L-groups

L-group
L-gruppe
LeadersEinar Sørensen
Henrik Wessel Platou
Dates of operation1940 - 1945
Group(s)North, South, Central
HeadquartersAarhus, Denmark
Active regionsJutland
Sizec. 10
Part ofModstandsarmbaand.jpg Danish resistance movement
OpponentsNazi Germany German Occupying Forces
Battles and warsSecond World War

The L-groups (Danish: L-gruppe) was a resistance group tasked with assassination of Danish collaborators and German forces occupying Denmark during the Second World War. The precursor to the group was established in 1940, but it was most active from 1944 to the end of the war. The group carried out at least 18 assassination operations and killed between 20 and 30 people. In 1945 the group was hard hit by arrests and killings of its members and further suffered a very high death-rate in the years immediately after the war with suicides and accidents killing a number of members. The group had strong ties to the Danish police, with 5 of its members being police officers.

History

The L-groups can be traced back to Hans Krarup Andreasen from Silkeborg, one of the earliest recorded Danish resistance members.[1] Working on his own, Krarup conducted sporadic sabotage against German authorities in 1940, and over the following years, his brothers Niels and Ulrik joined him. The group worked primarily with railway sabotage in and around Silkeborg. In the spring of 1944, Krarup contacted the resistance movement in Aarhus. The Aarhus groups counted among them two police officers: Einar Sørensen and Henrik Platou, who had shot the informant Karl Vilhelm Gustav Jeger in Aarhus in January 1944, and it was agreed to form a dedicated assassination group with them as the backbone.[2]

The L-groups was officially formed over the summer of 1944, and in August the first assassinations occurred. On 4 October 1944, the Special Operations Executive agent Kjeld Toft-Christensen arrived from England and joined the group as a liaison officer and trainer.[3] In the fall of 1944 the group was divided in two, with Einar Sørensen and Henrik Platou taking control of one each. Henrik Platou's group was based in Aalborg and was to cover central and southern Jutland, while Einar Sørensen's was based in Aarhus with northern Jutland as its operational area.[4] The two groups were to subsequently recruit reliable locals within their areas and expand. L-group North initially counted Hans Krarup Andreasen, Svend Ulrich Pedersen and Vagn Nørlund Christensen with Henrik Platou as group leader. Sigurd Vestergaard Christensen, Jørgen Christian Jensen, Kjeld Toft-Christensen and Carl Johan Nielsen formed L-group Central with Einar Sørensen as group leader.[5]

The groups settled into their new roles, and through 1944, performed a total of 10 operations against 10 targets. However, in early 1945, L-group North was destroyed. On 27 January Svend Ulrich Pedersen was killed on his 22nd birthday by the Gestapo during a shoot-out which also cost the lives of two Gestapo members.[6] One month later, on 14 February, Henrik Platou was wounded during an assassination attempt leading to his later arrest on 21 February and execution in March. On 21 February, the Gestapo also raided the residence of Vagn Nørlund Christensen and Krarup Andreasen; Krarup was discovered and committed suicide by shooting himself, but Nørlund escaped through a bay window in the roof. Nørlund was subsequently sent to Vejle to start a new group, L-group South, with Svend Middelboe Jensen to cover southern Jutland.[7]

Of the 10 original members of the L-group, 4 were killed during the war and another 2 committed suicide in the months following it; only one is known to have survived the decade after the war.

Members

Name Occupation Codename Group Born Died Cause
Hans Krarup Andreasen[8] Lumberjack "Mogens" North (1913-09-13)13 September 1913 21 February 1945(1945-02-21) (aged 31) Suicide during arrest
Henrik Platou[9] Police officer "Knud" North (1918-01-31)31 January 1918 10 March 1945(1945-03-10) (aged 27) Executed
Svend Ulrich Pedersen[10] Machinist "Kjeld" North (1923-01-27)27 January 1923 27 January 1945(1945-01-27) (aged 22) Killed
Vagn Nørlund Christensen[11] Police officer "Anker" North, South c. 1913[12] - -
Jørgen Christian Jensen[13] Police officer "H.C." Central (1901-07-18)18 July 1901 8 May 1945(1945-05-08) (aged 43) Killed
Einar Sørensen[14] Police officer "Leif" Central (1914-02-06)6 February 1914 1 September 1945(1945-09-01) (aged 31) Suicide
Kjeld Toft-Christensen[3] Special Operations Executive "Dahl" Central (1910-06-19)19 June 1910 27 September 1945(1945-09-27) (aged 35) Suicide
Sigurd Vestergaard Christensen[15] Politician "Ole" Central (1910-08-17)17 August 1910 30 July 1945(1945-07-30) (aged 34) Car accident
Carl Johan Nielsen[16] Merchant "Johan med røven" Central (1909-07-25)25 July 1909 24 December 1981(1981-12-24) (aged 72) Natural causes
Svend Middelboe Jensen[17] Police officer South (1908-05-15)15 May 1908 2 November 1953(1953-11-02) (aged 45) Suicide

Operations

References

  1. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 20.
  2. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 68.
  3. ^ a b "K. Toft Christensen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  4. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 76.
  5. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 81.
  6. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 85.
  7. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 87.
  8. ^ "Hans Krarup Andreasen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Henrik Wessel Platou" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Svend Ulrich Pedersen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Vagn Nørlund Christensen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  12. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 201:"Midt i december 2000 besøger fotografen og jeg den nu 87-årige pensionist i hans lejlighed i Århus."
  13. ^ "Jørgen Christian Jensen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Einar Sørensen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  15. ^ "Sigurd Vestergaard Christensen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Carl Johan Nielsen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Svend Middelboe Jensen" (in Danish). Danish National Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  18. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 11: "Leif kom ham helt nær, og paa 25 Centimeters Afstand fyrede han. Jeger faldt, og de to Cyklister forsvandt."
  19. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 99.
  20. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 37: "Nu skal det være, sagde Leif. Han rejste sig og skød paa ganske nær Afstand to Skud ind i Nakken paa Siim."
  21. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 122.
  22. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 38: "Leif cyklede op ved Siden af ham, og paa 25 Centimeters Afstand skød han ham gennem Hovedet."
  23. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 40: "Knud bøjede ned i Knæet, for at Kuglen ikke skulde ramme andre i Butikken, og før Landry anede Uraad, var han ramt."
  24. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 156.
  25. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 41: "Schmidt naaede ikke engang at dreje Hovedet, før han var ramt. Leif truede med Revolveren ad Konen — hvem vidste, om ikke ogsaa hun var bevæbnet."
  26. ^ Knudsen 2009, p. 118:"Johannes Marinus Foged Jørgensen blev skudt af Einar Sørensen den 15 december 1944 på en trappe i Folkets Hus i Århus."
  27. ^ a b c d Knudsen 2009, p. 128:"Nytårsaftensdag 1944 skød han arbejdsmand Niels Egon Bekker Christensen i Eckbersbergsgade...den 14. januar likviderede han sammen med 'Ole' købmand Søren Rasmussen Skaade i en restaurant i Tivoli Friheden...den 8. februar var han dækmand for 'Ole' under likvideringen af Schalburgmanden Christian Dahl på Åboulevarden...den 21. februar deltog han i den ti timer lange afhøring og efterføælgende likvidering af Oscar Willi Baggersgaard..."
  28. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 44: "Da fik Leif fri Bane. Han stod med sin Maskinpistol klar og sendte hele Maga-sinets Indhold i Bisp."
  29. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 45: "Ørskov blev ført bort til Forhør, og Sagen var hurtigt oplagt. Dagen efter fandtes hans Lig ved Badmintonhallen."
  30. ^ a b Knudsen 2009, p. 174:"I den nu afdøde Niels Aage Nielsens papirer findes også to håndskrevne lapper, sendt til ham fra Svend Middelboe Jensen. Den ene, dateret 2. maj 1945, rapporterer om likvideringen af maskinarbejder Jørgen Hvid, der blev skudt på sin bopæl i Fredericiagade i Vejle den 1. maj. Den anden, dateret 30. april 1945, starter Kære Ven Herefter meddeles det om en kvinde, Ursula Warthoe, at hun var blevet likvideret I gaar Kl. 17:30, efter at hun i Røde Mølle, Vejle, over for mig havde erkednt, at hun arbejdede for G - formentlig Gestapo."
  31. ^ Borchsenius 1946, p. 46: "Og i Løbet af et Par Sekunder knaldede hans Revolver alle Magasinets otte Skud af. Med den trænede Faldskærmsmands Skydedygtighed anbragte han ved lynsnar Skydning fra Hoften — den saakaldte instinctive shooting — to Skud i Hovedet paa hver af de fire. Dr. Peters, som var »Skyggen«, døde."
Publications
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