Consequences of War and the Sanctuary

British pilots are on a secret mission 30 September 1944 in Denmark. One of the planes crash because it hits two tall trees.
The tailplane is ripped apart on the Mosquito Jager, and the two young pilots are killed in the crash.

In 1945 people raise a memorial stone in a forest glade at the crash site.

I’ve walked past the glade a few times before, and again today on a spring day.
An elaborately crafted flower is placed here last year in memory of a beloved missing brother.

Early one morning two years ago I passed Hvidekilde in Gribskov.
I had the forest to myself. It isn’t unusual, but the silence was deafening that morning in late November.
The frost lay in the grass and on the meadow horses were looking for food.

By the fireplace stood a man. His outings lay around him. He was in the process of breaking up.
I was about seven meters away, but he saw right through me. Believe me!
That is very uncomfortable being ignored when you are so close to another human being in a deserted place.
That is why, I look directly at him, saying good morning. He answer my greeting with a short murmur, and I went quietly on.

We have experienced it a few times, people in the forest with a different kind of behaviour, which we assume could be people with war trauma.

Former soldiers who seek sanctuary in nature. It is straight forward, because that’s where they got their training.

Now The Danish Defence has arranged for veterans, a kind of halfway houses in the nature.

My walk two years ago from Hvidekilde to Nakkehoved Fyr

16 Comments on “Consequences of War and the Sanctuary

  1. … but he saw right through me. Believe me!
    That is very uncomfortable being ignored when you are so close to another human being in a deserted place …
    indeed it is. This is the room to be friendly to strangers, well, we’d assume it’s so, but encounters can teach you it’s not …
    Halfway houses have a soothing, almost comforting sound for us; here it obviously becomes a new quality. A sanctuary for former soldiers in nature. We like the idea. Lovely post, Hanna!
    Klem, Hanne x

    • Dear Hanne. Thanks for your feedback.
      …Instinctively I reacted with traditional behaviour to get our encounter to look like everyday life.
      In addition to halfway houses in nature the defence also use specially trained dogs that can create security. The dogs are very quiet, and discover instantly if the user is nervous and uneasy. They are trained not to bark.
      Mange gode hilsner til dig, Hanne ❤ X

    • Thanks a lot for your feed back, Isabel. It’s always a great pleasure to collect stories from that forest ❤
      All the best,
      Hanna

    • Hi Panhirsch. The young English soldiers take off in two Mosquito Jagers from a base in England in the afternoon. They were to bomb German aircraft’s in Denmark in Karup, Aalborg and Copenhagen, so that the Germans aircraft couldn’t be used as a resource in northern Germany and Normandy.
      Along the way they came into combat with a German Messerschmitt and was fired upon from the ground from several places.
      The two aircraft are in contact with each other before the forest and everything seems to be in order. Yet, only one aircraft reached home. The young pilots were all 22 years old.
      Cheers,
      Hanna

      • Important mission! I wonder if we documented all such stories.. I believe there are still many not accounted for. Heroes, young men and women, forgotten by history. It’s great we can honour those we know of. Thank you for sharing more details!

      • Thank you for your question! I agree, it is important that we remember history and remember the victims.
        All the best,
        Hanna

  2. Nature can certainly be very calming and healing. I’m so glad that the government has set up a half-way house in nature for veterans. War can have terrible long-lasting consequences. Thank you for this poignant story and beautiful pictures, Hanna.

    • Dear Jane. Thank you for reading ❤ The human brain is amazing but when it comes to traumatizing events it would be nice if the person concerned could stop the film instead of the looping.
      It would be nice if there were no need for those houses but the circumstances are unfortunately against it.
      All the best,
      Hanna

  3. I second Jane. Nature helps and it is great effort to provide the soldiers housing close to nature. Great post Hanna!

    • Thanks a lot, Indah. Many studies have shown the unique impact nature has on humans. That’s another reason for taking good care of “The Magic World” ❤ 🙂
      All the best,
      Hanna

    • No sé si hemos aprendido de la historia. Pero lo menos que podemos hacer es recordar a las víctimas. Gracias por tu comentario, Magnoliae ❤
      Un abrazo,
      Hanna

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