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SCANDINAVIAN CROSS-CURRENTS

BY CHRISTIAN L. LANGE

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It is only too natural that Scandina

On August, 16, 1914, a fortnight after via appears a unity when looked at the Black Sunday on the morning of from the other side of the Atlantic. The which the world awoke to the news of distance suffices to efface, more or the German declaration of war against less, the rather important divergencies Russia and realized that Armageddon between the three nations making up had opened, a noteworthy ceremony Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway, and took place on the frontier between NorSweden. Nor can it be denied that way and Sweden. A monument was they are very closely related: the same unveiled to commemorate a centenary anthropological type is prevailing; the of unbroken peace within Scandinavia, three small peoples have succeeded in and an undertaking was entered into, maintaining a high level of economic all the more solemn because of the efficiency and cultural development; surrounding conditions, that no more their languages, though each of them is should any of the Scandinavian peoples possessed of a distinct individual char

carry arms against another. acter, are so nearly related that no in- It was realized very clearly even then terpreter is needed between them: a that it would be an essential condition Dane, a Norwegian, a Swede can speak of success for such a policy that none each his own language in a common as- of the three nations should become sembly, and the others will understand implicated in the world-war: a policy easily enough. The same capital facts neutrality for all was indispensable. As have influenced the historical develop- a review of the situation will show, the ment of the three nations, though in outlook on the war and on the probdifferent degrees of intensity: the ex- lems it raises, is far from identical for peditions of the Vikings; Protestant all the three nations. Looked at from Reform; the constitutional and parlia afar, they may fade into unity. When mentary movements of modern times. we examine their situation more close

The capital fact of geographical prox- ly, we shall soon see that the geographiimity must needs draw these three na- cal position, no less than the economic tional communities together during the interests of each, tends to impose on overwhelming crisis of the world-war. them considerably divergent policies. A feeling of solidarity of interestsTheir historic antecedents, in part also which was considerable already before a somewhat different political and sothe war, has been intensified by the cial organization, are likewise likely to aspect of the universal calamity. One give a somewhat different tinge to their object has been common to the policies conception of Neutrality.' of governments and statesmen in the It is perhaps a big question whether three countries: that every effort should in this war, raising problems so grave be made to avoid internecine warfare as to force everybody to a thorough in Scandinavia.

searching of heart, neutrality of feeling is possible. There is great strength prise nobody: North Slesvig is Danish in the sentiment prevailing on both land. It is true that sober historical sides, which proclaims in no uncer- judgment puts severe blame on the tain voice, that whosoever is not with then Danish government for its hanme is against me. Personally I am in- dling of the situation as against Prusclined to believe that no one, in his heart sia and Austria in 1864; and there can of hearts, is really neutral. But it is cer- hardly be any doubt that Denmark tainly possible — though not an easy might have preserved, at any rate, the or a grateful task — to be neutral in part of Slesvig where the Danish lanaction and public declarations. If the guage is spoken. This, however, canScandinavian nations have adopted a not acquit Prussia and Bismarck of policy of strict neutrality, the chief rea- their responsibility: territory was taken son is to be found in the fact just men- from another state, the possession of tioned, that every other policy would in which is of no economic or strategical all probability have brought about in- importance to Prussia; the promise ter-Scandinavian war; at any rate, this given in 1866 of a consultation of the was so during the first three years. inhabitants in North Slesvig by plebis

Another potent motive for such a cite as to their wishes was highhandpolicy of abstention is that none of the edly canceled without Denmark or the three kingdoms is possessed of terri- Danes in Slesvig being asked their opintorial ambitions. It is true that there ion;' and some 200,000 Danes have is a Danish irredenta in North Slesvig, been subjected for more than fifty and to a certain extent there may per- years to an exceedingly hard and illibhaps be said to be a Swedish irredenta eral rule - Prussian administration in in Finland; but in neither of these two its most odious form. countries is national sentiment pre- This was bound to leave a profound pared to take a war in order to obtain mark in the Danish mind. The reports satisfaction for these desires — in so from the brethren in the South, of their far as they exist. War would entail per sufferings and their hopes for the fupetual enmity with powerful neighbor- ture, of their unremitting struggle to ing empires; the consequence of liber- preserve, for themselves and for their ation of these territories through war children, the use of the Danish lanwould be to impose on Denmark and guage, contributed to hold open the Sweden respectively enormous burdens sore: it was never forgotten, and literfor military expense, and probably ary and scientific documents of high their permanent allegiance to a certain quality bear witness to the intensity of group of powers; and, what is of para- this sentiment, no less than to the conmount importance, the two countries scientiousness with which the problem would then belong to different groups has been treated by the Danes. of powers, and Scandinavian solidar- On the other hand, intimate econoity would become compromised beyond mic relations had been developed with remedy. I propose now to review the Great Britain. During the last generadominant sentiments in each of the tions, in consequence of the competithree countries separately.

tion created by the imports to Europe

ANTI-GERMAN DENMARK
That the Danish national feeling is
overwhelmingly anti-German can sur-
SOL. 121 - N0.1

1 It should be said that two thirds of Slesvig is pure German. The Danish grievance, therefore, applies only — from the racial point of view

- to a third of Slesvig, called by the Danes South Jutland. - THE AUTHOR.

of sea-borne cereals, the Danish peas- which allowed the Danish export to ant, with high ability, has transformed each of these two countries to continue his country from a cornfield into a according to the same ratio as before dairy-farm. He has industrialized ag- the war. The blockade policy and the riculture, and instead of breadstuffs, more and more stringent rationing of Denmark is now exporting butter and the neutrals on the part of England and meat. This has opened up new routes America has of course caused great inof trade. Denmark has become the convenience to Denmark, but there are pantry of London and of industrial no signs that this has modified the domNorth England. This, of course, has inant feelings with regard to the war. influenced the ways of thinking too; On the contrary, the cruelty of Gerties of sympathies and of financial con- v man submarine war has rather intensinections unite Denmark with the West. fied the anti-German sentiment.

The outbreak of the war fanned the Much stress has been laid on the anti-German sentiment in Denmark in- somewhat curious fact that Danish so to hot flame. The tragic fate of Bel- cialism seems decidedly pro-German. gium intensified the feeling of antipa- It is, however, more so in appearance thy against the military oligarchy of than in reality; and at any rate the Prussia, under whose heel Denmark had phenomenon can be easily explained. found itself fifty years before.

More or less Continental Social DemoBut there was no question of taking cracy is of German origin, and in no part in the war. On the contrary, 'ab- country is this so evident as in Densolute neutrality' became the watch- mark: the Danish leaders have almost word. It so happened that a Radical exclusively their relation in Berlin. The government, supported by the Social- Vorwärts is the source of their inspiraists, was in power when war broke out. tion. The pronounced anti-Germanism Within these parties new ways of think- of the classes' in Denmark brought ing had developed as to the foreign re- these leaders of the 'masses' to considlations of Denmark.

er it their duty to lay before the Danish In the years following 1864, the feel- public the 'other' point of view, and ing that Germany was too strong for imperceptibly they have perhaps been Denmark to think of entering the lists carrying this to rather extreme maniagainst her on account of the Slesvig festations. Common to Radicals and question was consciously developed by Socialists is a certain disillusion as to the Radical and Socialist parties, both the sincerity of the representatives of of them frankly anti-militaristic. But, the Great Powers. It is a favorite saybecause the Radical party was in power ing among them that the chief differwhen war broke out, it was itself, so ence between the Central Powers and to speak, forced by the popular feeling the Entente is that the former have not of anti-Germanism prevailing in the yet acquired the consummate ability of country to observe a less pronounced the latter to use fine and high-sounding attitude, in order to keep up a certain phrases. Nay, the brutal sincerity of balance.

German statesmen is even a merit in The Danish government has shown their eyes: there is no‘hypocrisy’about high ability both in its interior and in it. This is a kindred feeling to the one its foreign policy. With great foresight which found expression in Georg Branit effected an arrangement at the very des's reply to Clemenceau's appeal for beginning of the war with the two lead- sympathy from Denmark. Denmark ing antagonists, England and Germany, fifty years ago appealed to England

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and France for sympathy and help in Powers, as may in a certain sense be its fight against the Germanic powers. said about the Danish Socialists; nor The reply was — neutrality.'

has any other important body of public At bottom there can be no doubt as opinion rallied to the German cause. to dominant feeling in Denmark on the The practical unanimity of Norwegian war: it is on the side of the Allies. But sentiment is all the more striking as the exposed situation of the country, Norway, perhaps with the single excepits weak military defense, would make tion of Spain, finds itself in a more deit so easy a prey to an attack from the tached position toward the war than south, that there is practically no dis- any other European nation. It is more position whatever to take part in the removed than most of the small Eurowar. The trophy that might seduce the pean nations from the area of hostiliDanish nation, the re-union of 200,000 ties. It has no outstanding difficulty Danes, hardly any one thinks it pos- with any of the Great Powers. Its tersible to obtain by war. South Jutland ritorial integrity had been guaranteed won through war would mean enduring (in 1907) by France, Germany, Great enmity with Germany. This Denmark Britain, and Russia,

Britain, and Russia, – that is to say, cannot risk. Her hope is that the set- by powers in both camps, — and Nortlement after the war might entail, as way could boast of excellent relations an application of new principles of In- with all of them. Intimate economic ternational Law, the reëntry of the connections existed, not only with the

, Danes of Slesvig into the Danish politi- Western countries, but also with Gercal community, Denmark has received many: Hamburg was the emporium for abundant proof that the conditions Norwegian commerce in colonial produring the war of the youth in Slesvig duce; and shipbuilding, one of the stacalled to German colors have been so ple industries of Norway, got its chief dreadful and tragical that they have material, the iron plates, from German only two alternatives before them: re- factories. If Norwegian political and union with Denmark, or emigration intellectual life for the last century was In Prussia they can no longer stay. under the influence of impulses from

No wonder that Denmark is looking England, America, and France, reliwith wistful eyes to the future. With gious feeling and scientific life got their the coming of peace a great problem inspiration from Germany. will lie before the nation. During the Norway is the most pronouncedly war democracy has come into its own: democratic country in Europe, demoelectoral reform has been accomplished, cratic not only politically, but -- what but the new rules have not yet been put is much more important and far-reachinto practice. It will therefore in part ing - also in a social and economic

. be a new parliament which will have sense. And Norway is a small country, to decide the Danish attitude toward the smallest, so far as population goes, this grave question, if ever it is raised. except Luxemburg and Montenegro.

The wanton attack on Belgian neu

trality by the Prussian military oliPRO-ALLY NORWAY

garchy determined Norwegian public In Norway the situation is perhaps opinion. It revealed what a little counsimpler than in any other neutral coun- try could be exposed to at the hands try: public opinion is decidedly pro- of a state in which power, military and Ally. None of the political parties has political, belongs to a caste. Norwehad any inclination toward the Central gian democracy in no uncertain voice

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declared against Prusso-German oligar- German sympathies. Perhaps the exchy and its military policy.

planation nearest to the mark with But, as in the case of Denmark, there these personalities would be a certain was no disposition to enter the war. love of paradox and of opposition à Norway is absolutely without any ter- tout prix to average opinion, to the ritorial ambition, so its participation views of the man in the street. would have been exclusively an expres

Various as are the motives of this prosion of its conviction as to the rights German attitude, it would be a mistake and wrongs of the conflict. Bigger pow- to believe that this section of Norweers hesitated before such a decision. gian opinion is numerically important. There is doubt that in the case of I have heard pro-Germans themselves Norway entry into the war would have estimate their number at five, or even entailed terrible hardship and misery at two per cent! And the development on the country, while no appreciable of German policy as against Norway advantage would have accrued to the has inevitably tended to reducing their Allies.

number and making them less loudPublic opinion, therefore, absolutely voiced. approved a policy of neutrality, in fa- Norway has learned during the war vor of which, besides, was a motive al- how difficult is the path of neutrality. ready mentioned — the consideration The extensive shipping trade, which of inter-Scandinavian relations.

has made Norwegian sailors the carOf course, Norway has not been al- riers of the world, has created many together without its pro-German ele- problems for the leaders of Norwegian ments. In certain cases, family connec- foreign policy, and at different times tions, financial or business ties, have rather serious conflicts have arisen both been too strong to permit a pro-Ally at- with Germany and with England. The titude. To some persons Germany and stringency of the blockade declared by German civilization have been so im

the latter power has entailed serious inportant a ferment of their spiritual convenience both to exports and imdevelopment; they feel themselves so ports, no less than to the shipping inindebted to inspiration from German terests. This could hardly but create philosophy or literature, from German irritation against the blockading power, science or industrial skill, that they at any rate in the circles most concannot refuse their sympathy to the cerned, shippers and merchants. But German nation or to German policy. this feeling never spread to the people The strongest incitement to whole- at large, although they felt the consehearted sympathy, at any rate with quences of the long delays of Norwesome persons of a conservative and gian ships in foreign ports, in the form skeptical outlook on life, has perhaps of inflated prices on all foreign goods been a subtle feeling that Germany is a most serious fact in a country after all the chief pillar of the principle so dependent on oversea imports as of authority in political and social af Norway. The pro-Ally sentiment was fairs; that with the overthrow of Ger- not abated, even when England, in conmany democracy and insubordination sequence of some disagreement with the would reign supreme in Europe. Norwegian government, stopped the im

It is perhaps necessary to mention port of coal and coke to the country, also that some few literary men (best certainly a drastic measure during the known among them the author Knut

cold season. Hamsun) have expressed strong pro- On the other hand, difficulties have

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