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Throughout most of German-occupied Europe, the Germans sought to round up and deport Jews to killing centers in occupied Poland. Some Jews survived by hiding or escaping from German-controlled Europe. Some escape routes out of occupied Europe led to belligerent states (such as the Soviet Union), neutral states (such as Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey), and even to states allied with Germany (such as Italy and Hungary before they were occupied by Germany). After the German attack on the Soviet Union, more than a million Soviet Jews escaped eastward, fleeing the advancing German army. Thousands more Jews managed to leave Black Sea ports in Bulgaria and Romania, seeking to reach safety in Palestine.
Germany occupied Denmark in 1940. When the Germans decided to deport Jews from Denmark in August 1943, Danes spontaneously organized a rescue operation and helped Jews reach the coast; fishermen then ferried them to neutral Sweden. The rescue operation expanded to include participation by the Danish resistance, the police, and the government. In little more than three weeks, the Danes ferried more than 7,000 Jews and close to 700 of their non-Jewish relatives to Sweden, which accepted the Danish refugees. The Germans seized about 500 Jews in Denmark and deported them to the Theresienstadt ghetto in Bohemia. The Danes demanded information on their whereabouts. The vigor of Danish protests perhaps prevented their deportation to the killing centers in occupied Poland.
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