WHEN the three kingdoms of Scandinavia settled down to formulate their foreign policies in the troubled aftermath of World War II it was found that, in spite of all new and trying experiences, the fundamental principles which determine policy had not changed. Norway and Denmark had been occupied, and had regained freedom through outside help. By luck and geography Sweden escaped invasion, but had found herself isolated within the German orbit and managed to safeguard her territorial integrity only by grave deviations from strict neutrality. For all of Scandinavia, however, one lesson seemed clear enough: in a world conflagration this corner of the globe could no longer safely consider itself outside the area of strategic importance to the great combatants.
The conclusion of those who waged the battle of resistance in Norway and Denmark was that the day of neutrality was over, and the idea was even voiced by some circles in Sweden. Whatever we do, it was reasoned, however much we try to keep a balance between conflicting Powers, nothing can prevent our territory from being involved if there is another major war. And to the logic of experience was added the moral feeling of those who had fought Nazism in the name of national honor and human decency.
The first major developments of foreign policy in the postwar period were an expression of this conclusion. Norway had been united with the Allied Powers ever since she took up arms against the invaders in 1940. Denmark was formally recognized as an Allied nation soon after V-Day, as a tribute to her resistance movement which had broken the spell of official collaboration in 1943. In view of what had gone before, this formal abandonment of neutrality was rather academic. So far as the future was concerned, the people of the north were at that time thinking of the danger of a revival of German power; friction between Russia and the western world still seemed to be a product of more or less natural
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