Samarbejdets diskrimination


  • Jacob Halvas Bjerre


This article poses two main questions: Why could the Jews in Denmark successfully flee to Sweden? What was the role of the collaboration in this success? I argue that most answers are already provided by previous research in regards to the first question. The collaborative nature of the agreement between the Danish government and the German occupiers is usually perceived as a shield which protected the Jews in Denmark. This article challenges this perception by showing how central German organizations in collaboration with the German legation in Denmark pursued a continuous discriminatory policy against the Jews in Denmark. Underscoring this policy are the attempts to Aryanize German-Danish business relations from 1937 and onwards. In September 1942 the process of Aryanization was estimated as almost complete. At the same time, several initiatives to promote anti-Semitism were sponsored by the German legation. In addition I show that the long-term goal of the German policies against the Jews in Denmark was the removal of Jews from Denmark. The Danish government’s overall objective was to preserve power. This article exposes that the continuous German pressure for formal Jewish laws affected a minority in the Danish Government, who in internal discussions revealed a readiness to accept such demands. While the minority did not prevail, an informal discrimination against Jews in Denmark was administered by the Danish government. This ensured that Jews were neither placed in public positions nor in other major and minor areas. The full scope of this discrimination remains largely unknown. In addition, the article shows that Danish police played an unrecognized role in investigating and researching the race of Danish citizens on behalf of German authorities in Denmark. Based on these findings the article infers that the successful flight has legitimized the discrimination inherent in the collaboration until October 1943. The long-term intentions of the collaboration policy were not to protect the Jews, but to maintain political power. This is also underscored by the fact that the flight of the Jews was a spontaneous event. The article concludes that collaboration in itself did not function as a protective shield for the Jews. Rather, it became an important precondition for the flight despite of the collaboration’s goal to maintain political power.




Halvas Bjerre, J. (2021). Samarbejdets diskrimination. Rambam. Tidsskrift for jødisk Kultur Og Forskning, 26. Hentet fra