For five years, the occupation covered Denmark like a dark blanket. Not least the village Bjerre, a short way outside Horsens. However, on 5 May 1945, cheer erupted and the streets were filled with festive people who celebrated the liberation. However, the joy at the newly acquired freedom was quickly replaced by a need for revenge – those responsible now had to be punished. The emotional judicial purge commenced – also in the gaol Bjerre Arrest.
Bjerre Arrest 1945 is based on historical events relating to the arrest, the occupation and the liberation of Denmark. The performance takes place where historical events played out. Along the way, you will experience the many stories and historical events explained through lights, images, sounds and words.
The performance is set in the old, listed gaol. The actors will take you through the three floors of the building – the cells of the prisoners, the courtroom and the private quarters of the gaoler.
In the performance, you follow the gaoler who both lived and worked in the building. In the time after the liberation, the gaol was full of alleged collaborationists who awaited their punishment but had already been found guilty by the angry crowds.
Bjerre Arrest 1945 is a story about deep emotions and great human fates – about community and punishment.
The show runs from 11 September to 10 October 2020.
Bjerre Arrest was built in 1846 as a combined gaol and court house. Since then, the distinctive white-painted building has been a striking landmark in the small village. From 1923, the gaol formed part of Horsens State Penitentiary. During WWII, the gaol was under German control like the other Danish prisons and gaols so, after the liberation, the prisoners were largely replaced. The gaol was closed in 1956, but the building is still standing.