Munch-Nielsen was born to a Protestant family
in a small Danish fishing village, Snekkersten. He
was only 14 when German troops occupied Denmark in
1940. Preben soon became a courier in the Danish
resistance movement, and when the Nazis began
hunting down the Danish Jews in October 1943, he
like so many other Danes decided to
and again he risked his life by hiding Jewish
refugees in churches and houses near the shore. He
led them to fishing boats which took them across
the sea to neutral Sweden and safety. Preben
Munch-Nielsen himself had to take refuge in Sweden
in November 1943. He returned to Denmark in May
alive today, Preben Munch-Nielsen is a successful
Danish businessman who was honored for his wartime
heroics by President Bill Clinton in
an interview with Lesley Pearl, The Jewish
Bulletin of Northern California, in 1995 he
emphasized that the Danish Jews were considered
neighbors, friends, schoolmates and nothing
is our history. We have no scapegoats. No pogroms.
No Holocaust. It's so simple," Munch-Nielsen said.
"We didn't recognize Jews as Jews, but as Danes,"
he added. "They were victims of an insane movement
created by lunatics," Preben Munch-Nielsen
"If you wanted to retain your self-respect, you did
what you could .."
Dyby, former policeman, actively participated
in the Danish resistance to the German occupation
of Denmark. A strong sense of decency and
compassion caused him to risk his life to aid
Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust that engulfed
Europe from 1939-1945.
his connections with fishing boat skippers, he
arranged for the secretive transport of Jews to
safety in Sweden and showed great courage in
assisting Jewish families.
conveyed to Swedish safety over thirty Allied
airmen downed behind enemy lines, and saboteurs,
Baltic refugees and others fleeing the Nazis were
smuggled across the narrow body of water between
Denmark and Sweden. Knud Dyby alone was responsible
for as much as eighty percent of the information
that reached Sweden from Denmark in the last months
of 1944 and the first three months of
the war, Knud Dyby emigrated from Denmark,
ultimately settling in the San Francisco Bay
efforts to assist Danish Jews in escaping to Sweden
has been recognized by numerous Jewish
organizations. On November 9, 1999, he was honored
again by the Los Angeles Simon
for his humanitarian efforts during WW II.