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Bent Rosenberg

“This is a story of camaraderie and bravery”

Writer: Tal Raviv

“This is a story of camaraderie and bravery”

Photographer: Jørgen Windfeld Jensen

Born in Copenhagen in 1937 to parents who migrated to Denmark from Poland as toddlers, Bent grew up in a peaceful environment, even under the German occupation. However, after the Danish government stepped down in August 1943, life for Jews was no longer safe. Bent’s parents understood the risk and the Rosenberg family quickly moved to a fisherman’s house in North Zealand, where Bent’s father would visit the grocery shop daily to buy bread and learn the latest news. One day, in the beginning of October, Bent’s father learnt the Germans were starting to round up Jews. He rushed home to gather the family. Assisted by the grocery store owner and staff, and sailing with a local fisherman, who was very worried young Bent would be loud and a risk to everyone, the family eventually arrived in Sweden. The journey was rough for Bent, who had to hide at the bottom of the boat, and suffered from sea sickness, but later that day, in Sweden, his father bought him his first ever orange. The family moved into a refugee camp and later settled in Stockholm. In June 1945, Bent, his mother and his siblings, sailed back to Copenhagen. To this day Bent remembers the excitement of arriving at the Danish harbor to the cheers and flag waving of a large Danish crowd. At the central train station Bent’s father waited for them as did the family’s dear neighbor. The neighbor had stored all their furniture and belongings after they had escaped, and now Bent was able to reunite with all his toys. Life went on. Bent grew up to become a beloved teacher at a public high school and raised his own family. He is now the grandfather of seven, and the great-grandfather of two. This coming summer, the extended Rosenberg family will meet in Copenhagen. Some 110 family members are expected to arrive from Denmark, Israel and other parts of the world. “Telling the story is very important for me”, Bent explains. He also wrote a book about his escape to Sweden. For Bent it is important to speak of the camaraderie and bravery of the Danish people, as it is important to remember what had happened in other places, where people did not insist strongly enough on what is right.

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