Born in Denmark in 1952, Gitte Toben immigrated to the United States in 1979. Although her father remained mostly silent about his life during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, Toben grew up hearing stories from her grandparents about her father, Kjeld Johansen's involvement with the Danish resistance during World War II. An athlete and Boy Scout, he distributed leaflets to counter Nazi propaganda, ran weapons and ammunition for resistance fighters, and helped to thwart Nazi activities by sabotaging infrastructure. Johansen also helped to save Jewish friends by smuggling them by boat to Sweden. Wounded by a Nazi bullet, Johansen spent the last year of the war in hiding before blending back into Danish life after the war.
Toben began volunteering at the Museum of History and Holocaust Education in 2005 because she wanted to tell her father's story. His story sheds light on the experiences of resistance fighters who defied Nazi occupiers.