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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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France to compensate relatives of Algerian Harki fighters

France has paved the way towards paying reparations to more relatives of Algerians who sided with France in their country's independence war but were then interned in French camps.

France to compensate relatives of Algerian Harki fighters

More than 200,000 Algerians fought with the French army in the war that pitted Algerian independence fighters against their French colonial masters from 1954 to 1962.

At the end of the war, the French government left the loyalist fighters known as Harkis to fend for themselves, despite earlier promises it would look after them.

Trapped in Algeria, many were massacred as the new authorities took revenge.

Thousands of others who fled to France were held in camps, often with their families, in deplorable conditions that an AFP investigation recently found led to the deaths of dozens of children, most of them babies.

READ ALSO Who are the Harkis and why are they still a sore subject in France?

French President Emmanuel Macron in 2021 asked for “forgiveness” on behalf of his country for abandoning the Harkis and their families after independence.

The following year, a law was passed to recognise the state’s responsibility for the “indignity of the hosting and living conditions on its territory”, which caused “exclusion, suffering and lasting trauma”, and recognised the right to reparations for those who had lived in 89 of the internment camps.

But following a new report, 45 new sites – including military camps, slums and shacks – were added on Monday to that list of places the Harkis and their relatives were forced to live, the government said.

Now “up to 14,000 (more) people could receive compensation after transiting through one of these structures,” it said, signalling possible reparations for both the Harkis and their descendants.

Secretary of state Patricia Miralles said the decision hoped to “make amends for a new injustice, including in regions where until now the prejudices suffered by the Harkis living there were not recognised”.

Macron has spoken out on a number of France’s unresolved colonial legacies, including nuclear testing in Polynesia, its role in the Rwandan genocide and war crimes in Algeria.