Our Readers Share: “Putting Things into Perspective”–by Karin Stromgren Campbell

As we are on lockdown here at Fairhaven, I am reminded of being on lockdown in a different way during WWII in Copenhagen, Denmark. Just think…now no soldiers or tanks coming down our driveway, no blacked out windows at night or listening for air raid sirens. Though toilet paper, sugar, and other items are not always available, we are not standing in line waiting to buy whatever is available. Our helpers here go shopping for us and get almost every item ordered.

During the war, my mother stood in line for hours for a small piece of meat or cheese or one or two eggs, chicory being used for coffee, tea, or tobacco. All the shortages happened within a day or two after the German Army marched in. Our drugs are still available and will be delivered, unlike having no medicines or supplies available to Danes and other occupied countries.

Yes, we are on lockdown, but we can still see each other and talk—granted at a 6 foot distance. We miss our family and friends that cannot come in, but mail, phones and all kinds of communications are available to us on the computer with staff helping us, if need be. Contrast that, to no communication out of the country, with a few letters allowed after being censored. I had a friend, who had married an American and lived in the US. She did not know that her Dad had died until 3 years later. We have radio and TV, where you can listen and watch anything you want. In Denmark, we had radio stations, all of them full of German

The kitchen staff is bringing hundreds of meals to the apartments and rooms as ordered…just think of the planning for that. It makes me glad I am old.

Yes, we miss going to church, but our pastors are bringing us inspirational and uplifting messages and many churches are offering online services. Contrast this to our Danish pastors, many whom were executed
because they were hiding Jews and writing letters protesting the Nazi regime. Let us hope our prayers are answered and we will soon be back to normal. It may be a new normal, but this is a strong country and we will overcome this.

This is from the perspective of an independent living apartment dweller. Stay well.

Karin Strömgren Campbell

Note: Karin is in her 80s. She was a little girl in Denmark during World War II. Their family also hid Jewish children in their home for a short time. Karin is a member of Joy Circle at First English Lutheran Church in Whitewater. She lives at Fairhaven Senior Services with her husband, Joe.

BANNER NOTE: We are starting a new feature, “Our Readers Share,” which will be made up of contributions from people just like you, and we felt that this was a fine start for that feature. Please see another article on today’s Banner for further information. Thanks to Karin Stromgren Campbell for our inaugural submission.

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