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In pictures: Denmark during World War Two and today

What did Denmark look like as an occupied country during the Second World War?

In pictures: Denmark during World War Two and today
Composite: Ritzau Scanpix, Depositphotos

Take a look at these historical images from around Copenhagen to compare wartime Denmark with the same locations today.


A Red Cross ambulance at City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen), Copenhagen 1945

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

Crossing between two Copenhagen districts, Amager and Christianshavn in 1942.

The crossing is no longer a roundabout and is now known as Christmas Møllers Plads, named after John Christmas Møller, a former leader leader of the Danish Conservative party who was active in the resistance to the Nazi occupation and fled to London in 1942.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

On the first day of the the occupation on April 9th, 1940, cars were parked across Copenhagen's streets so that German forces could control traffic in and out of the capital. This image shows Sølvgade at the heart of the city.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

The below image shows German aircraft over royal residence Amalienborg on the same day.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

People queue to buy coffee during rationing; the same shop exists at the location today.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

Bunkers being dug at Christianshavn in 1944.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

A strike on famous Copenhagen street Istedgade, in the Vesterbro neighbourhood, 1944. 

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

A gas-driven ambulance on Vesterbrogade, Copenhagen 1942. Swastikas can be seen on the facade of the building on the opposite side of the road.

Photo: Sven Gjørling / Ritzau Scanpix

Some things do resemble life in modern-day Copenhagen. Cyclists near Christiansborg, 1940.

Photo: Ritzau Scanpix

The Langlinie Pavilionen was destroyed in 1944 by the Schalburg Corps a German and Danish collaborator group which carried out revenge actions against the Danish resistance movement. A new building was constructed in its place after the war.

Photo: Vittus Nielsen / Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark was liberated by Allied troops on May 5th, 1945. Here at Gammel Torv, a central square in Copenhagen.

Photo: Sven Gjørling / Ritzau Scanpix

SEE MORE: Denmark in days gone by:

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‘Lost’ manuscript of pro-Nazi French author published 78 years later

A book by one of France's most celebrated and controversial literary figures arrives in bookstores this week, 78 years after the manuscript disappeared

'Lost' manuscript of pro-Nazi French author published 78 years later

It is a rare thing when the story of a book’s publication is even more mysterious than the plot of the novel itself.

But that might be said of Guerre (War) by one of France’s most celebrated and controversial literary figures, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, which arrives in bookstores on Thursday, some 78 years after its manuscript disappeared.

Celine’s reputation has somehow survived the fact that he was one of France’s most eager collaborators with the Nazis.

Already a superstar thanks to his debut novel Journey to the End of the Night (1932), Celine became one of the most ardent anti-Semitic propagandists even before France’s occupation.

In June 1944, with the Allies advancing on Paris, the writer abandoned a pile of his manuscripts in his Montmartre apartment.

Celine feared rough treatment from authorities in liberated France, having spent the war carousing with the Gestapo, and giving up Jews and foreigners to the Nazi regime and publishing racist pamphlets about Jewish world conspiracies.

For decades, no one knew what happened to his papers, and he accused resistance fighters of burning them. But at some point in the 2000s, they ended up with retired journalist Jean-Pierre Thibaudat, who passed them – completely out of the blue – to Celine’s heirs last summer.

‘A miracle’
Despite the author’s history, reviews of the 150-page novel, published by Gallimard, have been unanimous in their praise.

“The end of a mystery, the discovery of a great text,” writes Le Point; a “miracle,” says Le Monde; “breathtaking,” gushes Journal du Dimanche.

Gallimard has yet to say whether the novel will be translated.

Like much of Celine’s work, Guerre is deeply autobiographical, recounting his experiences during World War I.

It opens with 20-year-old Brigadier Ferdinand finding himself miraculously alive after waking up on a Belgian battlefield, follows his treatment and hasty departure for England – all based on Celine’s real experiences.

His time across the Channel is the subject of another newly discovered novel, Londres (London), to be published this autumn.

If French reviewers seem reluctant to focus on Celine’s rampant World War II anti-Semitism, it is partly because his early writings (Guerre is thought to date from 1934) show little sign of it.

Journey to the End of the Night was a hit among progressives for its anti-war message, as well as a raw, slang-filled style that stuck two fingers up at bourgeois sensibilities.

Celine’s attitude to the Jews only revealed itself in 1937 with the publication of a pamphlet, Trifles for a Massacre, which set him on a new path of racial hatred and conspiracy-mongering.

He never back-tracked. After the war, he launched a campaign of Holocaust-denial and sought to muddy the waters around his own war-time exploits – allowing him to worm his way back into France without repercussions.

‘Divine surprise’
Many in the French literary scene seem keen to separate early and late Celine.

“These manuscripts come at the right time – they are a divine surprise – for Celine to become a writer again: the one who matters, from 1932 to 1936,” literary historian Philippe Roussin told AFP.

Other critics say the early Celine was just hiding his true feelings.

They highlight a quote that may explain the gap between his progressive novels and reactionary feelings: “Knowing what the reader wants, following fashions like a shopgirl, is the job of any writer who is very financially constrained,” Celine wrote to a friend.

Despite his descent into Nazism, he was one of the great chroniclers of the trauma of World War I and the malaise of the inter-war years.

An exhibition about the discovery of the manuscripts opens on Thursday at the Gallimard Gallery and includes the original, hand-written sheets of Guerre.

They end with a line that is typical of Celine: “I caught the war in my head. It is locked in my head.”

In the final years before his death in 1961, Celine endlessly bemoaned the loss of his manuscripts.

The exhibition has a quote from him on the wall: “They burned them, almost three manuscripts, the pest-purging vigilantes!”

This was one occasion – not the only one – where he was proved wrong.