Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Denmark Rising

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Denmark Rising

Article excerpt

DENMARK RISING, Barry Clemson, 2nd Edition (2009). CyberneticalPress Inc., Pp 234, pb, $9-99Reviewed by J. Harold Ellens (University of Michigan).

I remember vividly hearing Gabriel Heater, the radio newscaster who kept us apprised, blow by blow, every evening at 6:00 p.m., of the progress of WWII. From the dark days of the German Blitzkrieg against the Low Countries and France, to Pearl Harbor and the dominance of the Pacific by the Japanese his voice rang out in every American home. He gave us information, courage, and hope from the beginning to the end of that definitive war, from May 1939 until September 1945. I remember the anguish we felt when the sweep of the Nazi war machine shut out the lights of freedom and independence in the nations of Scandinavia. Particularly poignant is the memory of the flood of the German Wehrmacht into Denmark on the 9th of April, 1940.

I am immensely grateful, therefore, to Barry Clemson for his psychologically crafted historical novel, Denmark Rising. Here is the story of a stalwart people who would not be provoked to violence while refusing to bow to murderous abuse as their nation was crushed with the hammer of German invasion. Frieda Landau, the military historian who wrote Airborne Rangers declared that this historical novel depicts the spirit of the people of Denmark in those dreaded days, and if Denmark had continued to be able to offer non-violent resistance to the Germans, they would have done it just as Clemson says. While Landau apprises us that Clemson's book is fiction, it is impossible to remember that as one turns the first page and beyond. I could not put it down, and I still believe eveiy page. The characters are vivid, three-dimensional, and real. They are people you and I know on the street, at work, and in church. They are the folks next door. They are us.

The Nazi occupation of Denmark was called Operation Weserübung. From April 1940 to May 1945 they manipulated, abused, and exploited the small country, rich in the resources the Germans needed. Nonetheless, every day they were there was a pyrrhic enterprise for them. The Danes were viewed by the Germans as effete and cowardly because they did not marshal an aggressive defense against the onslaught and a violent resistance to the occupation. However, the consistent, sturdy, passive-aggressive resistance raised from the grassroots of the citizenry made it continually impossible for the Germans to turn their exploitation of the country into a profit until very late in the war, when all was really lost for the Germans anyway. Throughout the occupation the resistance of the Danish people cost the Germans more than they could squeeze from Denmark.

Unlike most other nations dominated by German occupation, Danish institutions and government continued to function simply by refusing to acknowledge that the Germans were there or had any right to be there. The king remained in the country, and when the Germans demanded that he hand over the Jews, he said, "No" and the people backed him. …

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