Thorkild Svendsen

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Thorkild Svendsen.

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In Service to Country - New and Old

Thorkild Svendsen was born in 1923. At the age of 18 he joined the Danish Resistance in the Aalborg area, serving for 3 years. After the German occupation ended he was immediately drafted into the Danish army in the 9th Battalion, 1st Company. After 9 months’ service the Danish government decided that anyone with proof of Resistance activities did not have to perform additional military service and he was discharged.

Here we see him in his army uniform and also in an image taken on May 5, 1945, when the German army was being ‘escorted’ out of Aalborg. Thorkild is the man on the left in the light trench coat. Also pictured, in the suit coat and cap, is his older brother, Ricart Peter “Pete” Svendsen, who was also in the Resistance. Thorkild was still of draft age when he immigrated to America after the war and had to show proof of his Danish wartime service in order to be excused from serving in the American army. He lived primarily in Chicago until his death in 1977. “Pete” Svendsen (1913-1972) also immigrated to the U.S. about 1952.

  • Photograph courtesy of Betty L. Svendsen.

  • Photograph courtesy of Betty L. Svendsen.