October 14: Royal facts and fables

'The story of the Danish king during WWII has been widely spread and used by many other Danish and foreign authors.'

October 13, 2007 20:58
4 minute read.
letters March 2008

letters good 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Royal facts and fables Sir, - In "The 'Star of David' brand' (October 10), Stephen Sinclair recalls the act of King Olaf of Norway in 1940 when the Nazis decreed that, as of the next day, the Jews must wear the Star of David on their clothing. As an act of solidarity, the King, too, added the star to his jacket. Kitty Kelley in the Chapter Notes to her book The Royals wrote that in Leon Uris's novel Exodus, the King of Denmark was reported to have transmitted a message to all Danes regarding the Nazi command that Danish Jews must wear a Star of David: "The King has said that one Dane is exactly the same as the next Dane. He himself will wear the first Star of David, and he expects that every loyal Dane will do the same." The next day, so it was said, the residents of Copenhagen stood in the town square wearing armbands with the Star of David and the following day the Germans rescinded the order. To check the veracity of the historical incident, Kelley wrote to the palace in Denmark and continued, "The following reply from the Lord Chamberlain of Denmark made me wish I had never inquired. It taught me a lesson about the facts and fables and fantasies of royalty: With regard to the incident described in Exodus by Leon Uris (1958), the following information regarding King Christian X of Denmark's attitude toward the Jews can be supplied: 1. In 1933, after Hitler's takeover, the King attended a service in the synagogue. 2. In 1941, after the German occupation, the King in a personal letter condoled the Jewish community due to a fire in the synagogue. 3. In October 1943, the King in a personal letter to Ribbentrop warned him against interning the Danish Jews. King Christian never wore the David Star and nothing is related for sure that he eventually threatened to do so.... "Almost apologetically, he concluded his letter to me: 'The story has been widely spread and used by many other Danish and foreign authors.'" MARTIN BAR-SHALEM Jerusalem Sensible approach Sir, - As a means of preventing the unforgivable crime of depriving our kids of even a few days, let alone months, of sorely needed schooling, as well as depriving the teachers of their salaries, Maurice Ostroff's suggestion to arbitrate is a truly sensible approach to achieving a fair solution ("Today's lesson," Letters, October 11). I do not know how to go about it, but if any reader is able to organize an Internet petition urging the treasury and the teachers' union to adopt his proposal, I am sure thousands would be anxious to sign it. BRENDA COHEN Tel Aviv Begin at the beginning Sir, - While I fully agree with the new dress code being implemented in the Knesset, I feel it is more important to start at the beginning, in the classroom, where the Ministry of Education should apply the same dress codes. It would lead to more respect and decorum in our schools ("No jeans here, Knesset fashion police declare," October 9). JEANETTE MEYER Jerusalem Waste of time? Sir, - Now that the Winograd Committee has been effectively defanged by the constant postponements to the release of its report and by the rumors that there will be "no personal recommendations against any political or military higher-ups," it appears that any pressure to expeditiously publish the final report will only reveal the sad fact that the obstructionism has succeeded beyond the apparent targets' wildest expectations ("Time to report," Editorial, October 10). FAY DICKER Lakewood, New Jersey Bring it back Sir, - It seems only fair that the Bank of Israel should return the one agora piece into circulation. Many times I have been forced to pay an extra agora for an item whose sale price was really 99 agurot, but was rounded up. The store management calls it a sale, but the store profits from the coin that can't be returned to me as my rightful change ("Paying with plastic to get new meaning," October 8). CHAYA HEUMAN Ginot Shomron On the money Sir, - Re Kevin Cowherd's "Panic at the ATM machine" (UpFront, September 28): Recently my London daughter was visiting me. Unable to reach the ATM machine as I am in a wheelchair, I asked her if she would take money out for me. She inserted the card in the slot and fed in the correct information, fearful all the while that the card would get chewed up. A few seconds later it was spewed out and my daughter fled with it in her hand. Running up to me, she said, "I must find a machine with English instructions... I think this one doesn't work!" Already several meters away, we were stopped by a loud voice calling: "Hey, wait! Wait!" Looking back, we saw, to our amazement, a young man with his hands full of notes, shouting, "You forgot to take your money!" ROSEMARY LEVIN Netanya Tomato travesty Sir, - Our tendency to copy the nuttier customs of Europeans and others saddens me - like the Tomato Festival in the Besor region (Photo, September 25). Instead of encouraging people to cavort in a "mosh pit," why couldn't the tomatoes have been sent for canning and distribution to the needy, or to hospitals? What next - bull running along Allenby St. or bull fighting in Teddy Stadium? HAROLD LEWIN Jerusalemm

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