Born in Denmark, Christina ’17 is researching an issue very close to home: the evacuation of 93 percent of the Danish Jews to Sweden in World War II.
With the help of Loyola Marymount history professor Elizabeth Drummond, Hayes is researching the causes that contributed to Denmark’s uncommon situation. She has identified three major factors that led to the evacuation: the Danish government’s relations, the breakdown of Nazi ideology and the culture, both religious and secular.
Christina is one of the only researchers in the United States to go into depth about Denmark’s role in World War II. Very few Americans have even heard of the situation.
“You can ask any Dane, and they’ll immediately know what you’re talking about. Then you ask anyone else, and they have no idea,” she said.
Hayes said her history classes only brushed over the Jews in World War II, and her Honors Research project was her way of going into more detail.
“Everyone knows what the Holocaust is. We all understand what it means, but no one really dove into why it happened or the consequences on humanity that it had,” Christina said.
She said that Denmark was a different kind of story than the disheartening genocide many are familiar with. No other European country with persecuted Jews was able to save such a high number from concentration camps.
“It’s such a big, important humanitarian act that occurred that no one knows about, and I’m just shedding light on it,” she said.