To mark the 70th anniversary of the rescue of Denmark’s Jews, the Federal Foreign Office is publishing an extended and updated edition of the 2004 study “Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz: The Rescue of the Danish Jews”.
Georg Ferdinand Duckwitz (1904‑1973), who would later serve as State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office and a key advisor on Eastern issues to Willy Brandt, used his position as maritime attaché at the German Embassy in Copenhagen to give Denmark’s Jews advance warning of their imminent deportation in October 1943, thus enabling more than 7000 people to escape.
The author of the book, a bilingual publication in English and German, is Danish historian Hans Kirchhoff, emeritus Professor of the University of Copenhagen. In his book, Kirchhoff highlights the drive and determination that characterised Duckwitz. Duckwitz’ professional and human qualities, Kirchhoff writes, “were supplemented by his fundamental humanity and a steadfast, principled will to work against the abuse of power and the crimes committed by the Nazis”.
Emily Haber, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, honours Duckwitz as “a courageous man at a time when so many others lacked courage or conscience”. As she puts it, “When it mattered, he courageously did the right thing.”