Guest blogger Niels Møller Jensen, owner of My Danish Roots
Since 1969, Københavns Stadsarkiv (Copenhagen City Archive) has received memoires from Copenhageners and in 1995, a total of 1,200 memoirs were submitted to the archive. 300 of them were available to the public already then but other 800 memoires have been stored for 25 years at the archive. Now they are finally available to anyone curious.
The memoires are a historic goldmine where ordinary Copenhageners speak out about life in Copenhagen in the period 1920-1960. It was a time of economic depression, housing shortages and unemployment, the German occupation and the English liberation, and post-war recovery and expansion of the welfare state.
The memoires are about big and small events of the city history and the communities, but also about the contributors’ own lives with joys and sorrows. The memoires bring us closer to everyday life as it unfolded with family, old apartments, outdoor toilets, hard work, washing Sundays and with vacations, holidays, and wartime.
World War II fills a lot of the memoires and they offer different perspectives on everyday life during the war. One can read eyewitness accounts on such different topics as black-market trading, rationing, resistance struggle, bombings, flights, and seized schools.
With the new memories, the archive expands the collection, so that there are now approx. 3,500 digital and searchable Copenhagen stories freely available on the archive’s website. The collection not only gets a larger scope, but now it also deals with other times and topics.
The collection is a favorite source among scholars and historians. Unlike much of the archive’s other collections, which contain more official and administrative narratives about the city’s history, the memoires are personal and no two are alike.
The memoires are also exciting reading for those interested in Danish history. They are written by ordinary people and are about their experiences in Copenhagen.
Here you can search for possible memories for your Danish family. Our example is by using the last name Hansen.
If you need help with the search or with Danish genealogy, you are welcome to ask for a consultation completely free of charge by My Danish Roots