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Denmark

Queen Margrethe commemorates the liberation of Bornholm

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, May 2020
Det Danske Kongehus Still/ Fair Use

The 75th anniversary of Bornholm’s liberation was marked in Denmark this week with the Royal Family also participating in the event. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe of Denmark appeared in a documentary made by the Danish TV-channel DR1 about the liberation. Earlier in the evening, Her Majesty marked Bornholm’s Liberation Day by putting candles in the windows of Marselisborg Castle in Aarhus, where she currently resides.

In the broadcast, the Queen remembered, among other things, her parents’ visit to the island in the summer of 1945. This was a visit that took place shortly after the bombing of Nexø and Rønne. The bombing, which took place in the days after Denmark’s liberation, killed 10 people. In addition, hundreds could see their homes destroyed. Crown Prince Frederik, later King Frederik IX and Crown Princess Ingrid met many of the affected people from Bornholm during their visit.

In the documentary, the Queen was asked what she herself remembers from the time Bornholm was invaded and from the time of the liberation. Her Majesty replied: “What I clearly remember is that my parents travelled to Bornholm in the early summer of 1945. Precisely because Bornholm had not been liberated at the same time as the rest of Denmark and because they had been bombed by the Russians. I remember very well that my parents left and I well remember that they came back and spoke about it. It made a great impression on them to see the ruins of what was bombed and to greet those who lived there. It had also been a special experience to meet the Russians with whom they had breakfast.”

The Queen continued: “It meant a lot to my parents to be able to visit Bornholm. To meet the people and show that they were concerned about the situation there. King Christian X was in a wheelchair at that point and did not have the health to carry out such a journey. it is quite obvious that the crown prince couple travelled on behalf of the king. I remember very well how they spoke about their journey and what they had experienced. And it was a journey mother and father spoke about also on later occasions and what a great impression it had made on them.”

Occupied by the Germans in April 1940, Bornholm was heavily bombarded by the Soviet Air Force in May 1945, as it was a part of the Eastern Front. The Soviets invaded the island in May 1945 and occupied the island until it was given back to Denmark on 5 April 1946.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.