In Copenhagen, both the Jewish Museum and the Museum of the Danish Resistance make reference to and display a simple artifact: a train ticket. It is funny, the things that really connect with you. The story of the attempt to save the 8,000 Jews living in Copenhagen from the concentration camps is always moving and at times heroic. Yet this simple piece of pasteboard sticks.
Ulla Skorstengaard has been a pastor at Gilleleje Church since 1996. She has learned the story of that night well, partly from historical study and partly from speaking to some of the old-timers in town, many of whom she has buried.
The church dates from 1538, they think. It is plain and beautiful, with brick floors and wood benches. It started because local fishermen petitioned the king for their own church, and it is not even considered to be particularly old by Danish standards. Yet it has been visited by the Queen of Denmark and the Prime Minister of Israel, among others. “It is special,” Skorstengaard says.
When I first started traveling, I had a theory about sightseeing: you don’t know something sucks until you’ve seen it suck for yourself. That is, you don’t know it’s a waste of time until you’ve wasted the time. Which means, pretty much, that I tried to see everything there was to see, especially the stuff that you were supposed to see.