In 1963, Danish entertainer Victor Borge and New York attorney Richard Netter set out to tell the world how ordinary people in Scandinavia reached out at great personal risk during the Second World War to rescue thousands of their fellow Jewish citizens. They wanted the world to know the story, both for the sake of history, and to set an example for future generations. Together they created Thanks To Scandinavia and were dedicated to its mission all their lives.
Thanks To Scandinavia strives to keep alive the story of the heroic actions of ordinary Danes who mobilized with great courage and speed to save their fellow human beings from murder in the darkest days of World War II; the story of Raoul Wallenberg, whose bravery and compassion continue to awe us today; the story of the Norwegian resistance as well as the Swedish and Finnish governments that aided and protected Jews at a time when few countries would; and the story of the people of Bulgaria and key leaders of the Orthodox Church who saved 50,000 Jews from mass deportation.
They were ordinary people, but in a time of crisis, something extraordinary in them emerged – be it courage or a deep sense of humanity – and they became heroes.
Thanks To Scandinavia honors their heroism by providing students from the Scandinavian countries – and more recently, from Bulgaria – with more than 3500 scholarships over the past five decades. The scholarships are a symbol of gratitude for the past and a concrete contribution to our common future.
TTS has also supported a host of public programs for children and adults about this important chapter in history, funded by a $6 million endowment.
- Telling the inspiring story of how Scandinavians and Bulgarians protected thousands of their Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust years;
- Granting educational opportunities to students in continued gratitude;
- Building relationships among Scandinavians, Bulgarians, Americans, and Jews worldwide that are vibrant today and into the future