Holger Danske (Resistance Group)
Holger Danske was the biggest resistance group in Denmark with approximately 350 members. The group was active from 1943 to 1945, mainly in the Copenhagen area.
The resistance group Holger Danske was founded in the spring of 1943.
Holger Danske was the biggest resistance group in Denmark during the Second World War, and had approx. 350 members at the end of the war. During the war, the group lost 65 members, who was either executed by the Germans or lost their lives while executing sabotage operation. Holger Danske was unraveled by the Germans twice but they couldn’t identify all the group’s members, which made it possible for the group to continue until the end of the war.
Holger Danske consisted of several subgroups, who did not have any internal contact with each other. This system was develop as a safety measure, which ensured that the resistance could continue even if one subgroup was caught by the Gestapo. In total, Holger Danske completed approx. 100 sabotage operations during the war. Some of the biggest operations happened in 1943 with the bombardment of the Forum-halls and in 1944 with the attack on B&W.
The Holger Danske group implemented fewer sabotage operation than e.g. BOPA, since the group’s main objective was to execute informants. The members of Holger Danske are attributed to approx. 200 executions of informants.
Jørgen Haagen Schmith, aka "The Lemon" (Citronen), and Bent Fauerschou-Hviid, aka “The Flame” (Flammen), were part of the Holger Danske resistance group. Both of which lost their lives in 1944 when Gestapo tried to arrest them. The Flame and The Lemon participated in additional sabotage operations for Holger Danske's subgroups. However, they are both mainly remembered for the executions of informatants.
The resistance group was inspired by the legendary Danish hero Ogier the Dane, also known as Holger Danske, when they had to come up with a name for the group. The legend says that Ogier the Dane will wake up and defend Denmark if Denmark is ever threatened.