Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Terrence George Leonhardy
LEONHARDY: Well, it was very interesting because when I got into the harbor of Copenhagen, I saw all these German boats, you know, with the black cross (the Iron Cross) on them. And there were still a lot of Danish underground people; members of the Resistance. All they had was armbands to identify themselves and they would take people off the streetcars once in a while, and so forth. And we were first housed in the office. First of all, where we resided, we were still under SHAFE (Allied Headquarters, Allied Forces Europe), under Eisenhower, and we were resided in the Hotel D'Angleterre which is still one of the oldest, fanciest hotels in Copenhagen. No hot water, however, and we ate (since we were under the British too) in a British mess. It was pretty tiresome stuff because it was lamb stew, you know, about twice a day but, at least, we were allowed to eat our breakfast in the main dining room. We could sign a chit for it and I was there for, or living in that circumstance, for about three or four months, I think it was. Although I was in the D'Angleterre, there was still nothing - at the restaurants, you had to use coupons for mostly everything, even to get an egg for breakfast. Everything was on ration and the Danes, I was told during the war, it was considered patriotic to eat all you could eat to keep it away from the Germans. But after the war it was unpatriotic to eat all you could eat because they had to export to get foreign currency to buy things they needed. And they were terribly short of coal, everything was heated by peat, which was brought in from the islands. It stunk to the high heavens and it was- (end of tape)
And we had no hot water even in the hotel. They would come with a big pitcher and pour it in the bathtub. That was true even when I left there in '49. We had hot water in the apartment buildings about one weekend a month. But anyway, housing was a real problem there, since the Danish housing control would only let somebody sublet for six months. Then you had to move someplace else. We were constantly out of touch with the Department. At the time, I was assigned to the consular section and Consul had never had any consular experience, so he was pretty dependent on me. Then we had nobody running the accounting section. We had some wonderful Danish employees, just top flight, that would been working - some of them were working with the Swiss, some of them were re-hired after the war. They were just terrific people who you could just rely on them, you know.
But anyway, I had to do the accounts, but I didn't do the job by myself; this guy had done it, but I was the responsible officer for the accounts, and for the visa section, and for the passport and citizenship section. One of the tough things we had at the time was we had about, oh, around fifty women, I'd say, who were mostly Americans that had married Danes before the war and received dual citizenship under Danish law. During the war the Germans tried to make a model satellite out of Denmark and they even had an election there in about '43, '44, I think it was. And the National Socialist Party, of course, the Nazi Party in Denmark, was on the ballot with candidates. And these women, or at least most of them, went in and, as Danish citizens, they voted for the opposition party to the Nazis. They thought that was their patriotic duty. Well, what they were doing is losing their citizenship.