Riding bikes to deliver anti-Nazi propaganda and spraying walls with graffiti, these daring nine were boyish masters of sabotage. They based themselves in a monastery, despite the enemy being “around us 360 degrees” at all times and would graduate from graffiti to bomb attacks as the occupation intensified.
Their actions inspired Danes to join the resistance.
The boys managed not only to steal weapons from their occupiers, but learned how to assemble guns, make bombs and strike with brutal and callous efficiency. One of their main acts of resistance was painting their symbol on street signs and on the homes and offices of Nazi soldiers.
Their early attacks took place during the day with what appeared to be breath-taking audacity, escaping on bicycles. The reality was the boys did not want to get in trouble at home for missing their supper.
They chose a symbol similar to the Nazis and the motto “Flame of Rebellion to kill Nazis”, and as time wore on and their bravery increased, so did the danger they faced.
Eventually they were caught in May 1942 and sentenced to varying terms in prison and even threatened with Auschwitz. In October 1942, the boys escaped from prison and went on the run, carrying out 19 nights of sabotage before recapture. By then, like something out of a novel, they were national heroes of the Danish resistance which they helped build and inspire.
In 1952 they were invited to meet Winston Churchill, who had heard of their bravery.
For more about the Danish resistance, watch 'Flammen og Citronen' (which is available with English subtitles.) A film called 'The Boys from St. Petri' was made, based on the lives of the Churchill Club.