The trauma of the Second World War in the Baltic was followed by the upheaval of its aftermath. Millions of people were expelled from lands annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union. In the Baltic states nationalist partisans fought on for several years against the return of Soviet rule. Finland and Sweden armed themselves to the teeth in order to defend their sovereignty and neutrality. In the western Baltic, NATO became the guarantor of security. Britain played a less prominent role in the past but still an important one. The British zone of occupation in Germany included her Baltic coastline, with the important cities of Lübeck and Kiel; the British Army of the Rhine was Britain’s primary contribution towards NATO, and its area of operations spanned the Federal Republic of Germany’s Baltic littoral. Our panel will investigate how much this history has influenced current alignments and perceptions in the region and in the UK.
Jacek Tebinka, Professor and Head of the Department of History and Political Thought at the University of Gdańsk
Thomas Wegener Friis, Associate Professor at the Department of History University of Southern Denmark
Inga Zakšauskienė, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of History, University of Vilnius
Chair: Rt Hon Charles Clarke, Former Home Secretary