Telegram Crisis
The Telegram Crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and Germany in October–November 1942 during the German occupation of Denmark
Occupation of Denmark
Nazi Germany's occupation of Denmark began with Operation Weserübung on 9 April 1940, and lasted until German forces withdrew at the end of World War II following their surrender to the Allies on 5 May 1945. Contrary to the situation in other countries under German occupation, most Danish...


The crisis was triggered by the text of a telegram from King Christian X of Denmark
Christian X of Denmark
Christian X was King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947 and the only King of Iceland between 1918 and 1944....

 sent to Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 as thanks for his congratulations on the occasion of King's 72nd birthday on September 26, 1942. The text was a mere, Spreche Meinen besten Dank aus. Chr. Rex (English: Giving my best thanks, King Chr.). Hitler, writing this long congratulatory letter at a personal level, felt that the King's mere remark was outrageous. Hitler also thought that the King showed complete ingratitude for the respect that he had for him. This perceived (and no doubt deliberate) slight greatly outraged Hitler and he immediately recalled his ambassador from Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 and expelled the Danish ambassador from Germany. Attempts to placate Hitler, including a proposal of sending Crown Prince, later King Frederick IX of Denmark
Frederick IX of Denmark
Frederick IX was King of Denmark from 20 April 1947 until his death on 14 January 1972....

, to Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and apologize to Hitler personally, were refused.

In early November 1942, the plenipotentiary
The word plenipotentiary has two meanings. As a noun, it refers to a person who has "full powers." In particular, the term commonly refers to a diplomat fully authorized to represent his government as a prerogative...

, Cecil von Renthe-Fink
Cecil von Renthe-Fink
Cecil von Renthe-Fink was a German diplomat. He was plenipotentiary of Denmark from April 9, 1940 until 1942.He was appointed ambassador to Denmark in 1936. In 1939 he became a member of the Nazi party. After the occupation of Denmark he became plenipotentiary. In 1942 he was replaced by Dr....

, was replaced by Werner Best
Werner Best
Dr. Werner Best was a German Nazi, jurist, police chief, SS-Obergruppenführer and Nazi Party leader from Darmstadt, Hesse. He studied law and in 1927 obtained his doctorate degree at Heidelberg...

 and the commander of the German forces in Denmark Erich Lüdke
Erich Lüdke
Erich Lüdke was a German General of the Infantry who was supreme commander of the German forces in Denmark from 1 June 1940 to 29 September 1942.-Early career:...

 was replaced with the more heavy-handed General Hermann von Hanneken
Hermann von Hanneken (soldier)
Hermann Konstantin Albert Julius von Hanneken was a German General of the Infantry who was supreme commander of the German forces in Denmark from 29 September 1942 to January 1945.-Early career:...

, and all remaining Danish troops were ordered out of Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

. German pressure also resulted in the dismissal of the government led by Vilhelm Buhl
Vilhelm Buhl
Vilhelm Buhl was Prime Minister of Denmark from 4 May 1942 to 9 November 1942 as head of the Unity Government during the German occupation of Denmark of World War II, until the Nazis ordered him removed...

 and its replacement with a new cabinet led by non-party member and veteran diplomat Erik Scavenius
Erik Scavenius
Erik Julius Christian Scavenius was the Danish foreign minister 1909–1910, 1913–1920 and 1940–1943, and prime minister from 1942 to 1943. His cabinet resigned in 1943 and suspended operations...

, whom the Germans expected would be more cooperative.

Background to the crisis was not only the famous telegram, but also a growing dissatisfaction in the German leadership – and especially Hitler – with the situation in Denmark, where the resistance movement was starting to be felt.
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