L306 Rescue in Denmark
Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Nov. 2–Nov. 9
Instructor: Jeffrey Metzger
Unlike other occupied countries in Europe during World War II, Denmark maintained a high degree of autonomy from Nazi dictates. Until late 1943, Denmark maintained its non-combatant status, its monarchy, its free elections, its prohibition on the death penalty, and, most notably, the safety of its small Jewish population. This course will examine the history of the Nazi occupation of Denmark and will consider how and why the Danes were able to exercise such extraordinary independence for much of the war. Most significantly, it will focus on the courageous effort undertaken by the Danes in 1943 to hide and transfer more than 95 percent of Danish Jews to neutral Sweden immediately before their Nazi deportation. No resistance on this scale to Nazi subjugation occurred elsewhere during World War II.
Jeff Metzger graduated from Amherst College and Georgetown Law School. He worked for the US Department of Justice, in private law practice, and most recently as Associate General Counsel of a multinational corporation. He now is involved in refugee aid activities and is a director of the nonprofit US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. He has taught various courses at OLLI in past years.