We Share the Same Sky

 

Chapter III: This House Has Memories
Rachael journeys to a Danish farm that belongs to the granddaughter of Jensine—Hana’s foster mother during the war. Throughout this time, Rachael experiences a deep loss of her own and it completely changes the way that she understands her grandmother’s story.
Learning Objectives:
  • Understand how the culture of non-discrimination in Denmark reflected both personal and institutional norms.
  • Reflect on what people do to find safety and normalcy in the face of violence and upheaval.
  • Hana’s participation in the Zionist Youth Group made her eligible to be part of a rescue mission that took Czech Jewish teens from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Denmark.  They were placed on foster farms so they could learn agricultural skills with the intention of emigrating to Palestine. But, because of the war, most of the Czech teens remained in Denmark, moving from one farm to another every six months. Every few weeks they would get together to hang out, gossip, compare stories about their new lives in the Danish countryside and talk in their native language. On holidays they would practice Jewish tradition and culture. This practice was a connection not just to each other, but also to their families that they left back in Czechoslovakia. It was also a symbol of the life they hoped to live in Palestine. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. Hana’s participation in the Zionist Youth Group made her eligible to be part of a rescue mission that took Czech Jewish teens from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Denmark. They were placed on foster farms so they could learn agricultural skills with the intention of emigrating to Palestine. But, because of the war, most of the Czech teens remained in Denmark, moving from one farm to another every six months. Every few weeks they would get together to hang out, gossip, compare stories about their new lives in the Danish countryside and talk in their native language. On holidays they would practice Jewish tradition and culture. This practice was a connection not just to each other, but also to their families that they left back in Czechoslovakia. It was also a symbol of the life they hoped to live in Palestine.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • Hana’s participation in the Zionist Youth Group made her eligible to be part of a rescue mission that took Czech Jewish teens from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Denmark. They were placed on foster farms so they could learn agricultural skills with the intention of emigrating to Palestine. But, because of the war, most of the Czech teens remained in Denmark, moving from one farm to another every six months. Every few weeks they would get together to hang out, gossip, compare stories about their new lives in the Danish countryside and talk in their native language. Hana’s diaries are full of dramatic retellings of her boyfriends, her breakups and all of the other ups and downs that come with teenagehood. <br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. Hana’s participation in the Zionist Youth Group made her eligible to be part of a rescue mission that took Czech Jewish teens from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Denmark. They were placed on foster farms so they could learn agricultural skills with the intention of emigrating to Palestine. But, because of the war, most of the Czech teens remained in Denmark, moving from one farm to another every six months. Every few weeks they would get together to hang out, gossip, compare stories about their new lives in the Danish countryside and talk in their native language. Hana’s diaries are full of dramatic retellings of her boyfriends, her breakups and all of the other ups and downs that come with teenagehood.

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • In July of 1941, almost two years after arriving to Denmark, Hana moved to a new farm once again. She moved in with a young couple named Jensine and Arne Nygaard. They were just a few years older than her and had just given birth to their first child. Hana had been miserable at her previous farm; the family treated her like a servant and an outcast in the home. But Jensine treated her like family -- with warmth and kindness. Hana wrote home to her parents, “You can not imagine how important is a place, where people live, how much influence it gives, how it is transforming. Here I am walking every day and singing and I do not miss anything. Of course it is not perfect, but when I came here I felt like ‘home.’ It is so fine like ‘at home,’ so fine, so trustful and open. I don’t have any other world than ‘home.’”<br/><br/>Photo courtesy of <i>We Share The Same Sky</i> archive. In July of 1941, almost two years after arriving to Denmark, Hana moved to a new farm once again. She moved in with a young couple named Jensine and Arne Nygaard. They were just a few years older than her and had just given birth to their first child. Hana had been miserable at her previous farm; the family treated her like a servant and an outcast in the home. But Jensine treated her like family -- with warmth and kindness. Hana wrote home to her parents, “You can not imagine how important is a place, where people live, how much influence it gives, how it is transforming. Here I am walking every day and singing and I do not miss anything. Of course it is not perfect, but when I came here I felt like ‘home.’ It is so fine like ‘at home,’ so fine, so trustful and open. I don’t have any other world than ‘home.’”

    Photo courtesy of We Share The Same Sky archive.
  • In July of 1941, almost two years after arriving to Denmark, Hana moved to a new farm once again. She moved in with a young couple named Jensine and Arne Nygaard. They were just a few years older than her and had just given birth to their first child. Hana had been miserable at her previous farm; the family treated her like a servant and an outcast in the home. But Jensine treated her like family -- with warmth and kindness. This picture of Hana working was found in Jensine’s family photo albums, almost 70 years after the last time they communicated. Hana is on the right, doing her farm chores as the children play. <br/><br/>Photo of the photo taken by Rachael Cerrotti / 2013 In July of 1941, almost two years after arriving to Denmark, Hana moved to a new farm once again. She moved in with a young couple named Jensine and Arne Nygaard. They were just a few years older than her and had just given birth to their first child. Hana had been miserable at her previous farm; the family treated her like a servant and an outcast in the home. But Jensine treated her like family -- with warmth and kindness. This picture of Hana working was found in Jensine’s family photo albums, almost 70 years after the last time they communicated. Hana is on the right, doing her farm chores as the children play.

    Photo of the photo taken by Rachael Cerrotti / 2013