Monday, May 4, 2020

May 4th...It Means Something Else To The Danes

While many in the world are celebrating all things Geek--I myself am currently wearing my only StarWars shirt and the only piece of Geek clothing I own--in a small country atop Europe looks upon May 4th under a different light.

May 4th is a day of freedom.

The Denmark.DK Instagram account (Denmark.DK) posted two pictures about the significance of May 4th for their country. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the German withdrawal from Denmark.

Back in 1986 I was told a story from someone who lived through those years of Nazi Occupation. 

And I remember the story she told me of the day the Germans left.

Jytta Svendsen was a teenager living in Odense, Denmark on 5/4/45. The Germans required all citizens of the city to line up along the main road through the center of town to watch their captors leave. As Jytta stood with the others the Germans opened fire on the people lining the street. The woman next to Jytta was hit and she dropped. Jytta ran and hid inside a drug store. She never knew what happened to the woman next to her. Just remembering her tell the story brings back the horror of her story, terrible times of history that she lived through, that she survived.

Jytta passed away, years after her amazing husband Svend left us, in the summer of 2007. I was unable to attend her funeral since it fell on the same day as my mother's. As the years pass, fewer and fewer of those who remember the dark days and the events exist only in histories.

Today Danes put up candles in their windows, the flame representing freedom from tyranny and the start of a new chapter in their millennia-long history. Sure, it's fun to put on Geeky clothes and watch your favorite Star Wars film or sharing a funny meme. But, in a small European country the heat from a simple candle warms the world and gives us all hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment