Occupation of Denmark

Five Ugly Years

"...hearing all the noise of the low-flying airplanes..."

"[On April 9th, 1940], my parents both, individually, remember waking up, getting ready to go to school, and hearing all the noise of the low-flying airplanes and then all the leaflets being dropped all over to surrender, that Denmark was now occupied by the Nazis. Oh, my dad never talked about it. And he would get very emotional. We went to Anne Frank’s house in 1964 and he came out and he couldn’t speak for a long time, so that was—that was hard.

So the stories basically were told by my grandfather and grandmother. I remember the feeling, still, if you heard anybody walking behind you in boots that sounded like the black Gestapo, you would tighten up, You could tell people would just, you know, instinctively freeze for a second. It would just transport them back to bad memories, because Denmark was occupied for five years.

They called them the Five Ugly Years. And they did not want people to forget those, either. But...lots of hardship, lots of loss of friends and family, and it was not an easy time to grow up, but the fellowship that formed probably lasted a lifetime."