02/08/2016 Report, News

In Memory of Helge Hansen

The employers of the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial are mourning the loss of Helge Hansen who died on February 1, 2016 at the age of 93 in the presence of his daughter and his son-in-law.

In 1943 Helge Hansen joined the Danish resistance movement against the German occupiers as a young armament technician. At the age of 21, he taught resistance fighters about weapons and how to use dynamite as well as personally engaged in acts of sabotage. On September 16, 1944, he was arrested, severely tortured and then sentenced to death. The sentence, however, was never carried out. Instead, he ended up on a transport to Neuengamme in January 1945.

There he was forced to work for the Walther factory and to recover dead bodies after the bombing of Hamburg. On April 20, 1945 Helge Hansen and approximately 4000 other Scandinavian prisoners were liberated in the course of the White Buses rescue operation and brought to Sweden via Denmark. He returned home on May 6, 1945.

Helge Hansen had been the chairman of the "Landsforeningen af kz-fanger fra Neuengamme", the Danish association of former Neuengamme prisoners, for many years. In November 2004 he handed a part of the association's archives over to the Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial. He also gave the Memorial his personal items which served as reminders of his imprisonment. Helge Hansen made a contribution to keeping the memory of the horrible Neuengamme history alive in his own clever and endearing way. He will be missed.´

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