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.