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WORLD WAR II

Thousands download newly-published list of Danish WW2 Nazis

A list detailing of members of the Danish Nazi party, DNSAP, during the Second World War, has been downloaded thousands of times since its online release.

Thousands download newly-published list of Danish WW2 Nazis
Police hold back people protesting against a wartime conference of the National Socialist Workers' Party of Denmark (DNSAP) in Copenhagen. Photo: Unknown historical/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Genealogy Association (Danske Slægtsforskere) earlier this year chose to make available for download a list known as the Bovrup Index, which gives the names of Danish Nazis from before and during the Second World War.

Since November 1st, part of the Bovrup Index has been downloadable from the association’s website.

The published online version includes 5,265 of the 22,795 names on the complete list, taking in all those born more than 110 years ago.

Per Andersen, who tuns the association’s library and is also its deputy chairperson, said there had been unprecedented interest since the index was posted online.

”There has been very high interest in downloading it,” Andersen told Ritzau.

”Normally there might 100 or so downloads of the things we post online, but the Bovrup list has been downloaded over 11,000 times,” he said.

The index has long been surrounded by curiosity in Denmark.

Originating from the DNSAP’s own records, it was transcribed by the Danish resistance movement in May 1945, shortly before Germany’s wartime occupation of the Scandinavian country came to an end.

Resistance operatives found the list at the home of DNSAP leader Frits Clausen in the South Jutland town of Bovrup, for which the index was later named.

The list was initially committed to print, but a 1946 District Court ruling decreed that the names of Danish Nazi party members be encompassed by archival laws, meaning only researchers and others given approval were able to view the names in the National Archives (Rigsarkivet).

But enough time has now passed for the Danish Genealogy Association to be able to publish a substantial list of the names of those born in 1908 or earlier, meaning they would be at least 110 years old today.

”For us, this was about a resource that has been highly sought after by genealogists,” Andersen said.

”But overall, I also believe that what we have here is historical source material which must be made public because it, just like other source material, helps us learn about our past,” he added.

Almost half of the people on the published index – 2,303 – are listed as farmers or farm owners. Other commonly occurring job descriptions include ”working man/woman” (arbejdsmand/kvinde), along with assistants, clerks and representatives.

The list includes the dates of birth, addresses and occupations of DNSAP members. The Danish Genealogy Association expects to add a further 2,000-3,000 names to the digitalised list in 2019.

READ ALSO: How Denmark was liberated at the end of World War II

VIKING

How a Viking king inspired one of our best-known modern technologies

A Swede and American tell the story of how they hatched the idea for the moniker 'Bluetooth' over beers.

A Danish 16th-century paining of Viking king Harald Bluetooth
A Danish 16th-century paining of Viking king Harald Bluetooth. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

At the end of the 1990s, Sven Mattisson, a Swedish engineer working at telecom group Ericsson, and Jim Kardach, an American employed by Intel, were among those developing the revolutionary technology.

In 1998, at the dawn of the “wireless” era, the two men were part of an international consortium that created a universal standard for the technology first developed by Ericsson in 1994.

But prior to that, they had struggled to pitch their wireless products. Intel had its Biz-RF wireless programme, Ericsson had MC-Link, while Nokia had its Low Power RF. Kardach, Mattisson and others presented their ideas at a seminar in Toronto in late 1997.

“Jim and I said that people did not appreciate what we presented,” Mattisson, now 65 and winding down his career at Ericsson, recalled in a recent interview with AFP.

The engineer, who had travelled all the way to Canada from Sweden for the one-hour pitch, decided to hang out with Kardach for the evening before flying home.

“We received a lukewarm reception of our confusing proposal, and it was at this time I realised we needed a codename for the project which everyone could use,” Kardach explained in a long account on his webpage.

‘Chauvinistic story’

To drown their sorrows, the two men headed for a local Toronto bar and ended up talking about history, one of Kardach’s passions. “We had some beers… and Jim is interested in history so he asked me about Vikings, so we talked at length about that,” said Mattisson, admitting that his recollection of that historic night is now somewhat foggy.

Kardach said all he knew about Vikings was that they ran “around with horned helmets raiding and looting places, and that they were crazy chiefs.”

Mattisson recommended Kardach read a well-known Swedish historical novel about the Vikings, entitled “The Long Ships”.

Set in the 10th century – “a chauvinistic story” about a boy taken hostage by Vikings, says Mattisson – one name in the book caught Kardach’s attention: that of the king of Denmark, Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson.

A Bluetooth adapter from 2004. Photo: Stefan Gustavsson/SvD/TT

Unification

An important historic figure in Scandinavia in the 10th century, the king of Denmark’s nickname is said to refer to a dead tooth, or, as other tales have it, to his liking for blueberries or even a simple translation error.

During his reign, Denmark turned its back on its pagan beliefs and Norse gods, gradually converting to Christianity.

But he is best known for having united Norway and Denmark in a union that lasted until 1814.

A king who unified Scandinavian rivals – the parallel delighted those seeking to unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.

And the reference to the king goes beyond the name: the Bluetooth logo, which at first glance resembles a geometric squiggle, is in fact a superimposition of the runes for the letters “H” and “B”, the king’s initials.

Low-cost and with low power consumption, Bluetooth was finally launched in May 1998, using technology allowing computer devices to communicate with each other in short range without fixed cables.

The first consumer device equipped with the technology hit the market in 1999, and its name, which was initially meant to be temporary until something better was devised, became permanent.

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