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Georg F. Duckwitz
Hans & Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Movement
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Georg F. Duckwitz
Georg F. Duckwitz was born on September 29,1904, in Bremen, Germany. He was a German man and became a member of the Nazi Party in 1932.
During the Nazi occupation of Denmark, Duckwitz was posted in Denmark. Unrest of Denmark’s citizens began to grow and in 1942, Werner Best, known for being a brutal man from his work organizing the Gestapo, was brought in as the civilian administrator. Duckwitz and Best developed a close relationship. In 1943, the Nazis began to organize their plans to deport all the Danish Jews. Werner Best confided in Duckwitz, telling him of the Nazi plans. After learning of the plans, Duckwitz travelled to Berlin and made an attempt to stop the plans through official channels. When he did not succeed with his attempt, he went to Sweden and organised a sanctuary for Denmark’s Jews. He went back to Denmark and leaked the plans of the Nazis to the Jewish community and the Danish resistance. Word spread quickly within the community and there was a nationwide effort to protect the Jews and the people helped the Jews find hiding places in whatever ways possible. By the time the Germans arrived to make the arrests, they found that most of Denmark’s Jews had disappeared. Over the next weeks, the Jews of Denmark were smuggled to the coast to be transported in fishing boats over to Sweden where they would be sheltered. Of the 7,500 Jews living in Denmark, less than 500 were arrested by the Nazis. Those that the Nazis managed to capture and arrest were sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp but the Danish government continued to help them by arranging food, medicine, clothes and other supplies to be delivered to those in the camp and the government pressured the Nazis into allowing the Red Cross to regularly inspect the conditions of the camp. Although some died at the camp, due to the actions of Duckwitz and the Danish people, at the end of the war 400 of the 500 captured were sent back to their homes in Denmark and many of those who had escaped to Sweden were also able to return to their homes.
Obviously there would have been severe consequences for him if he was caught. Living in a country that was under Nazi occupation, and being a member of the Nazi Party himself, he probably would have faced immediate death if caught or would have been sent to a concentration camp where he would then face death.
After the war, Georg F. Duckwitz became West Germany's ambassador to Denmark. He died in 1973.
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