The Boys who Challenged Hitler (Week 1)

In The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose, Knud Pederson’s goals and character traits express tremendous growth and significance. The protagonist of the story is Knud himself, who creates the RAF Club with his brother and friends, and later the Churchill Club when he moves out of his old town. Knud’s goals become more and more important to him over time in the Churchill Club. The club’s main goal was to start a resistance within because the government wouldn’t do anything to prevent the Germans from taking over. Some acts of resistance included stealing guns and weapons, arson, and immobilizing military vehicles. Knud Pederson adds a different perspective to the text as a person who is against the Germans occupying Denmark. His perspective is through a typical teenage boy who dislikes everything that the Germans are doing, such as occupying Denmark.

One quote from the text is, “Now there was no armed, uniformed force to stand up for us. We were furious at our leaders.  One thing had become very clear: now any resistance in Denmark would have to come from ordinary citizens, not from trained soldiers. (Page 17)” This quote is what starts off the clubs that Knud helped create, giving him a goal to work towards. Knud didn’t care and know much about war or politics until April 9, 1940, when German soldiers invaded his hometown, Odense. He and others started reading the newspapers every day, which were filled with stories of Norwegian civilians being murdered by German troops. This eventually leads to him and his friends taking action, which shows the significance of Knud’s charactization/growth in character.  He is also important in the story through his first-person narrations, where he recalls back to his thoughts, feelings, and emotions throughout his developing identity and character. Overall, Knud Pederson is a very important character in The Boys Who Challenged Hitler due to the large role he played in the RAF and Churchill Clubs: to sabotage the Germans in his hometown(s) in any way possible.