The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark

by Carmen Agra Deedy and Henri Sorensen

“Early in the year 1940, in the country of Denmark, there were only Danes.... read more

“Early in the year 1940, in the country of Denmark, there were only Danes. Tall Danes. Short Danes. Old Danes. Silly Danes. Cranky Danes . . . and even some Great Danes. But no matter how different from each other they seemed, the Danes held one thing in common. All were loyal subjects of their beloved King Christian.” At one point during the World War II occupation of Denmark, the Nazis required all Jews to identify themselves by wearing a yellow Star of David on their outer clothes. According to legend, King Christian X of Denmark became frightened on behalf of his Jewish subjects. “Without the yellow star to point them out, the Jews looked like any other Danes. Gentiles and Jews were all Danish subjects who worshiped God in different ways. If King Christian called on the tiny Danish army to fight, Danes would die. If he did nothing, Danes would die.” The king appeared unescorted in public the next day wearing a yellow star. Other Gentiles were inspired to wear yellow stars, too, and so the Nazi edict lost its frightful power. Sørensen’s full-color paintings expand the bold act of solidarity in this account. In two pages at the end of the picture book, Deedy lists documented facts and points out a universal truth in the legend. (Ages 6-9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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