forget this epic of decency, this saga of humanism saving lives. The idea of humanism has been under attack for so long now, as false and sentimental and impotent, as insufficiently radical to make a difference, that it is stirring to be given a grand example of the opposite case - of a clear, muscular, brave, and effective humanism, and in the whole of a society. Bo Lidegaard's moving and meticulous book is itself an expression of the idealism that it documents. --Leon Wieseltier
I absolutely loved this book. It's a great story, both heartening and human, which tells of how some Germans behaved better than expected, and shows how decency can prevail in the hardest of times. It's a book to be recommended to anyone who has a deeply cynical view of human nature, but also to anyone who wants to see how people can behave brilliantly and how political and moral norms can hold against extremism, bullying, violence and threats. --Julia Neuberger
This is a tense, inspiring story of the resistance to oppression by a united people --Booklist
About the Author
Bo Lidegaard is a Danish historian, author and editor-in-chief of the daily broadsheet newspaper Politiken. He has been awarded some of the highest of Denmark's national honours for his writings.
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24 June 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Of the wartime generation, I am interested in the experiences of people in Occupied Territories, and how they survived and coped with the Nazis. An occasional visitor to the several Scandinavian countries, I appreciate the pride in wartime achievements, and enjoy books dedicated to the theme.
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Most recent customer reviews
A very engaging subject. Could have been a fantastic book, except the language/translation is awful, and you sort of quickly lose interest...hard time getting through it.Read more