Knud Dyring Dyby (1915 - 2011)

young Danish policeman who helped Jews escape the persecution

Knud Dyring Dyby was a young Danish policeman when in 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, he joined the Resistance movement and ended up being denounced for anti-Germanic activities. Due to the situation, he was forced to use fake names in order not to be discovered.

On October 1st, a fellow police officer, Frej Jessen Petersen, asked him to help save some of his Jewish friends, and he accepted. The two met and Frej Jessen Petersen along with his neighbor, Valdemar Jacobsen, his wife, and children, brought also other Jewish friends with their children. The group was divided into smaller groups, and each of them, led by a member of the Resistance movement (contacted by Dyby) traveled to Nordhavn, an harbour area in Copenhagen. Once the group finally gathered, Dyby with the help of his fisherman friend, Bernhard Ingemann-Andersen, negotiated the fare for the crossing with the captains of the fishing boats, who once agreed, transported the group of Jews to Sweden. Being police officers, Dyby and Frej managed to get in touch with some police comrades of the Coastal Police Department, in this way they managed to limit the inspections and to partially discover the position of the German navy patrol boats. After this operation, over the next 7-10 days, Dyby continued to go to Nordhavn to help other Jewish families escape to Sweden.

Later, remaining in the police, he continued to collaborate with the Danish Resistance movement (within which he was called "CARLSEN"), managing to establish reliable contacts with the Swedish coasts. His main task was to find agreements with fishermen to transport people, information, and materials to Sweden.

On September 19, 1944, the Germans attempted to capture the Danish police officers because they had not helped them to capture the Jews, and they had never opposed the Danish Resistance. That day, in order to capture them, they set off a false alarm for an air raid. However, more than half of the policemen got away with the capture (including Dyby), and joined the liberation movement. Those who were captured ended up in the Buchenwald and Neuengamme concentration camps, along with other members of the resistance. Altogether 2,000 policemen were imprisoned. The behavior of the Danish police was commendable, in fact if, like other police forces in other occupied countries, they had helped the Nazis to capture Jews, a much higher number of them would have ended up in concentration camps.

On December 21, 2004, Mr. Knud Dyring Dyby was recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Yad Vashem.

Andrea Vitello, writer

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