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“Make the difference”

80th anniversary of the operation to save the Danish Jews


Beyond the basic need to testify, the desire to tell the stories of the Holocaust comes from a need to educate, to teach future generations about hatred, indifference and intolerance towards the other and what it can lead to. Sadly, the generation that experienced the Holocaust first-hand is disappearing. A day will come when we will have to change our educational approach to the Holocaust. This day is fast approaching.

October 2023 remarks the 80th anniversary of the Danish rescue operation to Sweden during the Holocaust, in which Danish Jews were smuggled, under the noses of the Nazis, in fishing boats to neutral Sweden. Although a small portion was caught by the Germans, 99% of Danish Jews survived the Holocaust. This served as the inspiration for this international collaboration between Denmark and Israel aimed to document the personal stories of this event. Using photography as an instrument we wished to make history relevant for the present and the future by involving witnesses and documenting their stories, in a project that will make the generations talk together and to the future.

“A small light cannot overcome the immense darkness of the Holocaust in Europe, but it can somehow illuminate something and give hope that there are also good people.” Those words, spoken by Poul Melchior - one of the witnesses documented in this exhibition, describes our vision. The combination of the writers’ words and the photographers’ images, make it possible for the stories of the witnesses to be shared with the world at large and to enter the  hearts of the readers who will learn and draw inspiration from them. It was Bent Melchior, who best described the importance of conveying these messages: “I think the moral is that you have to listen to your conscience. If you feel that there is something to do, don't say: ׳Well, let others׳, but do it yourself. Make the difference.” Bent passed away in 2021, and with the consent of his family, his story is also included in this exhibition. 

Many thanks to the witnesses, photographers and writers who took part and to all those who will continue to participate in the future.

Sincerely yours,
Keren-Or Rosenbaum
Founder of “The Autographers”


A Special Thank you for our partners

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Witness Stories

Bente (Batya) Melchior

"Bente, the very beautiful dress, and the cousin who couldn't swim"

Writer: Omer Afriat

Photographer: Nimrod Gluckman

Birgitte Borgsmidt

"I'm grateful to have found a sense of belonging"

Writer: Julia Vol

Photographer: Julia Vol

Birgit and her twin sister Marianne

"Sisters who have each other’s back"

Writer: Christina Damgaard Andersen

Photographer: Yael Pharhi Gravesen

Kurt Piczenik

“A refugee has one wish, and that is to survive”

Writer: Keren-Or Rosenbaum

Photographer: Keren-Or Rosenbaum

Poul (Pinchas) Melchior

“A small light give hope that there are also good people”

Writer: Ori Levi

Photographer: Nimrod Gluckman

Freddy and Silja Vainer

“A triumph over the Nazis”

Writer: Tamar Akov

Photographer: Anders Clausen

Moshe Hildesheim

“Everything that happened to me was the hand of god”

Writer: Shimrit Turgeman

Photographer Credit: Haim Versano

Salli Besiakov

“Everything was uncertain, we didn’t know anything”

Writer: Christina Damgaard Andersen

Photographer: Keren-Or Rosenbaum

Jytte (Judith) Israel

“I owe my life to the brave people who helped us during the war”

Writer: Christina Damgaard Andersen

Photographer Credit: Yael Pharhi Gravesen

Regina Wardi

“It is important for this story to be told”

Writer: Christina Damgaard Andersen

Photographer Credit: Nissim Salam

Hans Henrik Cohn

“It was a miracle that we survived and came to Sweden”

Writer: Christina Damgaard Andersen

Photographer: Keren-Or Rosenbaum

Bent Melchior

“Make the difference”

Writer: Christina Damgaard Andersen

Photographer: Yael Pharhi Gravesen

Arne Rabuchin

“Thanks to Denmark I am alive”

Writer: Orit Landau

Photographer: Orit Landau

Bent Rosenberg

“This is a story of camaraderie and bravery”

Writer: Tal Raviv

Photographer: Jørgen Windfeld Jensen

Arjeh Kurzweil

“This is a very important story because it is an outstanding event”

Writer: Christina Damgaard Andersen

Photographer Credit: Nissim Salam

About The Autographers
Founded in 2018, “The Autographers” is a global network aimed to connect the community to its local heritage. We enable an innovative approach through the collaboration of photographers, journalists, artists, and people wishing to expand their social awareness and share their experiences with the world.

We utilize art forms to focus on our shared values as human beings and to bridge communities, while placing value on cultural heritage.

For more information look for “The Autographers” at Facebook and instagram. 

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