Skandinavien och första världskriget
Forskningsoutput: Tidskriftsbidrag › Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 has spurred a lively popular and academic debate about the conflict's role in shaping the twentieth century and the European present. This article examines the war from a slightly different perspective, taking as its point of departure the impact of the war on neutral Scandinavia and its place in contemporary Scandinavian historical consciousness and historiography. After a long period of being 'the forgotten war', there now seems to be a new interest for this conflict also in Scandinavia. The article offers a first introduction to Scandinavian research on the First World War and how it relates to international trends and developments within the immense field of First World War Studies. It contains a short review of studies of the war in general by Scandinavian historians, but the main focus is on the topic of Scandinavia and the war. The overview is structured along a couple of key themes or areas of interest that have been prominent in the Scandinavian war historiography: political, military and social history; studies of Scandinavians at the fronts; and cultural history. The interdisciplinary nature of the last is underlined, as literary scholars rather than historians have been crucial in introducing and developing this important field in Scandinavia. Although some tentative national differences and similarities between Denmark, Sweden and Norway are underlined, the article highlights the lack of more comparative studies on Scandinavia and the war and the need for further investigations. Finally, some relevant areas and topics for future research are suggested, such as the cultural impact of the war on Scandinavia, the early Scandinavian humanitarianism in the wake of the war, and studies of the aftermath of the war, i.e. the place of the First World War in Scandinavian history culture and memory during the last century. For a deeper understanding of the complexity of this seminal historical event and its meaning, the neutral war experiences ought to be taken into account. It is time for historians to study the war and its impact on Scandinavia in its own right, not as a mere background or anacrusis to other historical developments.