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Women's History Month — Astrid Willadsen

30 Mar 2021 8:39 AM | Anonymous

Throughout Women's History Month we have learned about many different Shelby County women who made differences not only in our community, but throughout America.

Today we will learn about Astrid Willadsen, and her husband Chris, who actively participated in the Danish Underground Resistance Movement during WWII.

Astrid, daughter of Andreas and Nikoline Villadsen, was born on November 17, 1914 in Guldager, Denmark. In September 1935, two months before her 21st birthday, Astrid married Chris Willadsen.

Nazi occupation of Denmark began on April 9, 1940. Instead of fleeing before the German invasion, the Danish king and government worked alongside German authorities. Due to this collaboration few changes were noticed in the everyday life of Danish citizens.

However, Danish Resistance Groups formed as soon as four days after Nazi forces occupied Denmark. Chris and Astrid Willadsen were actively involved in the Danish Underground Resistance Movement which blew up German troop trains as well as helping hide Jews and downed pilots until they could be moved to safety.

After the end of WWII Chris, Astrid, and their family moved to Irwin, Iowa. Astrid passed away on March 1, 2008 at the age of ninety-three.


The Shelby County Historical Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1964. This four building complex is located at 1805 Morse Avenue Harlan, Iowa 51537.

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