Vedersø and Kaj Munk are two names that are inseparable. This is the story about the life of the controversial pastor and dramatist in the Vedersø area.
Kaj Munk was a nationally famous Danish pastor and author who lived most of his life in Vedersø parish. Apart from working as a pastor, Kaj Munk was a controversial debater and dramatist. A large part of his work has been performed at Det Kongelige Teater (The Danish Royal Theater) and he remains the most performed dramatist in the Nordic countries today.
A Theologian from the University of Copenhagen
Kaj Munk was born in Maribo in 1898 and killed by the Gestapo in 1944. When he had finished his education in theology he was assigned the parish of Vedersø in 1924. He lived at Vedersø parsonage from then on until he died in 1944. At Vedersø, Kaj Munk wrote about life in the dunes that he loved so much to traverse with his local hunting buddies.
Loved the Vedersø Locals
Kaj Munk is remembered in this area for being a very generous man. When his good friend and fellow hunter the farmer Johan Kjærgaard was lying on his death bed, Kaj Munk paid him a final visit. Kaj Munk admired Johan who had taught him how to behave in nature. Shortly after his funeral, Johan Kjærgaard’s widow found two 500 Dkr notes in a book on Johan’s bed table; 500 kroner was a lot of money in those days. This is just one of the examples of Kaj Munk’s great generosity and love for the local people in Vedersø.
A National Symbol
Kaj Munk’s open resistance to the Nazi occupation of Denmark was expressed in several of his works and these controversial texts made him a national figurehead in the Danish resistance movement. Munk’s resistance ended his life in 1944 when five members of the Gestapo picked him up at the parsonage and subsequently executed him at Silkeborg. This martyred death made Kaj Munk a lasting national symbol of resistance to oppression and freedom of speech.
Listen to some of his works here.