esmaspäev, september 17, 2007

The [Short-Lived] Occupation of Bornholm

Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Sweden. Like many Danish territories, it possesses its own miniature nationalist outlook including its own flag, dialect, and icky feelings towards the mother land.

My friend down the hall when I lived in Copenhagen was named Andreas and he hailed from this island. He was one of the few Danes that were nice to me and let me into their highly guarded world of Depeche Mode infatuation and private vodka consumption. He also loaned me his Monty Python collection. So I am forever indebted to Bornholm.

Iga tähes, the reason Bornholm is important for Estonia, apart from cultural and geographic similarities, is because the Danish response to the Soviet 'liberation' of Bornholm from German forces in 1945 questions the Soviet narrative of liberating Europe from Nazi German occupation.

In the former captive nations, the common interpretation is that the arrival of Soviet Russian troops in 1944 and 1945 was not a liberation, but an exchange of totalitarian regimes. The current Kremlin line is that this interpretation is 'rewriting history', and that countries that do so are illegitmate, is undermined by the Danish response to what happened on Bornholm.

Denmark was occupied by the Germans following an ultimatum to allow German troops to be stationed in Denmark in April 1940. The official line was that Germany was 'protecting' the Danes from possible British occupation. Bornholm served as a listening station for German troops, and came under attack in May 1945.

The German commander of the installation at Bornholm refused to surrender, and Bornholm was bombed on May 7 and May 8. As the official Bornholm website puts it, the Russians landed and occupied the island, with it being a full 11 months before they left again.

The Danish state has acknowledged on many occasions that it does not view the Soviet presence on Bornholm as a liberation, but rather a military occupation. In any case, ahead of the Potsdam conference, the Soviets decided to act like good boys and began withdrawing their troops. In April 1946, the last Soviet occupation troops in Bornholm left the island.

Still, the situation at Bornholm shows that Western European countries interpreted Soviet military presence on their territories at the end of the Second World War the same way that Eastern Europeans did -- as a political-stability threatening, military occupation.

Someone should remind Rene Van Der Linden, the chairman of PACE, of Denmark's response to Soviet occupation as he attempts to eat his words to Russia Today from May during his visit to Tallinn this week.

8 kommentaari:

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

From www.navalhistory.dk

Bornholm atter frit

Man oplevede russernes sidste dage på Bornholm, dansen og musikken på kajen, og lastning af den sidste russiske damper.

Den 5. april 1946 var alt klart til afgang - og til en bornholmsk fest- og mindedag - en dag, der i historien korn til at stå som dagen for Bornholms befrielse.

"Befrielse" of Bornholm 1946. No translation.

Rude ütles ...

The inhabitants of the kommune of Bornholm are to a head inbred perverts who relish sexual relations with their own siblings or parents. When a family member is not at hand they will mount a pet or farm animal. They also have no taste in good furniture. To the devil with them!

Heli ütles ...

Rude, I guess you must have same oppinion on icelanders then too?
I find you very narrowminded I must say cause I just can´t stand extrapolations.

Rude ütles ...

Dear Heli:

I lived among many a nybygger from Bornholm. They are disgusting animals who desire nothing but to make love to their fathers, mothers and family hound. The English word and verb "to bugger" comes from Bornholm Dansk. One time a man and his uncle began having relations in Copenhagen's public square and a policeman demanded to know where they were from: "Bornholm!" they shouted proudly. When shouted in Danish, it sounds much like "Bugger!"

Are you Icelandic Heli? If you are you can rest assured that you have not been insulted. I love Icelandic women! They are morally loose and have sexual relations indiscriminately! I once had relations with an Icelandic woman and she demanded that I take her on my kitchen table and then on the sofa and then on the chair! I was in heaven!

Extrapolations? I think there has been a misunderstanding. Perhaps owing to your Estonianised English. I have not had any extrapolations recently, for my next prostate appointment is not until November.

Heli ütles ...

Dear Rude,

you misunderstood me. By extrapolation I meant that even if 99% of Bornholm inhabitants are exactly what you say, it does not give you right to name all of them so and if you know anything about this world, then there is nothing 100%. And that´s called extrapolation (generalisation).
And no, I´m not icelander,I just thought it´s a good comparison by my oppinion as they live also in quite closed world and have practiced inbreeding for ages. I´m myself estonian with danish and swedish roots.

Giustino ütles ...

My Bornholm friend had a very legitimate girlfriend. She was also blond though, so perhaps she was related.

Simon Gunson ütles ...

Please can anybody tell me anything about the German atomic bomb factory on Bornholm during World War 2, which French scientist Professor Paul Laval described to the press on 14 October 1945 at Paris?

He claims the soviets took Nazi nuclear scientists from the factory on Bornholm back to the USSR.

Simon
New Zealand

Simon Gunson ütles ...

Please can anybody tell me anything about the German atomic bomb factory on Bornholm during World War 2, which French scientist Professor Paul Laval described to the press on 14 October 1945 at Paris?

He claims the soviets took Nazi nuclear scientists from the factory on Bornholm back to the USSR.

Simon
New Zealand