Dark tourism? In the Royal Danish Arsenal Museum
According to the CPI / Corruption Perceptions Index published by TI / Transparency International Denmark is the most honest country in the world. It has been awarded with this distinction -sometimes sharing it with New Zealand- during the last years. In this way Denmark's honestity offers essential clues to understand how international relations work.
The Royal Danish Arsenal Museum is a museum of military history and arms on Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen. It is located in Christian IVs arsenal, from which it takes its name. One of its exhibitions inform the visitors about the evolution of the Danish Army over time, including its Nazi period.
The German invasion of Denmark was the fighting that followed the German Army crossing the Danish border on 9 April 1940 by land, sea and air. Although the Danish Army had been forewarned of the attack, it was denied permission to deploy or prepare defensive positions as the Danish government did not want to give the Germans any provocation for their actions. Lasting approximately only six hours, the German ground campaign against Denmark was one of the shortest military operations of the Second World War. In this way during most of World War II, Denmark was first a protectorate, then an occupied territory under Germany.
In 2003, in a speech for the 60th anniversary of the end of the 1940–43 collaborationist government, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Denmark's cooperation with Nazis was "morally unjustifiable", which was the first public condemnation of the World War II era Danish leadership by a Danish leader.
The exhibition about evolution of the Danish Army over time also includes its participation in the war against Irak. It includes the text Nothing New Under the Sun which informs the visitors about the motive of this participation, which was the prevention of obtaining oil at the right price. In this way Denmark's honestity let us know the real purposes of governments when declairing war on other countries and can encourage people to fight against these declarations of war.
Here it is a fragment of this text, which was also photographed on the spot.
Nothing New Under the Sun
To a lot of Danes the war in Iraq is a complicated affair. Maybe even controversial. Yet in fact it is not that different from Denmark’s previous wars. Denmark has always entered war in order to look after its own interests. The 21st century is no exception. When it is not the security of the nation that is at stake, then it is our trading routes or the relationship with our allies.
In 1769 when the Barbary States prevented Danish ships from docking their cargo, we went to war against them. Today, when a dictator from Iraq prevents us from obtaining oil at the right price, we go to war against him. In 1788 when our Russian ally asked us to go war against the Swedes, we did so. Today, when our American ally asks us to join in the war against Iraq, we do so...
These photos were taken in August 2015.