Sunday, February 15, 2015

Denmark's Jews Going Through Terrorism

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                   
Shooting at synagogue yesterday with Danes leaving flowers afterwards

Jews did not live in Denmark until 1622 when Sephardi Jews were invited to live in Gluckstadt which was then Danish in order to develop commerce.  "Glückstadt, a town actually in Germany, " was founded in 1617 on the marsh lands along the Elbe by the Duke of Holstein, King Christian IV of Denmark, who had levees and fortifications built as well as a  residence. . As Christian IV promised the settlers tax exemption and freedom of religion, Glückstadt soon became an important trading center, intended to compete with the Imperial city of Hamburg, located upstream on the Elbe. After the king had interfered in the Thirty Years' War the town in 1627/28 was besieged for fifteen weeks by the united Imperial and Catholic troops under the command of Albrecht von Wallenstein and Count Tilly, though without success."  By 1657 Frederick III permitted the Sephardim to settle freely in Denmark although German Jews still needed special permission.

Full civic, but not political rights were accorded in 1814 and full equality was achieved in 1849.  Jews achieved distinction in many branches of public and literary life.
In the 20th century, the community was augmented by refugees from eastern Europe.  The relations with the non-Jewish community are friendly and the people of Denmark led nobly by Christian X made great efforts to save Danish Jewry during WWII and assisted most of them to escape to Sweden.  Christian X (Christian Carl Frederik Albert Alexander Vilhelm; 26 September 1870 – 20 April 1947) was the King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947 and the only king of Iceland (where the name was officially spelled Kristján), between 1918 and 1944.
He was the third Danish monarch of the House of Glücksburg and the first member of his family since king Frederick VII to have actually been born into the Danish royal family; both his father and his grandfather were born as princes of a German ducal family. Among his siblings was King Haakon VII of Norway.

The Jewish population in 1990 was 6,500 with most all living in Copenhagan.  In 1969 2,500 Jewish refugees from Poland settled in Denmark.  Today there are also many Muslims living there as there are also in Sweden and Norway.

Yesterday the Danes had their first experience with a terror attack at a synagogue.  It happened hours after an attack  at a discussion involving Lark Vilks at the Krudttoenden Center, a Swedish artist who had drawn a picture of Muhammad as a dog and was on a wanted list by extreme Muslims.  The discussion was on "art, blasphemy and freedom of expression."  After midnight the terrorist shot at 2 police officers standing guard outside a synagogue in downtown Copenhagan  and the Jewish guard, a friend of the lady inside who was giving her daughter a bat mitzva party.  The Jewish guard was shot and killed.  The police officers suffered wounds in their arms and legs.  The synagogue was on Kristal....Street, reminding some of Kristalnaght in Germany, the night Nazis broke into Jewish shops and broke windows and slaughtered Jewish people.

The Danes feel this was an attack against the Danish Jewish community and constituted a breach in long-standing good relations between Denmark and its Jews and was totally unacceptable.  They take security around synagogues very seriously.  These were clearly acts of terrorism.

The Danish police announced that the 22 year old man they shot and killed near a train station in Copenhagan early Sunday was likely the suspect behind 2 shooting attacks in the capital.  "Cornered by the police in a narrow street near the railway station in Norrebro, a heavily immigrant, shabby-chic district of Denmark’s capital, the Danish-born attacker opened fire and was killed in a burst of return fire, the police said.   The terrorist had fled the synagogue in a stolen Volkswagon Polo, later found several kilometers away.  Since this was a political act,  it therefore was an act of terror.  What they're omitting was that he was a Muslim according to my Danish neighbor, a lady born in Copenhagan who is following the news in Danish online.  According to CNN, he belonged to a gang and had been in prison earlier. 'He was in prison for criminal offenses linked to weapons violations and violence." "So he had  a criminal record and an abrupt transition from petty crime to Islamic militancy.   "The Danish news media identified him as Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, but the Copenhagen police did not confirm his name."   He had shot up the discussion with an automatic weapon with about 40 hits. He was carrying 2 guns; the automatic and another.   It was noted that he was in trouble in 2013.  "A Copenhagen police statement issued in November 2013 asked for help in finding a suspect by the same name who was wanted at the time in connection with a stabbing on a commuter train. The police noted then that the suspect “should be considered dangerous.”

Extremist Islamic terrorism has struck Europe again. It was like a copycat of the Paris terrorism a month ago.
Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

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