Prince Frederik makes historic trip to Israel

Crown Prince welcomed by Israeli president during first ever visit by a Danish royal

Crown Prince Frederik made a historic pilgrimage this week, becoming the first Danish royal ever to visit Israel.


Frederik's visit was in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Denmark's effort to save the country's Jews during the Holocaust. Following the invasion of Denmark by the Nazis, more than 7,500 members of the Danish Jewish community were ferried in small boats to unoccupied Sweden to escape persecution. 


The prince attended a memorial ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and toured the site. 


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During his remarks, Frederik said that it was "fantastic to be in Israel".


Shimon Peres, Israel's president, expressed thanks to the people of Denmark for their efforts.


"This was a courageous deed by Denmark's citizens from all walks of life who did not hesitate to act when it was necessary," Peres said. 


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"An exemplary country"

Peres also thanked Denmark for its present-day funding of a health project which trains Palestinian doctors in the treatment of illness for which they were previously unequipped.


"Denmark is an exemplary country in the world, a state based on peace, social justice and caring for people. I believe that’s why you’re admired,” Peres said.


In addition to the Peres, the prince was greeted in Danish by fellow countrymen and former government minister Rabbi Michael Melchior, who is descended from seven generations of Danish rabbis and whose son is currently in Denmark working as a rabbi. 


Frederik was accompanied on the trip by the education minister, Christine Antonini (Socialdemokraterne). 


According to the Jerusalem Post, prior to Prince Frederik's visit, the last time a Scandinavian royal was in Israel was some 900 years ago when Norway's King Sigurd Jorsalfar came a-calling.