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Darkness Over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews Hardcover – April 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 890L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; First Edition edition (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823414477
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823414475
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers who have thrilled to Lois Lowry's Number the Stars or Bjarne Reuter's The Boys from St. Petri will want to explore this sober volume about the Danish response to the Nazi occupation. Levine (If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad) debunks some widely believed legends about Danish resistanceAfor example, that every Dane wore a yellow Star of David when the Germans ordered the Jews to do so (in fact, the Germans never promulgated this order in Denmark). As she persuasively demonstrates, however, those legends reflect truths about the Danes in their essential solidarity and rejection of Nazi thinking. While she lists the factors that gave Denmark advantages over other Nazi-occupied countries, she also focuses on the experiences of individuals who, almost as a matter of course, risked their lives to defy the Nazis. Unlike many writers, she treats the extraordinary rescue of nearly the entire Danish Jewish population in October 1943, as only part of the story of the resistance, in fact positing that Nazi persecution of the Jews and the success of the rescue mission led to enormous popular support for the resistance. Beyond saving the Jews, Danes sabotaged munitions factories, supplied critical information to British bombers and organized devastating strikes. The author cross-cuts from a general narrative to focus on specific persons; it is sometimes difficult to keep track of these individuals, but virtually all their stories are inspiring. Well-chosen photos add impact to this dramatic history. Ages 10-up. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-8-This fascinating account pays homage to the remarkable efforts of the Danish people to smuggle the vast majority of their country's Jewish citizens to safety in Sweden during World War II. Interspersed with the straightforward history are first-person accounts of the war years, mainly based on the author's interviews with Danes who escaped, assisted with escapes, or joined the resistance. These accounts help make these increasingly distant events come alive. The well-chosen black-and-white period photographs and reproductions add to the text, and the cover (a montage with Hitler's face looming over a scene of a burning rail yard and running boy) is particularly striking. The brief biographies of the people interviewed, telling what they did during and after the war, make for touching reading. An excellent history and an inspired complement to Lois Lowry's Number the Stars (Houghton, 1989).
Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Ellen Levine has always been drawn to stories of people who struggled for justice, and of ordinary people who did extraordinary things. She was fascinated by Henry "Box" Brown, whose escape is recounted in The Underground Railroad by William Still, first published in 1872. Ms. Levine was awed by Henry's ingenious idea and moved by his incredible courage. Among the author's award-winning books are Freedom's Children, winner of the Jane Addams Peace Award and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; and Darkness Over Denmark, a Jame Addams Peace Award Honor Book and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. She lives in New York City and Salem, New York.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
They will never forget their experiences , nor will I.
Dennis H. Kendel
There are pictures scattered throughout that add to the narrative, and it feels more like a story being told than of an event being chronicled.
Z Hayes
I first read it because Lois Lowry's book Number The Stars struck my intrest.
"princesse17"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Jaquith on August 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Bravery, courage, and selflessness, characteristic of the Danish resistance during WWII, are bright glimpses of hope during a dark period of world history. The history of the Danish resistance is recorded chronologically, with individual rescue stories woven throughout. This beautifully rendered acount, including photographs, is printed on thick, rich paper, underscoring the beauty of what was accomplished by the Danish people. Recommended for young adults and adults interested in the topic.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Danish resistance and rescue of the Jews receives in-depth treatment for grades 5-7, with vintage black and white photos accompanying the story of the resistance and rescue of the Jews of Denmark. Levine interviewed dozens of Danes from rescuers and survivors to those captured for this inviting probe.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "princesse17" on November 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The courage of the Danes in World War II just blew me away when I read this book. I first read it because Lois Lowry's book Number The Stars struck my intrest. When I read the stories of the Resistance and the Jews, I can admit I cried. The author tells their stories perfectly. She conveys the courage these people had and how brave all those young Resistance leaders were but does not leave the hardships endured by these people. It is certainly a wonderful reference book for anyone doing a project on the Holocaust. There was only one thing that disappointed me. There wasn't a reference to the permeated handkerchief that fishing boat captains used after the Nazis started using dogs to search the boats.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Through all my reading on the topic of the Holocaust, I was always deeply struck by the courage of the Danish people, who refused to give up their Jewish citizens to the Nazis. This book does an above average job of chronicling the Danish resistance and how they rescued the Jews from certain annihilation. The author Ellen Levine has done an admirable job of compiling exhaustive interviews with fighters, rescuers, the Jews who were rescued and those less lucky. There are pictures scattered throughout that add to the narrative, and it feels more like a story being told than of an event being chronicled. Highly recommended for students of the subject, and everyone interested in the Holocaust.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Darrell on October 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
By Darrell Stoddard, darrellstoddard@gmail.com

My Neighbor, Sven Svendsen now dead, was a member of the Danish Underground. These were Danes that risked their lives daily through the entire Nazi occupation to save the lives of Jewish people. I have actually held in my hand an object made sacred - the blue, yellow, and red armband worn by my neighbor Sven and by the members of the Danish Underground.

Our hearts are moved by Oscar Shindler, by Roal Wallenberg, and by Irena Sendler, who at the risk of their lives, saved numberless Jews, and by the noble Dutch people that hid Anne Frank and Corrie Ten boom. (See my review of the motion picture "Boy in the Stripped Pajamas.")

In the book "Darkness Over Denmark," we learn of an ENTIRE NATION that strove to hide and save thousands of Jewish people. My admiration for the Danish people swelled as I read and saw photographs of their heroism in this beautiful landmark book. It will lift you to heaven to make this book a part of your life. The book concludes with something so wonderful it is hard to believe: For the Danish Jews (not saved by the underground) that were deported to the death camps, the Danish people still saved for those Jews their apartments, their homes and their belongings (even knowing that they would probably never return)! God should save a special place in heaven for such noble people.

See all of my Reviews. I write only about books, events, or motion pictures that have changed the course of history or unforgettable books or motion pictures that will totally change peoples lives.

Darrell Stoddard, Founder - Pain Research Institute and saveusa.biz
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Parisienne on September 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a well-written account of the remarkable thing that happened in Denmark during WWII, when a small country refused to separate a group of its people and send them on to certain death. There are many terrific individual stories in the book (many are told first-hand), among them the description of how, during the height of the war, a man in Denmark was arrested and convicted of vandalizing a synagogue in Copenhagen - right under the noses of the Nazis.
It is not a fawning work; the book deals with the Danish Nazi collaborators. But above all it is a tale of a people who did not look at their neighbors and see Jews, but looked at their neighbors and saw Danes like themselves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Nilsson on June 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
A very thorough and comprehensive look at the heroic efforts of the Danish people during the Nazi occupation of Denmark during WWII. A great resource for parents reading Lois Lowry's Number the Stars. Moving and inspiring.
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