Copenhagen was a Gathering place for the Missionaries
Contributor: MDSIMS Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Charles Jr. Jenkins (Chuck)
While Chuck was on his mission in Frankfurt Germany, He arrived at mission headquarters in Frankfurt just as ominous war clouds gathered over Central Europe. The Hitler regime increased its terrible persecution of the Jews and laid plans to invade neighboring countries. On August 25, Charles Jr. and his companion, Elder Alfred W. Alder received a telegram from the mission president instructing them to leave for Rotterdam immediately. But as they were about to leave they were taken into custody by police officers; however, they were released shortly afterward and allowed to proceed. Upon arrival at the Dutch border they were stopped for lack of visas and ordered to return to Emmerich, Germany, where they spent the night locked in a railroad station with a group of Jewish refugees, guarded by soldiers.
Other missionaries arrived from Frankfurt with tickets to England for all the Elders in the group which now totaled nine. Again they traveled by train to the Dutch border where they observed hundreds of frightened Jews huddled together at the station. Charles has a graphic memory of a Jewish father on his knees, begging sanctuary for his family from the Dutch authorities. Again the harassed Elders were refused entrance and were returned to Emmerich in an over-crowed train. They were then routed to Hamburg and put off the trains many times en-route and often subjected to search and interrogation. Finally on August 28th the wary missionaries crossed the Danish border and traveled on to Copenhagen, having had little sleep and no food, except for a few shared candy bars, for three days. They were the 1st missionaries to be evacuated from Nazi Germany prior to the great war.
Copenhagen was the gathering place for the missionaries leaving Europe who now numbered over 600. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, of the council of the Twelve, was present to direct the evacuation.
On September 1 Hitler’s armies invaded Poland. Two days later England declared war on Germany. Charles Jr. did not obtain passage until September 15th when he boarded an over-crowed freighter for a D-day voyage through stormy seas to Bergen, Norway and then to New Jersey, USA. In early October he was reassigned to the North Central States Mission, Where he completed his missionary service in less troubled circumstances.
(Speaking of Copenhagen… Earl Brown wrote the lyrics of the song “Beautiful Copenhagen”,)
The lyrics go like this:
Come along, come with me to Beautiful Copenhagen, Wonderful Copenhagen, heavenly Copenhagen, Never hoped to see or thought I’d be in Beautiful Copenhagen, Beautiful Copenhagen by the sea. Beautiful Copenhagen, Copenhagen, gee but it’s good to be here, so many things to see here, The hospitality is really wonderful, wonderful in wonderful Copenhagen, Beautiful Copenhagen you’re for me. Now, everyone you meet on a Danish street, They greet you with a smile and a big hello. It doesn’t matter where ‘cause all the people there are just the kind of people you’d like to know. So! Won’t you come with me? Come and see wonderful Copenhagen, You’ll love it in Copenhagen, Beautiful Copenhagen by the sea. Wonderful Copenhagen, Beautiful Copenhagen Dear old Copenhagen by the sea.