From Academic Kids

Basic Facts
Area 588 km
Inhabitants 44,100 (2003)
County Map
Bornholm Regional Municipality in Danmark

Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea, to the east of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland (on the map of Denmark to the right, it is not shown in its true location; see the map at the bottom of the article). The main industries on the island include fishing, pottery using locally worked clay, clockmaking and dairy farming. Tourism is important during the summer.

The small islands Ertholmene are located 18 km to the north-east of Bornholm.

Strategically located in the Baltic Bornholm has been a bone of contention usually ruled by Denmark, but also by Lbeck and Sweden. The castle ruin Hammershus on the northwestern tip of the island gives testimony to its importance.

Bornholm, as a part of Denmark, was captured relatively early in the Second World War, and served as a lookout post and listening station during the war. The islands perfect central position in the Baltic sea meant that is was an important "natural fortress" between Germany and Sweden, effectively keeping submarines and destroyers from Nazi occupied waters. Several concrete coastal installations where build during the war, some of which had tremendous range, but none of them were ever used, and only a single test shot was fired during the occupation. These remnants of Nazi rule has since then fallen into disrepair and are mostly regarded as a novelty. Many tourists visit the ruins each year, providing a useful supplement income to the tourist industry.

As it was true about the rest of Denmark, the inhabitants of Bornholm quickly came to accept the Germans. "They don't bother us, we don't bother them" was the unspoken rule of the agreement between commoners and soldiers. German soldiers acted more like tourists than occupants during their stay, and the rough German dicipline meant that only few incidents of violence was reported on the island. (No noteworthy resistance from the natives was ever reported by the German officials)

Bornholm was heavily bombarded by Soviet forces near the end of the war. Von Kamft, the German superior officer in charge of the island garrison refused to surrender to Soviet forces. Instead the Germans sent several telegrams to Copenhagen requesting that at least one single British soldier should be transferred to Bornholm, so that the Germans could surrender to the western allied forces instead of the Russians. When Von Kamft failed to provide a written capitulation as demanded by Russian HQ, Soviet aircrafts relentlessly bombed and destroyed more than 800 civilian houses, with roughly 3000 more being seriously damaged on the 7th and 8th of May 1945. Eventually, the German garrison did surrender to the Soviet forces, which occupied the island until April 5, 1946. As a result, quite a few natives of Bornholm to this day regard Russians with some suspicion and contempt. As the Russian forces made their presence felt for a whole year while looting and ravaging the Bornholm countryside.

In newer times NATO radar installations have been placed on the island.


Bornholm Regional Municipality has county privileges, it comprises the five former municipalities (Allinge-Gudhjem, Hasle, Nex, Rnne and Aakirkeby) and the former county.

Missing image
Map of Denmark

Map of Denmark, Bornholm is to the far right

See also

External link


da:Bornholm de:Bornholm es:Bornholm et:Bornholm eo:Bornholm fr:Bornholm ja:ボーンホルム島 nl:Bornholm pl:Bornholm fi:Bornholm sv:Bornholm


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