Oral History

Preben Munch-Nielsen describes the Danish people's responsibility to help their Jewish fellow citizens

Preben was born to a Protestant family in Snekkersten, a small fishing village. The Germans invaded Denmark in 1940. Preben became a courier in the resistance. When the Gestapo (German Secret State Police) began hunting down Jews in Denmark in October 1943, Preben helped hide refugees in houses near the shore and led them to boats which took them to Sweden. Preben himself had to take refuge in Sweden in November 1943. He returned to Denmark in May 1945.


You couldn't let people in...in need down. You can't turn the back to people who need your help. There's...there must be some sort of decency in a man's life, and that wouldn't have been decent to turn the back to people in need. So, there's no question, uh, of why or why not. You just did. That's the way you're brought up. That's the way of the tradition in...in my country. You help, of course. And therefore I don't think it's...I...could you have remained your self-respect if you knew that these people would suffer and [you had] said, "No. Not at my table"? No. No way. So that's not a problem of...of--you just have to do it. And nothing else.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
View Archival Details

This content is available in the following languages

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.