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Short History briefing:

The below text is the general known history.

Ancient times

Bornholm was formed 1,700 million years ago, but it was only 10,000 years ago that the first humans came to the island in hollowed-out tree trunks.
The Vikings, who ravaged much of Europe from the sea at around the turn of the last millennium, also persecuted Bornholm.

On an outcrop of rock between Ekkodalen (Echo Vally) and Jomfrubjerget (Virgin Hill), a rampart was built that served as a refuge for the peasant population during attacks from the sea. The oldest royal castle in the Nordic region, Lilleborg (Little castle), is situated at Almindingen.

In the southern part of the Paradisbakkerne (Paridise Hills), there is an even more ancient refuge, from around the year 500, when the people of Bornholm fought against wandering tribes. Gamleborg (Old Castle), situated in the Paradisbakkerne (Paridise Hills), was also used as a defence against the Vikings. Still more ancient are the many passage graves and dolmens from the Neolithic Age, a large number of barrows and rock carvings from the Bronze Age.

The Swedish War   

The 800-year-old meter-thick walls in the island's four roundchurches, the castle ruins of Hammershus and the many refuge castles stand as clear testimony to the island's more recent history, with its battles against pirates, against plundering foreign fleets, against the church and royal might.

During the Swedish War of 1658, the people of Bornholm decided to free themselves from the Swedes. They shot the Swedish commandant and handed over the island to the king of Denmark, who had to promise never to cede Bornholm to foreign powers.

At the end of the Second World War, Bornholm's two largest towns, Rønne and Nexø, were bombed and occupied by the allied Russian forces. The occupation lasted eleven months after the end of the war.

After the bombs

After the bombings towards the end of the war in 1945, Rønne and Nexø were extensively rebuilt. A gift from the Swedish state enabled 300 wooden houses to be constructed in the two towns. The areas in which they are located have been maintained, and even Swedish town planners travel to the island to see how it was done.
The history of Bornholm since the Second World War has been shaped by the Russian bombing and occupation of the island. The will of Bornholm to defend itself is reflected in a Home Guard that, in proportion to the size of the island, is unequalled in Denmark. The three armed forces are all represented on the island, which is of major strategic importance to NATO. This is the eastern listening post of the Atlantic Alliance that, particularly during the Cold War and the turmoil in Eastern Europe, played a vital role in supplying information to the rest of the world. Despite the great distance of the island from the Danish capital, Copenhagen, and the rest of the country, a large majority of the people of Bornholm wish to retain the link with Denmark. There has, however, constantly been a Bornholm independence movement that desires autonomy. Thus, in many places, the special Bornholm flag can be seen; unlike the Danish flag, it sports a green cross. Until 1970, Bornholm consisted of 15 rural districts and six municipalities. In the municipal reform, they were consolidated into five, i.e. Allinge-Gudhjem, Hasle, Nexø, Rønne and Aakirkeby. Higher-level issues are dealt with by Bornholms Amt (the County of Bornholm). Today all five including the Amt (County) have been consolidated into one.
The new County is now also a part of the new Regions in Denmark and Bornholm have been placed under Copenhagen.

Far out in the Baltic Sea

For the first 20 years following the Second World War, Bornholm's isolated situation acted as a brake on developments on the island. The introduction of car ferries on the Copenhagen and Ystad (Skåne) routes served to accelerate development.
Ferry transportation to and from Bornholm is still important. In 1973, the State took over the Bornholm shipping company. At the end of 1999, the first catamaran ferry was put into service on the route between Rønne and Ystad, cutting sailing by half. Combining this with the Øresund bridge, the journey time between Copenhagen and Rønne was halved.
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Bornholm has found itself situated in the middle of the Baltic Sea with close links to the surrounding


Our history and hopes:

Bornholm had its own king until 1097, when a Catholic Christian crusade conquered Bornholm and ruled over the island until 1526, when the Catholic Church due to Martin Luther lost its power in Northern Europe.
 When the Protestant church was new and poor was one of Bornholm’s four Shires Pawned for money, from about 1140 to 1270 to different noblemen and for a short time also to the Danish king. In 1270 the deposit for Bornholms forth shire was paid.
So from 1270 until 1526 was the entire Bornholm an independent Catholic country with out any duke or king to rule it.

Zartmann and Jørgensen who wrote bornholms history for over 100 years ago, thought that the "holm" (islet) the art bishop in Bremen who by the way never had been to the Nordic, wrote about in 1060 was Bornholm. But it was Zealand. The bishop wrote that Denmark’s most famous harbour was on "Holmen". And so it still does and it is called Copenhagen and the place Holmen which is on Zealand. Bornholm was then an independent kingdom and was called Bårrijnhålm.

In 1526 when the Catholics lost their power to Luther the King of Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Faeroe island, Skåne, Halland and Blekinge and Slesvig-Holstein became Bornholm also one of the countries the king ruled over.
The old Bornholmish laws was kept intact, most of them until the 1890's.

The king in Copenhagen owed the Hansa-union in Lübeck a lot of money, so the first he did after the conquest of Bornholm was to pawn the country Bornholm to Lübeck for 50 years from 1526 till 1576.
Just as the 429 years under Catholic rule we Bornholmere had some good years except for the first, in the 50 years under the rule of the grocers in Lübeck.

It was also in those years and the years before that, that the peasants in Denmark and other places became slaves under noblemen, counts and barons. But the Bornholmish peasant and citizen have always been free people who made their own decisions and defended their country Bornholm.

In 1657 and 1658 the Swedish-Finish king conquered Slesvig-Holstien and most of Denmark. To get this land back the Danish king in Copenhagen gave some of Norway and Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Bornholm to the Swedish-Finish king.

But after about a year the people of Bornholm made rebellion and killed the Swedish commander.
To get protection from Sweden the rebel group sailed to Copenhagen to give the land back to the Danish king. But with the claims of being made free of most taxes which we were from 1659 till 1890's.
And that Bornholmere only should be soldiers ON Bornholm and those Bornholms old laws should still be in force.

Then we came under Danish rule and enjoyed it for the next 200 years, until the king gave up the power written in Grundloven (constitution law) of 1849. With the constitution law we got majority dictatorship where the Danes suppressed the rest of the minorities in the country. As a result of that Iceland took the opportunity to break loose in 1944 while Denmark co-operated with the German government in Berlin.

Later after a long struggle also Greenland and the Faeroe island got home rule. And it is that we now fight for in Bornholm.

During the Russian bombing of our two major cities on May 7th. and again May 8th. The Danish radio was not allowed to broadcast the news because it would spoil the liberation dances in Denmark.

The aid for new buildings didn't afterwards come from Denmark, but from Sweden.

Bornholm was occupied by Russia until 5. April 1946 and we have ever since been a Danish colony.
Where our language is not allowed in the schools, not written in the news papers, not used on TV2 - Bornholm and we are over flagged with the Danish flag, to really show us and the world who is our rulers.

Should any official statesmen, UN member come by and read this. Then I / we pledge you to use your voice in your parliament or in the UN to speak our course.

The people of Bårrijnhålm / Bornholm.