The resistance fighter from Hvidkilde 

On the eve of his execution, a young count from South Fyn writes a letter of farewell to his parents. The 28-year-old resistance fighter’s final thoughts are of his parents’ grief and of Hvidkilde, his childhood home. 

On the night of 27 March 1945, movement can be heard from a cell in Vestre Fængsel prison in Copenhagen. It is the sound of resistance fighter Lennart Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Lehn gathering his “Millions of thoughts” and putting pen to paper. 

My dear parents. 

You must be brave now. The unthinkable has happened. Today I faced a court martial, where I was sentenced to death. I, myself, am not afraid. When I am dead, it is all over for me. But for you – my dear parents – I am infinitely sad. 

The heir to Hvidkilde Manor on South Fyn had been heavily involved in the resistance movement since 1943, helping to receive shipments of weapons and participating in acts of sabotage. Following a raid on his workplace in the autumn of 1944, the young man is forced into hiding. 

The resistance fighter was captured during a raid 

On the night of 7 January, one of the notorious Birkedal brothers – who were members of the hated Danish Gestapo – steps through the door of The New Mission Hotel in Odense. It is the start of a raid. 

Lennart Ahlefeldt-Laurvig-Lehn is apprehended and thrown in a cell at Husmandsskolen, the Gestapo headquarters in Odense. The young count is then interrogated over and over again, but he never gives up any other members of the resistance movement. 

On 12 March, the count is told he has been sentenced to death by firing squad and he is transferred to Vestre Fængsel prison in Copenhagen. 

The heir’s final thoughts are of Hvidkilde 

In his letter of farewell, the noble resistance fighter writes down the many thoughts in his head, including memories of his childhood home. 

Imagine never seeing Hvidkilde again, never going for a walk at home (…) 

He ends his letter: 

Thank you for everything, my wonderful parents. Don’t forget: Hold your heads up high. 

The following morning, he is driven to an address on Ryvangen, where he is shot dead. 

The manor tales are written by Linda Corfitz