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Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

Diplomatic relations between Sweden and Spain date back to 15th century, but only in middle of next century could she count on having permanent diplomatic representation, while in vast majority Swedish diplomats in Madrid are professional diplomats.

In 20th century, Sweden sent a total of 24 heads of mission to Madrid, of which only two reached Spanish Republic: Carl Ivan Danielsson and Erik Johann Systen Wiesen.

Until summer of 1936 during Civil War (1936-1939). Before government of General Franco became a Swedish agent, from end of 1938 until end of war, diplomat Nils Frederik Gampus Berenkreuz served Ivan Daniel in 1920s as secretary of Madrid Legation under Seine, then Swedish Ambassador to Spain from 1948 to 1951.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

From April 1939 Karl Ivan Westermann, brother of a prominent minister in Swedish government, made Lennart Petri, who later became first Swedish ambassador to Madrid after Franco's death , collected experience of these performances in his memoirs, to which we will have opportunity to refer.

During reporting period, authority of Karl Ivan Danielsson was known, as Danielsson was Minister Plenipotentiary of Sweden< in 1921-1922 and 1925-1937 /strong>.

Karl Ivan Danielsson's diplomatic career and profile is quite unique and a study of personal files of Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows that because some important aspects of his diplomatic management were not detailed enough, he appears to have left position under unusual conditions.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

Danielsson left Austria in early 1920s due to "extraordinary circumstances" and 1936 because Azani was discreetly "expelled" from Spain against his will he was declared "persona non grata" by Egypt during World War II and mentions that his pass was "used to perform certain special productions".

As shown in an unsigned handwritten note dated September 24, 1924, question of his resignation from post of Minister Plenipotentiary of Sweden in Budapest after falling into hands of Soviet Army in early 1945 under auspices of Vatican , he took refuge in Romania, and only in April of same year was able to return to Sweden as a diplomatic courier from Moscow.

How to explain these irregular actions, in absence of additional information, we think that there are two possible explanations: first, Danielson, due to political or other reasons, he is easily connected with Pa's conflicts with authorities in Vassia < strong > caused frequent diplomatic friction.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

If so, he will be a mediocre diplomat who lacks basic skills to represent Sweden at highest level among destination countries. Logically speaking, what caused him to leave diplomatic corps, or at least appoint him to a less responsible post, is more plausible, since Sweden has a smaller presence in Africa.

On other hand, for sake of this explanation, Danielson's diplomatic problems in Spain and Egypt arose towards end of his career, approaching retirement age, when, before Social Democrats came to power, a group of Career Diplomats they are not popular with people.

Danielsen, who was trusted by Swedish authorities to carry out secret tasks, in documents contained in personal file gave impression that he was a high-ranking official in Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for example, Lord Baker-Fries heads political department .

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

The authorities trust Danielson, but given that there are some grievances and silence in case in addition to helping political refugees in Spanish War and World War, this cannot be excluded. out The reason is this.

This interpretation is somewhat supported by Danielsen's track record in his personnel file as an employee of Swedish embassy in Berlin from 1917 to 1921, waiting for a secretary, he was subsequently appointed Chargé d'affaires a temp in Warsaw, Minister Plenipotentiary of Spain from 1921 to 1923, and then Director of Human Resources at Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm.

In early 1920s some rumors were recalled in press about his possible appointment as ambassador to Washington in 1930s, until he retired in 1945, < strong>was minister plenipotentiary where it mattered in terms of political and military balance, and after leaving in 1936, his continuation of Civil War, served in Foreign Office in Stockholm.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

In this last capital, Danielsen was Raoul Wallenberg's regimental commander, and long before his arrival in Hungarian capital, Minister Danielsen and adjutant Per Anger began to protect Jews in capital and issue them Swiss passports. Meeting of Vice-Consul Karl Lutz, Ambassador of Spain Angel Sansa Briza and Ambassador of Pope Angelo Rota.

In this regard, Danielsson remained true to his conduct during Spanish Civil War and did not hesitate to use his diplomatic background to facilitate evacuation of political refugees from Scandinavian legation in Madrid.

We believe that these two assumptions, given that Danielson was a diplomat of previous regime, caused conflict and inconvenience for Swedish government, which can be combined with delicate issue of Danielson as highest trust, they are not necessarily exceptional, because they ran into a prominent diplomat who trusted his superior administrator, Stativos.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

A conservative-minded person will not like a social democratic politician. As for who has been in power in Sweden since 1932, that depends on his successor, Erik. During Spanish Civil War He will be leader of Swedish Federation and he has a slightly different idea.

Eric was in his second year in Republic as a commercial assistant in Madrid, so he knew realities of Spain very well. He maintained a certain friendship with Bryan, a leftist Swedish Social Democrat who during war was chairman of Spanish Relief Committee and lawyer for Spanish legation in Stockholm.

Among other accusations, Francoist authorities, both during and after war, did not forget to emphasize Vicens' sympathy for Republican Spain and Danielsons' sympathy for themselves.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

However, such an understanding of political position of Swedish diplomat is still somewhat simplified, as we will see, both diplomats were critical of political situation in Spain in their offices, regardless of their political signs, and condemned all manifestations of their extremism.

While calling Spanish right-wing extremist groups "fanatic" or clergy without hesitation, and groups on left burning churches and monasteries or fomenting opposition, attempting to establish order through undemocratic channels, support Sen without hesitation in explaining to Swedish government that he does not consider favorable.

As a democracy, in some cases it will protest government of republic. In addition to palace on Via Zurbano in Madrid, Sweden today has a large network of consuls and vice-consulates in Spain: Spanish citizens or third-country nationals, consul general in Madrid, consul in Barcelona, ​​Cadiz.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

Alicante, Bilbao, Canary Islands and Mallorca and vice-consul in Seville:Vigo, Madrid, Alicante, Santander-San Sebastian, Palmas de Gran Canaria, La Coruña, Jerez on border, Almeria , Malaga, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Gion.

Thus, Swedish delegation in Madrid during most of 1930s, until Westermann was appointed Franco's plenipotentiary, had only two missions of duration. Because in power this is a vivid manifestation of political stability of Scandinavian country compared to situation with Spanish delegation in Stockholm.

As mentioned before, Carl Ivan Danielsson spent most of 1920s and first six years of 1930s as Sweden's minister plenipotentiary in Spain, where he represented government very diligently in providing information on political reality in Spain, usually embodied in one or more weekly reports.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

It's easy, follow their lead, Danielson follows Spanish politics almost every week, it's not that easy, Danielson knows where they're from because as they are known in diplomatic circles, see, often hidden is limited to expressions such as "according to my sources" or "according to reliable sources".

Sometimes, however, Danielsson suggested a name, such as name of nuncio of Holy See or other colleagues in diplomatic corps in Madrid, name of Consul General of Sweden, Luis de la Peña, or some position The Lee family, close to royal family, and Marquis de Valdegracias and others

In doing so, he followed usual practice of diplomats of all periods, relying on his connections with political and business class of country of residence, as well as with counterparts in other countries, to form judgments about reality of country. . Danielsen's report, in retrospect, is an important source for understanding how Swedish government perceives political realities of the Spanish Republic.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

This information represents views of delegation in Madrid on internal politics of Spain after end of dictatorship, that is, on night life of Republic, presented by Danielsson to Swedish Foreign Office in November 1929 in relation to Spain. The first secret report on difficult political situation and "return to normal life".

Danielson responds to rumors of a tightening of dictatorship in a "fascist direction", noting displeasure of Madrid artillery and naval officers and cadets, who are also concerned about paternalistic nature of economy. The leadership protested.

Despite Pesto's situation, its highly volatile share price is a risk factor, but its financial position looks solid. Some believe that reign of Primo de Rivera is coming to an end, but diplomatic corps of Madrid is in no hurry to change Legion.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

It is obvious that at that time everyone was against Primo de Rivera, even army, about fall of dictator and rise of his successor, writes Danielson, who was in Sweden on a visit to Famous, Alfonso XIII answered from very beginning with a cry " Babylon, long live republic!"

However, he pointed out that there is still no freedom of assembly and that some censorship still exists as views of Republicans backed by socialists, Republicans , leftist intellectuals are getting stronger. , some conservatives, even some preservatives are not free.

According to Danielson, foreign media coverage of turbulent political situation in Spain, dominated by strikes and revolutionary persecution, is "very exaggerated and biased", although biggest unknown future of republicanism, because even Count Romanos began to consider possibility of a republic, but King Alfonso remained president.

Sweden is a "land of surprises": a story of progress and decline

As for other politicians, such as Sánchez Guerra, mentioned in his famous speech, they announced replacement of Alfonso XIII, who became undesirable due to his support of dictatorship, his son will take over power of Republic.

The political situation says to force government to stop path of normalization, after Sanchez Guerra's statement they are more serious than at first glance, students refuse to support republic, people are chanting "death is king!", and there are other warning signs.

In a secret document, Danielson writes that republican ideas got a big boost after attack by Sanchez Guerra, when tens of thousands of social classes signed palace to support new king. This free atmosphere swept over Sweden at time, and Danielson was a witness to this situation.


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