Saturday, 15 July 2017

I have been to … the Resistance Museum, Bangsbo Estate, Frederikshavn, Denmark

The Resistance Museum occupies part of a large, single-storey building that has been constructed along the lines of a traditional Jutland barn.

(The Resistance Museum deals with a dark period of recent Danish history, and almost all the walls and display cases are painted matt black and dimly lit to reflect this. As a result it was difficult to take photographs inside the museum, and many may not be as clear as one would have wished them to be.)

As you enter the exhibition, the first exhibit you come to is a 20mm Oerlikon Gun.

The next section examines the occupation of Denmark after the invasion of 1940, the part played by Danes – particularly seamen – in the Allied war effort, and the early days of the resistance.

This is followed by a recreation of the main living areas of a typical Danish house during the German occupation ...

… as well as examples of the rations that were available and the propaganda and newspapers that were published.

A separate corridor tells the stories of some of the resisters and the measures taken by the German security services to crush them.

The next two exhibits deal with collaboration …

… and the role played by the King of Denmark during the German occupation.

An important aspect of the work done by the Danish resistance movement was the spreading of accurate news and information clandestinely, and one of the secret printing presses is on display in a recreation of a typical workshop.

The largest section of the museum deals with the growth of the Danish resistance movement, the role of SOE (Special Operations Executive), and the work done by the radio operators and saboteurs.

The final part of the museum examines what happened to Denmark's Jewish population …

… and the events leading up to the liberation of Denmark in May 1945.

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