On Sunday, April 28, we arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, home of Hans Christian Anderson. Our first photo stop on the city tour was the famous statue of The Little Mermaid. She looks very beautiful and sad. A winged monument to the Danes lost in World War I sits near the mermaid. From there we visited the Royal Palace where the crown prince was in residence. It is a beautiful complex of four identical houses making four sides of an octagon with gates between making the other four sides. A tall fur-capped guard stands at the gate.
From the city we drove along the seashore past the village houses where Danes risked their lives hiding Jewish people during World War II. I had read that only 40 of Denmark’s 7000 Jews died during WW II. A Dane, who worked in a government office during the occupation, warned his Jewish friend who organized an evacuation of all the able-bodied Jews the night before they were to be rounded up. The Germans only found elderly and sick people who were unable to travel when they went to their homes for the round-up. The others crossed the narrow sea that divides Denmark from Sweden, which was not occupied. Denmark was the only country in Europe that protected its Jewish people this way. As we drove along this road, our guide confirmed what I had read.
In the afternoon, we visited Lousiana, a museum of modern art and private collection of paintings by Picasso and others as well as sculptures by Arp, Calder, and Miro’. I’m not a fan of modern art, but I found a number of pieces here, both painting and sculpture, that were very moving. I understand that is the purpose of art. One fun piece was called The Big Blue by Jesus Rafael Soto. From here we went to a fortified castle where a sculpture was hanging from a bridge. It was two arms, like a person had fallen in the moat and was climbing out. You have to love the Danes.