The attic of Gilleleje Church, North Zealand, Denmark. Hiding-place for Jews before being sailed to Sweden during World War II

- Image ID: E4ET83
Niels Quist / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: E4ET83
The two rocks are weights for the old church tower clockwork. From the beginning of October 1943, during the WW2 in German occupied Denmark Jews were hidden in church attics and private homes along the northern coast of Zealand and ferried over the belt of water, the Sound / Øresund to Sweden by the Danish resistance and local fishermen. On October 2nd the Gestapo visited the Jewish households for arrest and deportation to the German concentration camp Theresienstadt. However, the majority of Jews had been warned and more than 7,000 managed to escape to Sweden. These transports took place along the coastline of Zealand, but especially from Nivaa to Gilleleje. Numerous accounts of this can be found on the Internet or in published books. Gilleleje Church was one of the churches used for this purpose, and about 1,300 were transported safely to Sweden. However, the Gestapo were tipped off by an informant and a raid in Gilleleje on the night of October 6th resulted in the largest single number of Jewish arrests during the occupation of Denmark - more than 80 people were waiting in the Gilleleje Church attic and the parish hall to be transported to Sweden, and only one young man got away by hiding behind a collar beam in the bell tower. After this the hiding took place in summer houses, etc. Though the nearby seaside town Hornbæk / Hornbaek had a similar church and heroic fishermen the church was not used for hiding the Jewish people. Perhaps because the former hotel just opposite the harbour, Hotel Trouville, was occupied and housed German forces. Images of the hotel and church to be found at Alamy as well. E4F0YP and E4ETTH.
Location: Gilleleje Church, North Zealand, Denmark