And a Child Shall Lead Them – The Churchill Club of World War II

There are many unusual stories about World War II; I’ve just stumbled across another one.

In April 1940, Denmark fell under Nazi domination.  It was a time a great frustration for the Danish people, and their options were limited since they were Germany’s neighbor.  But while the adults did nothing but curse, there was one group that decided to act — the children.

Resistance started with a teenage group called the RAF Club, inspired by the British Royal Air Force, with simple acts to cause confusion, like destroying German road signs on the way home from school.  They were difficult to catch because they were on bicycles.  When two of them were forced to move, they helped form the more sophisticated Churchill Club (from the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill) with eight teens from the Aalborg Cathedral School in the north of Jutland.  Before they were ultimately arrested in May 1942, they were credited with 25 acts of sabotage.  But since they were children, their punishments were prison terms of two to three years.  But even prison didn’t change their behavior; they managed to escape at night to continue their activities.

Although they were small in number and the actions themselves had limited impact on the war, their greatest effect was restoring hope among the Danish people.  Once again, even small groups can have a major impact, and age doesn’t matter.

Taken from “The Churchill Club of Denmark: A Young Rebellion on Bicycles” by Matthew Kasinec ( ) and the “Churchill Club” ( ).  Also see The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose.


2 comments on “And a Child Shall Lead Them – The Churchill Club of World War II”

    • Bob Welbaum Reply

      Thank you! That’s what I like about history — the stories that never make it into the high school history books.

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