740.00119 EW/3–2046: Airgram

The Chargé in Denmark (Ackerson) to the Secretary of State


A–133. Reference Legation’s telegram 219 March 178 regarding withdrawal of Russian troops from Bornholm. At a meeting in the Foreign Ministry on the evening of March 16, Foreign Minister Gustav Rasmussen gave a statement of the development of Danish-Russian relations since the occupation of Bornholm, which was reported in Politiken on March 17 as follows:

“‘Immediately after the occupation, the Russian Government made a declaration that the occupation was temporary. The occupation took place in connection with the termination of hostilities and the Russian commander-in-chief declared that it was necessary in order to neutralize the German troops in the island and that it would be continued only until the problems in connection with the fighting in Germany had been solved.

“‘However, the time was approaching when this phase of the war also could be wound up and during my stay in London at the UNO Conference I discussed with the chief of the Soviet delegation, Mr. Vishinsky, the question of withdrawal of the Russian forces, stating the Danish point of view and Danish wishes. The Danish Legation in Moscow has constantly been kept advised of the developments in this case and at the beginning of March, in accordance with instructions from Copenhagen, approached the Russian government in order to call attention to the Danish wishes. On March 7, the Russian Minister in Copenhagen, Mr. Plakhin, called upon me to state that if the Danish government was able to send Danish troops to Bornholm immediately to take over its administration without any foreign participation, the Soviet government would immediately withdraw its troops from Bornholm and leave the island to the Danish government. The Danish Legation in Moscow simultaneously sent us a note to the same effect and on the same day we informed Mr. Plakhin and the Legation in Moscow that we were prepared to send Danish troops to Bornholm. The result was that the evacuation has now begun.’

“In response to various questions the Foreign Minister stated that the Russian authorities had not at any time interfered with the Danish administration and that in withdrawing the Russians have stipulated no conditions except that they desire a Danish administration without any foreign participation. The Russian troops have to some extent lived on their own supplies but they have also received Danish foodstuffs in the same way as have other Allied troops. No [Page 394] application has been made for Danish vessels to assist in the evacuation and the number of Danish troops to be sent to the island is not settled.

“The question of the evacuation of the Russian troops has not been raised previously since it was stated by the Russians that the island was occupied only for the purpose of driving out the Germans and that the occupation was temporary. Consequently, there was no reason or grounds for approaches to the Russians by the former Danish government. The Foreign Minister concluded his statements by saying that it was intended to invite the Russian major general and other representatives of the occupation forces for a farewell party in Copenhagen but the program has not yet been arranged.”

Copies for Stockholm, Moscow.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the Russian General in charge of Russian troops in Bornholm announced on March 16, 1946, that withdrawal of troops would begin immediately (740.00119 EW/3–1746). The evacuation was completed by April 5, 1946.