ON November 5, 1942, a new German Minister to Denmark, Dr. Karl Rudolf Werner Best, arrived in Copenhagen to replace von Renthe-Fink, a career diplomat who had represented the Reich in Denmark since pre-Nazi days. The new Minister, a high SS officer and Gestapo official, has been in the Foreign Service for only about six months and during this time is said to have elaborated a "European constitution" in accordance with the ideas he formulated last year in his "Grossraumordnung und Grossverwaltung." His arrival was greeted with the greatest apprehension by the Danes, who with their usual sense of irony muttered that they expected a "best-ial" future.
Everything indicates that these Danish apprehensions are justified and that the autonomy which the Germans have permitted occupied Denmark for more than two and a half years is ending. The Nazis seem to have concluded that the preferential treatment which they have accorded the Danes has not paid. It has not won their sympathy and recently has not prevented sabotage from increasing throughout the country. And with North Africa in Allied hands the German supply situation is now so tense that the Nazis cannot afford to look too far ahead and consider what will happen next year if they proceed to empty their Danish storehouse this winter.
Even before Best arrived with his ominous title of "special plenipotentiary of the Führer," the Germans had presented a list of far-reaching demands to Foreign Minister Erik Scavenius, whom they called to Berlin at the end of October. The most important demand was that a new Danish Government, in which the Germans "could have confidence," be formed not later than November 8. After long consultation with all parties, the Buhl Cabinet decided, on the night of November 7, to yield to German pressure and a Cabinet headed by Scavenius was formed.
Because of his signature of the Anti-Comintern Pact and because of several pro-German utterances Scavenius is one of the most unpopular politicians in Denmark today, and we can take
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