VisitNordsjælland

When the Jews had to flee - Citywalk in Gilleleje - October ´43

Museum Nordsjælland invites you to take a city walk around Gilleleje and focus on the dramatic days of October 1943 when many Danish Jews had to flee German persecution. You have to go on the trip yourself, follow the map.

The Jews' flight from Denmark

Imagine we were back in 1943. World War II has raged for four years. Denmark has been occupied for over three years. Now the lives of Danish Jews are seriously in danger because orders have been issued to the Gestapo to arrest them and deport them.

The Jews' only hope is to reach Sweden and seek asylum. So many of them go to Gilleleje and hide, among other things, in the church before local fishers sail them across the Kattegat in the gloom and darkness of the night. They do not know who to trust: who are the stingers and who will help. It is a battle for life and death.

Follow the map of the escape from Gilleleje.

Take the city walk and see the places that impacted the Jews' flight from Gilleleje to Sweden. Museum Nordsjællands map shows you around important points in the city that tell about the dramatic days in October 1943. You go on the trip yourself - follow the map and click on the burgundy red icons, and you will get the story.

Everyone is welcome 

The city walk is especially aimed at families with older children, but everyone is welcome - young and old. Bring your family, a few good friends, a grandparent or go alone.

Here you must pass

The city walk takes you to six designated places in Gilleleje with memorial plaques. The plaques display Jewish symbols and Hebrew inscriptions created by the sculptress, Gerda Thune Andersen. Here you can see the places that the trip passes:

  • Gilleleje Station
    In October 1943, around 1,300 Danish Jews reached the town of Gilleleje and the surrounding areas. Some Jewish toddlers, for instance, were sedated and transported in cardboard boxes by local children to a nearby farm.
  • The corner of Gilleleje Hovedgade and 2 Østergade
    In the manufactory trade, some of the first Jews in Gilleleje contact locals who can sail to Sweden.
  • 5B, Østergade, the stable loft
    On October 6, 60 Jewish men, women and children were hiding in the loft of the stable building that you
    see behind Østergade 5B. 
  • Gilleleje Harbour, The Auction Pier, The Schooner Flyvbjerg
    The schooner Flyvbjerg is taking Jews on board, but suddenly someone shouts, "the Germans are coming". The crowd panics, and the schooner has to drop the moorings before everyone is on board.
  • Gilleleje Church, the roof space of the church
    After the panic at the harbour, about 60 Jews are hidden in the church attic in Gilleleje. The Germans come with machine guns, search the church and lead the Jews to the Horserød prison camp.
  • The old parish hall, 53 Østergade
    This is where the trip ends. See the special exhibition about October 1943 at the museum Skibshallerne. Note! If you take a picture of one of the memorial plaques, you get a DKK 15.- discount on admission to the museum.