SS-Gruppenführer Werner Best and the Action Against the Danish Jews - October 1943
In his critique of Tatiana Brustin-Berenstein’s article on the escape of Danish Jewry in Yad Vashem Studies 17 (1986), Kirchhoff contends that it was Werner Best who instigated the action in September 1943, when the state of emergency was declared in Denmark. However, in order to avoid unrest in the country, he informed the German diplomat Duckwitz of the action, and the latter warned the Danes and did his utmost to allow the Danish Jews to escape to Sweden. Although Best’s goal was thus achieved in the easiest way (the Jews left Denmark, and the “Jewish question” in the country was solved), Duckwitz can in no way be regarded as a mere puppet in Best’s hands, as Berenstein stated. Duckwitz, on his own initiative, prepared the diplomatic backup of the Jews’ flight from Denmark; he in fact thwarted the Endloesung (Final Solution) in Denmark, and consequently may be categorized as a Righteous Gentile.