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Konflikt und Kooperation

Die Ostsee als Handlungs- und Kulturraum

Edited By Martin Göllnitz, Nils Abraham, Thomas Wegener Friis and Helmut Müller-Enbergs

Seit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges und der Erweiterung der Europäischen Union gerät der Ostseeraum als historische Einheit immer stärker in das Blickfeld von Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit. Eine intensive Beschäftigung mit dieser Region macht jedoch recht rasch deutlich, dass nicht nur die „eine Ostsee" existiert, sondern viele Ostseeräume, die in erster Linie durch Kooperationen und Konflikte, Handel und kulturelle Beziehungen sowie den daran beteiligten Protagonisten initialisiert und konstruiert werden.

In dem vorliegenden Band analysieren 23 ExpertInnen aus fünf Ostseeländern und Israel die durchaus unterschiedlichen Raumkonstruktionen und Verflechtungen innerhalb der Ostseeregion, die als ein spannungs- und konfliktreicher Handlungs- und Kulturraum verstanden wird.

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Sweden during the Second World War, neutral in her own Strength (Kent Zetterberg)

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Kent Zetterberg

Sweden during the Second World War, neutral in her own Strength

Why Sweden’s neutrality was respected by all great powers during 1939–1945 can be discussed and explained in different ways. There is no simple or easy answer. This is my interpretation after more than 40 years of research. I shall try to base my answer on an analysis of the political, economic, military and strategic factors. The success of the neutral policy was a major achievement for Sweden, and the role of the Swedish diplomats and the government was of great importance. Sweden’s neutrality was also in the interest of the Western powers, who were very weak in the Baltic Area. Sweden’s flexible politics against Germany in this bad situation was considered wise by the Western powers. It also proved to be of great value to her Nordic neighbour countries, where Norway became an Allied power, Finland was on the other side, at war with the Allies from 1941–1944, and Denmark was occupied under protest by Germany, but with King and government remaining in Copenhagen.

Sweden thus could help her Nordic brothers in many ways – Refugees, humanitarian aid, economic aid, diplomatic support etc. – although Finland and Norway were fighting in different war camps. Sweden’s peace and neutrality also had positive humanitarian effects during the war years by offering aid and a safe-haven for refugees and also exchanges of war-prisoners between United Kingdom and Germany through Swedish...

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