A Great Danish American Birthday - Bent Lernø

  • January 22, 2022
  • January 22, 2024
  • 3 sessions
  • January 22, 2022 (CST)
  • January 22, 2023 (CST)
  • January 22, 2024 (CST)


Bent Lernø was born January 22, 1927 in Charlottenlund, Denmark as the youngest of seven children of Russian and German Parents.  Bent finished ten years of schooling in Denmark, but in 1943 he escaped the Germans and went to Sweden where he joined the Danish Danforce Brigade.  He returned to Denmark on May 5, 1945 and stayed with Danforce and helped the Danish Resistance fighters capture the remaining Nazi and Danish traitors.

Photo: Bent Lernø 1996 interview for the USC Shoah Foundation Jewish Holocaust Survivors project

See the interview here

Bent stayed in Denmark and served a four years apprenticeship as a tool and die maker and gained experience working for some Danish experts in his field.

In 1950 he left for New York, where he had some relatives.  He studied English at night and worked several small industrial jobs.  Eventually, he and a few friends set off for Houston, Texas where Bent got a job making tools for the oil drilling industry.

In 1954 Bent made a trip back to Denmark where he got married and returned to the U.S.  - this time to Los Angeles where he eventually got a job at Litton Industries whom he worked for until his retirement in 1983.

Bent was an active member of numerous Danish clubs and was always the life of the party.  He was on the board of directors of the Rebild Society, attended the Rebild festival in Aalborg on many occasions and was honored as "Mayor for a Day" of the city of Aalborg.  He was also on the board of the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Iowa.

Photo: Lernø as a member of the Danish "Danforce" in 1944-45

Bent was an eloquent speaker and spoke at many schools and at the Shoah Foundation about his war experience and the Danish people's effort to rescue the Danish Jews.

He died July 4, 2010 in Simi Valley, CA. - from The Danish Pioneer

National Foundation for Danish America
PO Box 1003
Wilmette, Illinois 60091

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