German Aryanization Attempts in Denmark?

Denmark is mostly associated with the rescue of the Jews in October 1943, but my Ph.d. project “German Aryanization Attempts in Denmark 1938-1943” will shed new light on Danish-Jewish experience – especially the minorties businesses.

Danish-Jewish business were directly targeted by Nazi-Germany by as early as 1937 causing German companies operating in Denmark to fire Jewish board members or Jewish representatives. At the same time an increasing number of Jewish business’ were facing contract cancellations by German companies.

The Danish government was alerted to this policy by nervous businessmen seeing the import options disappear from Denmark’s second largest trading partner at the time. The Danish government faced a neighbor with a rising military and making claims for areas containing German minorities. Denmark had one of those in the southern part of Jutland, while being unable to secure military alliances. In 1939 the Danish Government openly declared that lay-offs on the basis of race were out of their hands as long as they were done in accordance with Danish Law.

In essence the Danish Government allowed the import of German racial policies on Danish soil, because it viewed as too riskful to protect its’ Jewish minority’s business options.

My dissertation will closer examine the overall consequences of this policy in Denmark and also investigate what happened during the war period.

 

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