When it became clear to the Nazis that most Jews had escaped, they had to somehow leave the country for neutral Sweden, which was ready to accept them, and that meant they had to cross the sea that was controlled by the German navy. Again, many stories were told about the efforts of the Danish people to help. One prize-winning kayaker took 12 people to Sweden hidden inside his kayak, one at a time. Fishermen used a powder invented by a Jewish scientists who had already escaped to prevent the Nazis' dogs detecting human scent.
Unfortunately not everyone was saved, and Ann-Mai-Britt and Henrik also told the stories of those who were unable to flee or were betrayed. But after the war ended, 89.5% of Danish Jews returned.
Ann-Mai-Britt said she fell in love with klezmer because it never hits any darker notes without offering a solution. "For me, this is the music of hope." As she put it, "it is possible to cry with one eye and laugh with the other". The audience joined in the singing and applauded the many unsung Danish heroes, and the evening ended with a performance of L'chaim, to celebrate life, and the living and human kindness that can never be extinguished.
One member of the audience contacted us immediately after the event to say "I don't have the words to describe it. It was a very moving story which was a privilege to hear in word and music. It made a deep impression. Thanks also for the warm and friendly hospitality."
And another told us "As a lifelong klezmer addict, I have to confess that the evening was as magnificent an experience as any I have ever enjoyed."
We are grateful to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival for sponsoring this event, and to the Netherlee and Clarkston Charitable Trust for their support for this event.