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Hans Henrik Cohn

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

Writer: Christina Damgaard Andersen

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

Photographer: Keren-Or Rosenbaum

This is how Hans Henrik describes the events in October 1943. Hans Henrik was born in Copenhagen in 1927. After the German invasion of Denmark, Hans Henrik’s father, who was a prominent diplomat in the Danish Foreign Ministry, moved the family from Copenhagen to Rungsted to be further away from the German troops. In the beginning of September 1943, after the collapse of the Danish government, Hans Henrik’s father concluded that Denmark was no longer safe, and he tried to have Hans Henrik, his younger brother Herluf, and their two cousins sent to Sweden. But someone informed on them, and the escape attempt failed. On October 1st the family took a taxi to Hillerød, where they stayed the first night. After that they stayed in different locations until they could sail from Hornbæk Harbor on the 7th of October. In the middle of the Sound the boat met a ship from the Swedish Navy, and the refugees were transferred to this ship and sailed to Helsingborg. In Sweden the family moved to Stockholm where Hans Henrik’s father continued his diplomatic work for the Danish Embassy. In 1945, when the rest of the family returned home to Denmark, Hans Henrik decided to stay in Sweden to continue his education. He worked for many years in the fur trade, before switching careers to work as a tour guide. Today 96-year old Hans Henrik lives in Copenhagen after having lived and worked all over the world.

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