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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Danish communist Partisans who had participated in the Spanish Civil War took up arms against the Germans and their Danish supporters after Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. With 1000 acts of sabotage and liquidations during WW2, BOPA and its predecessor KOPA (Communist Partisans) were by a longshot the most active Danish resistance movement, and 39 of about its 175 members died while fighting the German and their Danish collaborators.

 

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I spite of secret and clandestine pleas from the owner of the Madsen Weapons Factory, DISA, the Danish shipping magnate A.P Moeller of the Maersk Shipping Company, the Danish Communist Partisans of BOPA, placed 400 kilos of high explosive inside the Madsen Weapons Factory who's 1600 employees made weapons for the Germans and blew it up.

 

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Interesting.

Of course the Danish government strenuously opposed sabotage until after August 1943, when the Germans finally imposed an occupation government, deported police officers to concentration camps, and replaced them with criminals in the Schalburg Corps, "Peter group" and so on. I think only a tiny minority of Danes, Christian nationalists and these communists and perhaps one or another fringe group opposed the relationship between the defeated Danish state and Germany... Perhaps slightly more than those who actively collaborated and sided with the Germans? After 1943, with Stalingrad and El Alamein, sabotage and more active resistance using violent means became much more common. The smuggling of Jews to Sweden and the scuttling of the fleet or breaking out and making a run to Swedish waters were substantive and effective acts of resistance. One can only admire people who faced torture and murder at the hands of the Gestapo and their local henchmen to resist enemy occupation.
 

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About the German WW2 Leader in Denmark.


Happy 5 May Liberation Day!

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Then there was the failed opportunity for a Communist Revolution and Communist takeover of the Danish society just after WW2 by the powerful and well-armed Danish Communist Partisans who had taken the brunt of the sabotage actions against the German occupation of Denmark that had been fueled by the 1941 arrest of 300 Danish Communist by the Danish Police who arrested a much larger number of Danish Communist than originally ordered by the officially collaborating Danish Government who unanimously agreed to make a retroactive law banning any Communist activity in Denmark.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Danish political researchers into philosophy and goals of the Danish Communist resistance movements, like BOPA, have observed and therefore concluded that there also was a "Danish Communist power ambitions" for wanting and controlling the Danish Government after WW2, and if necessary by the use of their significant arsenal of weapons, and skills acquired during WW2.

The Danish researchers also point to the opening of the Soviet archived which also confirmed these Danish post-WW2 Communist power ambitions in Denmark which would have been supported by the Stalinist Soviet Union.

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Et opbrud kan dog spores i nyere forskning. Bent Jensen, Michael Kjeldsen og jeg har selv har konstateret, at de kommunistiske magtambitioner var til stede, og at ledende partifolk havde en opfattelse af, at en Machtergreifung var mulig – om ikke med våben så, så at sige, via modstandsvåbnenes symbolske kraft.
 

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Intent? Sure. Ability? Not so much.

I don't see a communist coup like that of Czechoslovakia in 1949 happening in Denmark... Recall that the Danish elections in 1943 before the complete German take-over saw most Danes favored the "go along to get along" collaborationist approach, while Christian nationalists and commies got very little electoral support... Just a small share more than the Danish nazis did, actually.

Stalin sold out the Greek communists as part of the "spheres of influence" in the Cold War, fully understanding that Soviet access to the eastern Mediterranean would be a "red line" to the West (pun intended.) If the Soviets had wanted to take over Denmark, why didn't they hang onto Bornholm after a year or so? Why renegotiate its return at all? If any place in the Nordic nations could have suffered a communist coup to impose a proxy state government/ regime in a nation that was otherwise not hostile to the USSR, that nation would have been Finland. Didn't happen. Historically Great Britain takes a rather dim view of attempts to close off the Skaggerak and Kattegat... Just ask the Danish navy?

The Danish police trained in Sweden who rapidly moved into any vacuum of power during the German surrender also had the physical presence of British troops. When Britain moved into Greece in 1944 after the German departure, it was not long before the Greek communists and British were in a shooting war in Athens. In Copenhagen? Nope.

What was that unpronounceable Danish phrase that was used by the resistance to discover possible German infiltrators or spies? I can't remember it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
News to me as well and a bit surprised as well but the Danish researchers claim to have uncovered this possible "Communist Plot" just after WW2 which they also claim is supported by Kremlin documents now made public.

In regards to Bornholm becoming a small Soviet Republic was a distinct possibility. I moved there nine years after the Russians left, and from what I was told about the Russians also behaved well and generally were well-liked by the Bornholmers.

However, in 1946 and at the same time the Soviet occupied the Danish island of Bornhom, the United States was de facto also occupying the Danish colony of Greenland and President Harry Truman, on behalf of the Joint Chiefs of Staff request, offered the Danes $ 100 million dollars for buying Greenland from Denmark who flatly turned down the American offer. It is not known if the Soviets meddled in this would be the American-Danish deal going sour and what the Danes got in return from the Soviets for not selling Greenland to the US in 1946.

I cannot imagine that the Soviet military just like that returned home after a year in Bornholm. That's not like the Soviets just to walk out of a highly strategic real estate as Bornhom without a deal of some sort.

We know today that among others the Danes had to sign a binding agreement with the Soviets that no foreign troops should ever be permitted to set foot on Bornholm and absolutely no foreign military bases should ever be allowed in Denmark again. I have no idea what role BOPA and the senior Danish Communist played in having Bornholm returned back to Denmark if any.

However, taking into account the Danish researchers and the now public Kremlin documents from that era both support that some kind of plans were in the works for a Communist takeover of the post-WW2 Danish Government.

Obviously, the Communist revolution in post-WW-2 Denmark did not happen and it could be interesting to learn why it did not happen in Denmark as it did for other European countries.
 

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If a map is consulted, the Elbe River enters the North Sea leaving Denmark to the north. Were it not for Montgomery, who ordered a push north over the Elbe to the Baltic, the Russians would have been the 'occupying' country. Had that happened - who knows, but the experience of East Germany and the Combloc countries would give a clue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Glancing through this Danish text explaining in details the in and out of the Danish WW2 Government dealings among themselves and with the occupying Germans, I get the idea that yes there was indeed a serious Soviet intention for militarily and politically controlling post-WW2 Denmark and the Soviet occupation of all of Denmark was only limited to the remote Baltic island of Bornholm because the Canadian soldiers who were send by Monty, stopped the Soviet advance towards Denmark in northern Germany.

The Soviet occupation of Bornholm was then used as a bargaining chip for the Soviet to gain political and military influence in the rest of post-WW2 Denmark and perhaps some control of the 40-50.000 Danish resistance fighters in which a large portion of them was under the Danish Communist Partisan leadership as well as the Soviet had sent a number of agents to keep an eye of the political development in post-WW2 Denmark and report back to Moscow which has now been made public.

One setback for the Danish Communist was they had due to their WW2 popularity in Denmark, expected to get as many as 70 % of the vote in autumn 1945 but only received 12%,

The Soviets also requested to station a "Military Control Force" in Denmark that came to nothing. After eleven months of occupying Bornholm, the Soviets returned back home and only after among others making the Danes signed a deal that no foreign soldiers should ever be allowed to set foot on Bornholm, and the Danes would never allow any foreign military bases on Danish soil.
 

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This post is VERY interesting. Especially because I just read about Mogens Fog - who later became leader of Frihedsrådet (Freedom counsel). Turns out Mogens Fog was a member of the communist party from 1924, and became a part of the leadership in 1927-1929. When he became a doctor in 1934 he resigned from the communist party.

Some of his ideas, did shine through while he was the leader of the Freedom counsel, even though he tried to downplay his communist influence.

Now, here is an interesting detail. Mogens Fog was in Brande for a short time prior to the Freedom Counsel was formed. Very little is known about that time. Whats interesting is that my grandpa was a freedom fighter in Brande, and his role was among other things, also being a bodyguard for VIP people (called Commando group). I havent been able to prove who he was guarding, but Mogens Fog would be one of those people. At least I think so.
One of the details is that I bought a lot from a former freedom fighter from Brande. My grandpa had mentioned in the paperwork to the freedom museum, that he had taken part in a "Weapons introduction meeting". That didnt make any sense to me, because my grandpa was a trained soldier with both explosives and sniper training (prior to it being called sniper training). In that paperwork its true that there was weapons training. Half an A4 page showing the details about a british machinegun (I forget which one right now), and the rest is 2 details. An attack plan on the German HQ + a detailed description of what the Freedom counsel would look like once it has been formed. This last part, is over 4 full pages and its VERY detailed. The interesting part about this, is that there were some changes made from this, to what it actually ended up as.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Being a sailer on Danish merchant ships I also had the dubious honor of once meeting the president of the then Danish Sailer Union, Preben Moeller Hansen, and an ardent Danish Communist leader, who never asked for my name and just called me "Kammerat" (Comrade). Preben is also remembered for writing a cookbook and I don't know if there were lots of red beets, ketchup, or red peppers in his dishes.
 

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Being a sailer on Danish merchant ships I also had the dubious honor of once meeting the president of the then Danish Sailer Union, Preben Moeller Hansen, and an ardent Danish Communist leader, who never asked for my name and just called me "Kammerat" (Comrade). Preben is also remembered for writing a cookbook and I don't know if there were lots of red beets, ketchup, or red peppers in his dishes.
Very cool story. Made me smile. Comrade Snowhunter... it has a ring to it :)
 

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Thank you for the personal history and details about ties to the resistance movement. Brave people. Does the German ethnic minority in Denmark have difficulties pronouncing certain words in Danish? There is an old story that there was a particular phrase Danish resistance people used to "out" German infiltrators? Of course Denmark's neighbors often poke fun at Danish pronunciation... How does it go? Like speaking with a too-hot boiled potato in the mouth? Something...

The Marxist internationalism exerted a strong appeal to Litvaks and Jews in Eastern Europe and also merchant sailors. Hence the socialist politics in much of the early Zionist movement and the Jewish diaspora for the former, and involvement of merchant marine sailors in radical politics during the Great Depression for the latter. A good many of the "premature antifascists" in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and other international battalions in the Spanish Civil War were sailors by profession. One such volunteer commie, the late Bill Bailey, once explained his mindset after he'd hauled down the German hakenkreuz/swastika flag from a German merchant ship, and tossed it in the drink who later went to Spain. He said, in his thick Hoboken accent, that at the time he and others thought that an enemy of the Soviet Union was an enemy of the working class generally, "and that it was only later that we learned what a sick sonuvabitch Stalin was." Recall that very little was known about the sheer scale of the horrors within the USSR. Henry Ford helped the USSR develop an automobile industry. The Soviets copied the industrial-scale agriculture of the United States. American workers went during the Depression to build the Moscow subway system. The vast majority encountered first-hand the realities of the "really existing" USSR and returned disillusioned. In the United States, the great waterfront strike on the West Coast in 1934 was led by Harry Bridges, an Australian-born commie who was threatened with deportation during the third U.S. "Red Scare." (first after the assassination by Polish American Emma Goldman groupie Leon Czolgosz, part of a world-wide terrorism wave by "propagandists by the deed," second during and after U.S. entry into WWI, and the third post-WWII.) Harry Bridges: Life and Legacy

The prestige of the Soviet state reached an all-time high after Stalingrad and Bagration. European Communist Parties pointed to that, and also to the post-Barbarossa communist party resistance. Most European nations occupied by Germany had several resistance groups, all vying for power. In France, there were the Francs-Tireurs-et-Patisans/FTP who were communist led. The Garabaldini in Italy. The Yugoslavian partisan movement of Marshal Tito. The Greek andartes in EAM-ELAS, etc. etc. Recall that for much of Southern Europe, World War II was preceded or conducted largely as a civil war: Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, Italy vs. Mussolini German proxy-state in the north, 1943-1945, Greece under Italian, German, and Bulgarian occupation followed by Civil War, 1944 to 1948, Yugoslavia what with Croatia, Serbian Chetniks, Yugoslav Partisans, etc. etc. After WWII, the United States was very concerned about communist activity in all of the European states. The Marshal Plan in many regards responded to this perceived need to restore industry, jobs, and a functioning economy in Europe. CIA interventions--never a popular subject on these gunboards--were frequent, and often in alliance with reliably anticommunist political elements, ranging from the Corsican milieu gangsters on the docks of Marseille, to pretty much anyone right of the PCI in Italy, to taking over from the British effort in Greece, and more.

As for the Soviets willingly abandoning some choice real estate, like, say, Bornholm, it happened. Witness the crazy scene in occupied Austria. While Stalin was alive, the place was subject to four-power occupation. The British armed a secret gendarmerie with anti-communists, including ex Wehrmacht men in this land that had produced Adolf Htler, Eichman, Otto Skorzeny and some half-million other nazis out of fears that the local commies and their Soviet backers would pull a fast one. Here comparisons can be made with British support for certain Danish institutions and resistance groups, but also Sweden and the Danes armed, trained, and held in readiness by that sister realm. Eventually, after the Korean War and the death of Stalin, the Soviets packed up and left a permanently neutral Austria in 1955. Unfortunately for all concerned, Hungary didn't get the same deal in November 1956, eh? By that time the U.S. had all kinds of eastern European emigrés on the payroll or serving in the armed forces, and these folks were understandably outraged that the Soviets were essentially allowed to crush Hungary because it was "their turf." People express shock that JFK didn't "do more" about Fidel Castro's takeover in Cuba, but the internal record reveals concern that the U.S. must not do anything that might resemble Soviet behavior in breakaway Hungary...

Photos of the liberation of Denmark show lots of Sten guns, M1 carbines, captured German arms, and some Danish or Swedish kp31 SMGs, but also things like Bermann-Bayard pistols and rolling block rifles. Lots of blue, white and red armbands or brassards, bits of ex-Danish or ex-Wehrmacht uniform or "kit" as the British call gear. Did the commies in Denmark have specific emblems or insignia? Most of the stuff I've seen is just Danish.
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I like this one, since it approximates the plucky guy with the Sten gun in the immediate postwar illustration...
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