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Sonntag, 4. August 2013

Werner Melchior testifying at the Eichmann trial on the rescue of the Danish Jewry [Deborah E. Lipstadt: The Eichmann Trial]

„There was little relief from the familiar story line: an overwhelmed Jewish population poised against an Eichmann-devised deportation system fully committed to ensnaring every Jew. Then into this unrelenting saga of grief and terror came a brief moment of emotional respite. Werner Melchior, son of Denmark‘s chief rabbi, described the rescue of Danish Jewry. He related how bishops, ambulance drivers, fishermen, housewives, neighbours, and strangers facilitated the escape of these seven thousand Jews–almost the entire Danish Jewish community–to Sweden. Shortly before being ferried across the strait, Melchior, demonstrating what some might consider an aggravated sense of responsibility, went to the university to return library books. At the entrance, students whom he knew in passing stopped him. ””In case there is anything at all which you think we can reasonably do…you can get in touch with us.”” This, Melchior testified, happened not once but twice in the space of ten minutes. ””During the preceding three and a half years of the occupation, there was not a single moment when the population was united so closely together”” as during the rescue of the Jews. (After this rescue it was Eichmann who was dispatched to Denmark to determine precisely how this had happened and to prevent it from occurring again someplace else.) At last, into this Jerusalem courtroom, had come the uplift for which so many had thirsted. Haim Gouri described it as ””artificial respiration.”” Jews in the courtroom were reminded that they had not been completely abandoned. One woman was weeping. Asked why she was crying now: ””I cry whenever someone is kind to me.””„

[Deborah E. Lipstadt: The Eichmann Trial, New York, Schocken, 2011, pp. 86-87]

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