Holocaust Museum Houston to Commemorate 70th Anniversary of the Rescue of Danish Jews in the Holocaust
HOUSTON, TX (Sept. 30, 2013) – Holocaust Museum Houston will join with three local consulates this October to mark the 70th anniversary of the successful rescue of thousands of Danish Jews during World War II with a new temporary exhibition and lectures by two experts on the Scandinavian response to the Holocaust.
Danish rescue boat
The Museum’s own fishing boat of the same type as those used in the rescue. 

Holocaust Museum Houston is proud to honor this important historical event with the poster exhibition “Denmark: October 1943,” opening with a preview reception Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Museum’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston’s Museum District. The exhibit remains on view through Nov. 3, 2013.

Admission is free, but advance registration is requested. To RSVP online, visit www.hmh.org/RegisterEvent.aspx.

Consisting of 11 framed posters, the display tells the story of rescue and resistance against Nazi persecution. Approximately 7,200 lives were saved, through the efforts of Danish citizens who ferried Danish Jews by boat to safety in Sweden. The exhibition is traveled by The Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Iowa.

The Museum’s own fishing boat of the same type as those used in the rescue was obtained in Gilleleje, Denmark, and will be on display during the exhibition. Gilleleje’s own 500 households cared for hundreds of refugees, hiding them in the local church attic before ferrying them across to Höganäs in Sweden. The church eventually was stormed by the Nazis.

Also on Oct. 17, beginning at 6:45 p.m., Dr. Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, a senior researcher in foreign policy at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) in Denmark, and Dr. Karin Kvist Geverts, a teacher and researcher in the Department of History and the Hugo Valentin Centre at Uppsala University in Sweden, will discuss “Refugees and Rescue: Scandinavian Responses to the Holocaust.”

Banke specializes in how societies come to terms with their atrocity past. From 2009 to 2013, she was in charge of Holocaust and genocide studies at the DIIS and since 2005 been representing Denmark in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. She was member of the Danish Parliamentarian Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 2008, of the Danish delegation to the Stockholm International Forum in 2004 and to the OSCE meetings in 2004 and 2005 on antisemitism and other forms of intolerance. She has published on the Danish refugee policy during Nazism, Holocaust memory in postwar Europe, and the politics of memory in Europe.

Geverts’ dissertation, ”A Foreign Element Within the Nation. Swedish Refugee Policy and the Jewish Refugees, 1938-1944; 2008,” dealt with Sweden and the Holocaust, more specifically with the attitudes and actions of the Swedish immigration authorities toward Jewish refugees. The rescue of the Danish Jews is also part of her investigations. She has written articles on antisemitism as well as on Holocaust memory cultures in Sweden.

The exhibit and program are presented as part of the Bank of Texas Film and Lecture Series and are generously underwritten by the Embassy of Denmark; the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Houston; and the Embassy of Sweden; with additional support from Anna Holliday; Danish American Chamber of Commerce Southwest; Danish Inspirations; Maritime Logistics LLC; Ocean Projects, Inc.; and The Danish Club of Houston, with special thanks to United Airlines, official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.
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