The EJC, represented by its Executive Vice-President and CEO Raya Kalenova and Director for EU Affairs Nuno Wahnon Martins, took part in the official commemoration ceremony of the 75th Anniversary of October 1943 organised by the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen in the fishing village of Gilleleje.
More than 7000 Jews were rescued and sailed to safety in Sweden from this village 75 years ago.
The EJC joined the country’s Prime Minister, the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, the President of the Jewish community in Denmark and other Jewish representatives, Holocaust survivors, members of resistance, in commemorating this powerful gesture of humanity and in honouring the memory of those righteous Danish people who helped their fellow Jews to escape death in 1943.
On 5th of October 1943, the occupied authorities initiated a raid of Jews in the Gilleleje village. Many Jews were transported to transit camps, but most of them arrived safely to Swedish harbour.
“Today we commemorate the Danish Jews who were brutally killed during the escape or in Theresienstadt. But we are also grateful that more than 7000 Danish Jews were saved,” said Prime Minister Rasmussen. He continued: “The rescue of the Danish Jews is a central part of our common history. Our common image of Denmark. Danish Jews were and are compatriots.”
Later during the day, the EJC rejoiced with the local community in the reopening of the newly renovated synagogue in Copenhagen. In a moving ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the rescue of Danish Jews, Raya Kalenova and Nuno Wahnon joined the Crown Prince of Denmark, Frederik, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and leaders of EJC affiliated Jewish communities from Scandinavia.