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FREEDOM FIGHTERS

By Editor Morten B. Reitoft 

In 1943 a group of young men sabotaged a German army warehouse in the almost middle of nowhere. 16-years old and committed to fighting the German occupation of Denmark, they set the garages and warehouses on fire causing huge damages to the buildings and their content. They even got away from the sabotage and returned to schools. One day, one of the young men, Mogens Henrik Nielsen, was approached by an SS-Officer, which effectively changed the young man's life. His entire family of mother, father, and sister were active in the resistance, and all got caught and sentenced.

Mogens Henrik Nielsen was brought to the Nazi KZ camp Neuengamme outside Hamburg. He lost weight (34 kg, and almost 185 cm high), and he saw friends dying for his eyes; he barely survived. The Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte rescued him along with 31,000 other prisoners.

Celebrated after the war as a freedom fighter, Mogens Henrik Nielsen dedicated his life to supporting other KZ-prisoners and freedom fighters. One incident against the German Nazi Regime changed his life and his future entirely.

Freedom fighters worldwide fight regimes, suppression, and freedom of speech - one of the most essential virtues in a thriving democracy. The printing industry is crucial to the distribution of knowledge, information, opinions- and with print of, in particular, books and magazines content creators, authors, journalists, develop our languages, ideas, and all the things that make our societies enlighted.

Democracy is not a given. Most of us live in democracies where we expect elections. We expect a parliament, police, and a justice system that can be impartial and unbiased when judging. We expect all things, but freedom of speech is under pressure.

Russian Oligarchs sue authors and journalists in the UK if they don't like what they say or write. Fighting for your right has become costly, and many must give up, especially against large corporates. The political establishment knows this, and, i.e., the EU Media Freedom Act supports media against suppression.

When I learned about the democracies in ancient Greece, I thought it was for a long period. But it lasted only for a couple of hundreds of years and was replaced by technocracies. Today we believe Democracy will last forever, but it's not a given. Fewer people are members of political parties. Fewer people vote (from time to time), and the trust in the political systems is changing. In "popularity" votes, car dealers, politicians, and journalists are the lowest-ranging people when it comes to trust.

With Social Media and easy access to the distribution of content, everybody needs thicker skin. Journalists, of course, need to do solid and trustworthy research, and the businesses uncovered must consider the best communication strategy. I believe in openness. Companies and organizations who don't enter into open-minded communication with ALL their stakeholders will, in my opinion, have difficult times ahead. Would you buy a pair of shoes from a company that says one thing but act differently? Would you buy a car from a manufacturer if they cheat with, i.e., emission numbers? Well, VW did, and as a large German business, they lost a lot of money and sales (for a period), brand, and credibility.

Mogens Henrik Nielsen died Monday, November 1st, 2021(age 94). Mogens Henrik Nielsen was my mother's husband. I already miss him and what he stood for! His fight for freedom, Democracy, and the values that we today take for granted came at a price.

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