Illustration Ragni Svensson

Illustration Ragni Svensson

Essays The Dream of a Balto-Scandian Federation: Sweden and the independent Baltic States 1918–1940 in geography and politics

In the period between the two world wars, Swedish interest in the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania was in general extremely limited, whereas from the other side Sweden was seen as a geopolitically inactive power and consequently as a possible source of support and an ally against the Baltic states’ two greater neighbors, the Soviet Union and Germany.

Published in the printed edition of Baltic Worlds BW 2019:2 pp 20-28
Published on on June 18, 2019

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For a long time in the 20th century, the Baltic region, or Baltikum, here defined as the area south of the Gulf of Finland and east of the Baltic Sea, was more or less a blank spot on the mental map of Swedish politicians and social scientists alike. The “inventor” of geopolitics, political scientist and conservative politician Rudolf Kjellén, urged for Swedish cultural and economic activism towards the Baltic part of Tsarist Russia, but the program was never implemented, and the break-up of the Russian Empire and the new geopolitical situation, as well as Kjellén’s death in 1922, with few exceptions put a new end to Swedish academic interests in the contemporary geopolitical situation of the area.

From the perspective of the three states of the Baltikum, any super-state regionalism with Norden was primarily connected with Estonia in combination with Sweden. Sweden and Estonia thus played a special role in the Baltic discussion about regionalism. However, there was a more one-sided interest from Lithuania in contacts with Scandinavia and particularly with Sweden. The independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in 1919–1920 gave Sweden a geopolitical buffer against the neighboring great powers of Russia/the Soviet Union and Germany, which were initially weakened and politically unstable. But as pointed out by Wilhelm Carlgren, Swedish foreign policy towards the three Baltic states was passive, even reluctant. Kangeris makes a temporal distinction. In the period 1918—1925, Sweden was the leading actor in relations with the three newly independent Baltic States, which had no political co-ordination. From 1925 to 1934, the three states searched for contacts with a (reluctant) Sweden and Finland, and from 1933/34 Sweden’s policy towards the three states was directed towards keeping them neutral. It should be added that, as described below, Sweden’s early activity was mainly indirect, through the League of Nations, especially during the activities of Hjalmar Branting and much later those of Rickard Sandler.

Kangeris summarizes the Swedish deliberations in 1919 as follows:

  • A rejection of any participation in a Baltic confederation
  • Caution with political standpoints and commitments
  • Consideration of German standpoints
  • Emphasis on Russian standpoints
  • Finland’s exceptional position in relation to Sweden
  • Sweden’s economic interests in the new states
  • Consideration of the interests of national minorities [i.e. in all Baltic States. Author’s comment]

Sweden’s involvement in Baltic geopolitics was mainly channeled through the League of Nations and concentrated on the right to self-determination, the rights of minorities, and the geopolitical issues of Wilno/Vilnius and Memel/Klaipėda, with Hjalmar Branting as the main actor until his death in 1925. The Swedish lack of direct interest in the Baltic States was particularly regretted in Estonia. Per Wieselgren, professor of Swedish at Tartu 1930–1941, referred to this in his book when recounting an anecdote in which Prime Minister (1917–1920) Nils Edén responded to the demands of an Estonian delegation begging for Swedish help with building a legal system and appointing Swedish jurists at the Tartu University Law Faculty by saying, “Das interessiert uns nicht” [It is of no interest to us]. The monography on Edén does not mention the Baltic area, but with one exception. In a speech by Edén on March 2, 1919, he mentions that “an important right-wing journal had, apparently influenced by great power traditions, demanded an active involvement in the Baltic countries”. The wording seems to indicate a repudiation of this demand. That early Baltic demands for help with building a modern legal system were rejected by Sweden is further mentioned in an article in Svensk Tidskrift from October 1939.

While Finland recognized Estonia on June 7, 1920, shortly after the Tartu Peace Treaty of February 2, Sweden and Norway waited until February 4 of the next year to recognize Estonia and Latvia. Sweden recognized Lithuania de jure on September 28, 1921. A Swedish Legation was established in Tallinn, but already in 1922 it was moved to Riga in order to include Lithuania in its responsibility. A chargé d’affaires was installed in Tallinn in 1930 but subordinated to the legation in Riga. The Swedish envoy to the Baltic States from 1921 (including Kaunas from 1922) to 1928, Torsten Undén, first reported on the Memel issue with a positive interest in a referendum to the benefit of the ethnic Lithuanian population, but the Lithuanian geopolitics in the area eventually caused Swedish resentment.

Even after the annexation of Memel/Klaipėda into Lithuania, the “old-timer” honorary consul for Sweden in Klaipėda represented a “pro-German” standpoint, causing tensions between the countries. But Grigaravičiūtė writes: “It should be noted that in 1923–1924 Sweden was especially concerned with the settlement of the Klaipėda case in the interest of Lithuania and actively supported Lithuania in the League of Nations. Later, at the end of 1924, when the Dawes Plan was adopted, the situation started to change.” In the Wilno/Vilnius conflict:“With the support of Hjalmar Branting, in 1924 Lithuanian diplomacy tried to initiate the consideration of the Vilnius issue in the League of Nations; however, the attempts were doomed to fail”.

On August 9, 1940, the Estonian Foreign Ministry, under Soviet pressure, informed that the Estonian missions abroad had ceased operations and consequently the Swedish representations had to be closed in all Baltic States, which were soon to be annexedby the Soviet Union. A similar message was received by the Swedish mission in Kaunas on August 10.


The “Baltic Entente” in Swedish politics: One man’s work

The only politician to urge for closer ties to the Baltic states was the mayor of Stockholm (1903—1930) Carl Lindhagen, who in both 1920 and 1934 advocated in Parliament for a closer cooperation with the area, and who also in 1934 advocated such cooperation as a counter-force to an increasingly aggressive Germany. Lindhagen’s efforts on behalf of Lithuania are described by Pivoras.

Lindhagen devotes six pages in his extensive memoirs to ”Den baltiska ententen. Finland,Estland, Lettland,Litauen, Vilna” [The Baltic entente. Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Vilna].  Representing Stockholm as its mayor, Lindhagen secretly met with representatives of these “rim states” in St. Petersburg in 1903 at the celebration of its 300th anniversary. Evidently these contacts led to a meeting in Stockholm on October 12, 1915, with Juozas Gabrys, Martynas Yčas, and Stasys Šilingas. In October 1915, together with Estonian Aleksander Kesküla, Gabrys traveled to Stockholm to meet with Yčas, a member of the Russian State Duma, and Šilingas, an employee of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Kesküla wanted to persuade Yčas to resign from the Duma in support for Germany, whileYčas wanted to organize a much broader Lithuanian conference with representatives from Lithuanian activists living in Lithuania, Russia, Western Europe, and the United States and was disappointed that only Gabrys could attend. The meeting, self-declared as the First Lithuanian Conference, did not adopt a political statement. At the end of 1915, Jonas Aukštuolis came to Sweden, and at the end of 1915 or at the beginning of 1916 Ignas Šeinius came also.

A war refugee relief organization, the Swedish–Lithuanian Aid Committee (Lithuanian: Švedų-lietuvių šelpimo komitetas), was established, of which Carl Lindhagen, mayor of Stockholm, was chairman; Verner Söderberg, editor of Stockholms Dagblad, was secretary; and Lithuanian Jonas Aukštuolis was manager. Two further meetings were held in Stockholm on October 18—22, 1917, and January 3—6, 1918.

In January of 1918, Lindhagen met Estonian representatives in the custody of the German army in Finland  in Eckerö in the Åland Islands. When the Baltic States declared their independence and sought international recognition, Lindhagen interpellated the foreign minister in Parliament, but according to the minister the Government “did not dare” until “Paris and London” made the decision. When this happened, Lithuania was excluded because of Polish complaints about the Vilna case, and Sweden followed this example. At a public celebration in Stockholm, Lindhagen suggested a “popular declaration of recognition of Lithuania”, but finally the Paris and London governments gave their recognition and Sweden followed. This de facto recognition was made in December 1918.

At a conference in Helsinki in 1919, the Baltic foreign ministers approached the Scandinavian foreign ministers for cooperation but were met with rejection. Lindhagen made a new interpellation urging for cooperation, but to no avail. In the following 10 years he introduced seven parliamentary bills concerning relations with the “East Baltic States”. Lindhagen continued with two more bills in 1933–1934, one about the Vilna question and the other about “cooperation between small states, especially between Scandinavians and the Balts”. The document is a 20-page survey of the history and present situation at the time of Nordic–East Baltic relations since the independence of the East Baltic States, ending with the formal request that “the Parliament would request the Government to initiate agreements between the Baltic small states east and west of the Baltic Sea about an understanding (entente) between these powers to the promotion of a common autarchy and cultural furtherance”. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Constitution wrote that there were possibilities, but concluded that it was up to the King in Council (Kungl.Majt.) to implement Lindhagen’s proposal, and he writes that Minister of Foreign Affairs Rickard Sandler “who had communicated with the Committee was of the opinion that I ought to be satisfied”. Thus no real results were obtained, but the bill was given much attention in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. While rich in details and names of organizations and individuals, it does not mention De Geer’s article (see below).

In the summer of 1934, Lindhagen traveled privately through the Baltic States and was received by officials, and he also visited Memel (Klaipėda) and Dünaburg (Daugavpils). By special permission, he was allowed to cross the Lithuanian–Polish border, visiting Wilno and meeting with representatives of the Jewish and Belarusian populations.


De Geer’s regionalization of Baltoscandia

A scientific attempt to define a Balto-Scandinavian region based on natural and cultural indicators was made by the Swedish geo-grapher Sten De Geer (1886—1933) in 1928. His rather haphazard selection of indicators resulted in a core area including Scandinavia, Finland, Estonia, and Latvia. Starting from the Finnish geologist W. Ramsay’s concept of Fennoscandia (comprising Norway, Sweden, Finland, Soviet Karelia, and the Kola peninsula) based on ancient bedrock morphology, he emphasizes that other physical as well as socio-cultural aspects show a different spatial distribution. He adds that there is a well-known difficulty in defining the outer limits of a distribution because some features show a slowly declining intensity, e.g. many biogeographical features that reflect an Atlantic or inner Eurasian influence.

De Geer chose nine indicators of a possible Balto-Scandian regional homogeneity, four of which were of a physical nature and five of which were of a socio-cultural character. While most of the physical indicators were of little direct cultural influence, they defined conditions for livelihood and subsistence in a historical context. His socio-cultural indicators were from a geopolitical point of view more interesting and partly also questionable, especially indicator 5, “The core area of the Nordic race”
(p. 127—129), which was partly based on a study by the infamous race biologist Herman Lundborg and his deputy F. J. (Frans Josua) Linders. The indications were based on body height, eye color, and head shape. De Geer indicates on a map a line denoting the outer edge the distribution of the “Nordic race or the Nordic race mixture” (p. 129). The delineation is vague; for example, the “Finns and Estonians are no more Mongolian, but the Lapps [Sámi] are”. Even if this indicator is, by modern standards, totally senseless, there is no indication of any derogatory racism. The sixth indicator is “The two Fennoscandian language areas” (p. 129—130), where the difference between the North Germanic and Fenno-Ugric languages is not taken as a regional boundary, because “the cultural border is rather to the east”, but the region is still divided into two sub-regions. De Geer also discusses the role of the Baltic languages — Latvian and Lithuanian — but with some hesitation he does not include them within the regional delimitation. As to the distribution of the Protestant religion, he maintains that religion was earlier a more important cultural indication than language. The delineation is quite clear, with Latvia divided in the middle towards Catholicism and the easternmost part of  Finland marked as Orthodox (map 4). The political division into states at the time of publication (1928) is also marked on map 4, where Estonia and Latvia belong to an eastern sub-division with Finland. The final indicator is “The maximal extension of the two Nordic states (Denmark and Sweden) during 1000 years” (p.133–135) where the time under the supremacy of one of these states is indicated on map 5. The only area really questioned is Kurland (southwestern Latvia), which from 1660 to 1720 was at times under Swedish dominance. At the end of the article, De Geer tries a synthesis, cartographically depicted on map 6 (p.136). The result is, not surprisingly, the area covered by the states of Norden plus Estonia and Latvia, while Lithuania and the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea are only covered by physical indicators. In the remaining part of the paper, De Geer mentions other types of Nordic influences farther south and east.


While De Geer is cautious about geopolitical or other conclusions, his study is more important as a sign of genuine interest in the Baltic relations than as a scientific study. In his vast correspondence (e.g. 122 letters with Germany), Estonia accounted for only 4 correspondences, all with Tartu, including one with Edgar Kant and 3 with Riga University, plus 11 correspondences with the Swedish geographer Jonatan Grufman (1893–1964) who was undertaking regional studies in Latvia. Grufman wrote one article on the regional geography of Estonia in 1923, referring to Sten De Geer as his teacher and the SSAG (the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography) as the grantee of a scholarship, and one article on Latvia’s natural environment as partof an anthology. Sten De Geer’s main contribution concerning Sweden’s southeastern neighbors is perhaps the naming of the concept of Baltoscandia and, through personal contacts, the intellectual transfer of Kant’s social geography back to Sweden after World War II.


The spread and extension of the Baltoscandian concept

De Geer’s spatial concept was evidently used by Lindhagen (without mentioning the source of his inspiration) and others in advocating for closer relations with Sweden’s eastern neighbors. The Lithuanian professor Kazys Pakštas soon took up De Geer’s work, but sought to include his own country in the region as a Baltoscandian Confederation, which was actually an idea already put forward by the Estonian president of the Land Council (Maanõukogu), Jaan Tõnisson, in 1917. Pakštas visited the Scandinavian countries in 1934 and gave two lectures in Stockholm. In the minutes of the SSAG of February 16, 1934, he was awarded the Andrée Medal. In a letter in Swedish to the SSAG dated March 28, 1934, the Dean of the Mathematical-Natural Science Faculty of Vytauto Dididžiojo Universitetas (Vytautas Magnus University) in Kaunas, Prof. Z. Žemaitis, mentions the occasion and the awarding of the medal along with the increased interest from Swedish scientific institutions and the mutual visits of professors. Pakštas’s ideas were supported by Estonian geographer Edgar Kant, but met with little understanding in Sweden. Kant referred to De Geer’s (cited de Geer) study of the Baltic cities and other articles in his 1926 thesis on the urban geography of Tartu. That Kant had contact with De Geer is evident from Kant’s booklet Estland och Baltoskandia, published in Swedish in 1935, which is dedicated to the memory of the deceased De Geer and seems to be a revised Swedish-language version of his Estlands Zugehörigkeit zu Baltoskandia published in Tartu in 1934.

Kant even visited De Geer’s widow and young son Eric in Stockholm. Kant’s close relation to Sten De Geer is also confirmed by Professor Olavi Granö, son of Johannes Gabriel Granö, the first professor of geography in independent Estonia, who called Kant “Sten De Geer’s confederate”.As for direct contacts between Lindhagen and De Geer, there are no references, but taking into consideration Lindhagen’s position as mayor of Stockholm and the important position of the De Geer family (and particularly Sten De Geer’s scientific work on the urban geography of Stockholm) it is most likely that they were in personal contact.

Late geopolitical interest from Sweden

Rickard Sandler (1884–1964), who was Minister of Foreign Affairs 1932–1939 and an academic geographer, “showed a clearly greater interest in political contacts with Baltikum than his predecessors. He evidently wanted in the long term to establish some sort of connection between the Nordic group of states and the Baltic one. This was also a Baltic interest. But great-power politics crushed such ideas.” Sandler made an official visit to the three states in 1937 and was met with warmth and good publicity. Before the journey, Professor Adolf  Schück of Stockholm University College and the Baltic Committee informed Sigurd Curman, the King’s Custodian of Antiquities (Riksantikvarie), about important persons to meet (and others not to meet), after which Curman in turn, in a formal but hand-written letter, passed the information on to Sandler. In Kaunas, Sandler met Lithuania’s authoritarian president Antanas Smetona and, among others, Kazys Pakštas. Sandler’s visit and Sweden’s declaration of neutrality evidently had an impact on Lithuania’s standpoint towards neutrality.

There were rumors in Nazi Germany that Sandler, with the help of Great Britain, would try to form a Baltic–Scandinavian group of neutral countries in competition with Poland, but these were only German speculations. Sandler’s social democratic colleague Sven Backlund, the initiator of and a teacher at the Nordic School for Adult Education in Geneva, envisaged a group of regions of small states in Europe, but he separated two northern blocs of states divided by the Baltic Sea.


Social, economic, and academic contacts

In spite of these fruitless political and theoretical attempts to create a Scandinavian–Baltic region, there were still of course economic, cultural, and educational contacts and exchanges. Swedish–Baltic economic exchange peaked around 1929 and then dwindled due to recession and to increasing economic protectionism, and from 1934 due to rising authoritarianism. Towards the end of 1930 the amount of Swedish tourism to Estonia (and to a lesser extent to Latvia) based on the beaches and the bathing resorts also peaked, but this decline was motivated also by political and cultural arguments. Regarding Lithuania, negotiations for a state loan by the Swedish Match Company in 1929 increased contacts but also tied the country to the match monopoly.

Attempts to formalize a regional cultural cooperation met with limited interest from Sweden. A committee for cultural contacts with the Baltic states was founded in 1931 by a group of professors at the University College of Stockholm, organizing exchanges, courses, and a Baltic conference for historians in Riga in 1937. The conference included important Stockholm academics and was arranged from Riga by the lecturer in Swedish language and history (1928–1936) Harry Wallin. Two rather distinguished Swedish officials attended the Second Interbaltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation, held on November 29–30, 1936, in Tartu, and even though a planned meeting of the cultural conference in Stockholm was cancelled, there were some Swedish delegates at the Baltic Conference on Intellectual Cooperation held in Riga the same year.

Adolf Schück, historian and secretary at the Baltic Institute of the Stockholm University College, in an interview in 1937 with an Estonian academic journal underlined that the status quo in the Baltic area would be in Sweden’s best interest and should determine the future cooperation between the Baltic States and Sweden.

At Tartu University, a number of Swedish professors were appointed. Philologist Johan Bergman was professor until 1923, but worked as a politician in the Swedish Parliament to create a chair in Swedish language and literature at Tartu (see below). Archaeologist Birger Nerman was professor at Tartu University 1923–1925 and made field excavations in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the early 1930s studying early contacts with Gotland and Sweden. Other Tartu-based professors included Andreas Bjerre in penal law until 1925, Helge Kjellin in art history (1921–1924, and at Riga 1929–1931), and Sten Karling in art history (1933–1941)who undertook an important study on the building history of the baroque fortress town of Narva in Estonia. In 1928 the Swedish Parliament decided to finance a professors’ chair in the Swedish language at Tartu University. Per Wieselgren held the chair from 1929 until the German occupation in 1941.

The Latvian University recruited some Swedish academics, usually men with rather weak merits, but also including the physical anthropologist and anatomy professor Gaston Backman (1920–1926). There were strong contacts in archeology and ethnology with Professors Birger Nerman and Sigurd Erixon (both of whom contributed to the anthology in 1935 at the 10th anniversary of the Swedish–Latvian Association), and one of the history scholars from 1937, Edgars Dunsdorfs, even studied at Stockholms Högskola.

Vytautas Magnus University introduced courses in Swedish in 1932 and a lectureship in 1935. In November 1936, the lecturer Knut Olof Falk wrote a memorandum concerning Swedish cultural propaganda in Baltikum where he indicated that the lectureships in Riga and Kaunas were implemented at the Swedish initiative, mainly from the Baltic Committee, and with increasing interest from the Swedish state, but the question of remuneration had not been effectively resolved.

Courses in the Baltic languages and in Estonian were introduced at Stockholm University in 1939 and maintained during the Second World War with its influx of Baltic refugees, but they were discontinued in 1950, probably because the Cold War and the containment of the Soviet Union made contacts with the Soviet Baltic republics virtually impossible. Some teaching of Estonian was maintained at the Departments of Finno-Ugric languages of the main universities. The publication Svio-Estonica issued in Tartu continued from Lund in 1943 and in 1948–1971 with contributions from exiled Estonians.


In the period between the two world wars, Swedish interest in the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania was in general extremely limited, whereas from the other side Sweden was seen as a geopolitically inactive power and consequently as a possible source of support and an ally against the Baltic states’ two greater neighbors, the Soviet Union and Germany. Culturally and academically, a few interested persons mainly related to Stockholm and its University College tried to maintain contacts with the Baltic states, and Tartu University in particular received a limited number of Swedish scholars. Lithuania, squeezed between the Soviet Union, Germany, and Poland, tried to cultivate academic contacts with Sweden, while Latvia seems to have had little contact with Sweden except for a limited number of academics working at the university college. Swedish academic interest in Latvia was almost entirely confined to Stockholm University College, with particular emphasis on archaeology, ethnology, and history related to earlier Swedish influences. While often based on glorifying Swedish history, these contributions seem to have had no geopolitical aspirations.

The most active Swedes working for direct contacts and a sense of regional communality across the Baltic Sea were Stockholm’s mayor Carl Lindhagen, geography professor Sten De Geer, and foreign minister Rickard Sandler, himself an academic geographer. Lindhagen and Sandler were obviously in contact as members of Parliament and of the Social Democratic Party, and they both signed a public appeal in July 1918 in support for a collection of money for the worker victims of the Finnish civil war, with Lindhagen then representing the breakaway Left Party of the Social Democrats. De Geer and Lindhagen were both involved in the development of Stockholm, while De Geer and Sandler were both members of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. Sten De Geer’s early death put an end to a relationship with Estonian geographer Edgar Kant, later to become vice-chancellor of Tartu University and who later became a refugee in Sweden, where he provided the impetus for the modernization of social geography. The Swedish academic contacts with Latvia were weaker and were mainly confined to Swedish interest in the history and pre-history in the area. In the case of Lithuania, Lindhagen’s interest, Sandler’s visit, and the efforts by Kazys Pakštas and Ignas Šeinius/Scheynius created some important contacts despite a lack of “natural proximity”, but perhaps explicable by the vulnerable geopolitical situation of the country.≈


Acknowledgement. I am very grateful to docent Dr. Eric De Geer  of Uppsala University for information about his father Sten De Geer, and to Prof. Dr. Saulis Pivoras, Kaunas, and Prof. Dr. Sandra Grigaravičiūtė, Vilnius, for information on Swedish–Lithuanian  relations in the inter-war period.



  1. The Swedish word Baltikum (also used in German) refers to the spatial area of the Baltic states without clear delimitation, sometimes (but not here) including the Russian exclave (oblast’) of Kaliningrad and, earlier, German East Prussia. The word is used untranslated in this paper. See the discussion in Kristoffer Holt, (2007), Hur nordiskt är Baltikum? och Svensk kultur sedd utifrån. [How Nordic is the Baltic area and Swedish culture seen from abroad] Stockholms skandinavistsymposium: två rapporter, (Norrköping: Linköpings universitet). The concept of ‘Baltic’ is vague. In, for example, Lithuania, the states referred to included Finland until the mid-1930s, while in Sweden The Baltic Sea, Östersjön, ‘Eastern Sea’ (in Finnish the direct translation Itämeri, in Estonian Läänemeri (Western Sea), and in Lithuanian Baltijus jūra), formerly did not include the areas north of the Åland islands. While Sweden’s eastern coast is Baltic, the Baltic States here are defined as the states east of the Baltic Sea, south of the Gulf of Finland, and north of Poland and East Prussia if not otherwise defined.
  2. Carl Marklund (2014), “Stor är stark, men liten är listig: Kjelléns baltiska program och geopolitikens lärdomar för en perifer ’mellanstat’”. [Great is strong, but small is cunning. Kjellén’s Baltic program and the lessons from geopolitics for a periferal ”medium state”], in Edström, Björck & Lundén (eds), Rudolf Kjellén Geopolitiken och konservatismen (Stockholm: Hjalmarson & Högberg, 2014), 180—202, 195—199; see also Mart Kuldkepp (2014) ”Sweden’s historical mission and World War I: A regionalist theory of Swedish activism”, Scandinavian Journal of History 39 (1), 126—146, 126.
  3. Norden is defined as the five independent states of Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland and including their autonomous territories. See the discussion by Fridtjov Isachsen (1960) Norden. In: A Geography of Norden Axel Sømme. (Oslo: J.W. Cappelen), 13, and in Holt (2007).
  4. Mart Kuldkepp, (2010), Den estnisk-svenska regionalistiska diskursen under mellankrigstiden. Ett kulturellt perspektiv [The Estonian-Swedish regionalistic discourse in the inter-war time. A cultural perspective] (Tartu University: Magisteruppsats), 49; Mart Kuldkepp (2015), “Hegemony and liberation in World War I”, Ajalooline Ajakiri, 2015, 3 (153), 249—286.
  5. Sandra Grigaravičiūtė, (2002), Skandinavija Lietuvos diplomatijoje 1918—1940 metais (Vilnius: Saulabrolis), 2002. [Summary: Scandinavia in Lithuania’s diplomacy in 1918—1940], 256—264, 256; Sandra Grigaravičiūtė (2015), Lietuviųir Lietuvos Atstovavimas Skandinavijoje 1915—1990 Metais. Mokslo Darbų Apžvalga, (Vilnius, Lietuvos Edukologijos Universitetas).With an English translation: Representation of Lithuanians and Lithuania in Scandinavia in 1915—1990, 39—87, 55.
  6. Wilhelm M. Carlgren, (1993), Sverige och Baltikum: från mellankrigstid till efterkrigsår: en översikt, [Sweden and the Baltic area: from inter-war time to post-war years: a survey], Stockholm: Publica); see also KaidoJaanson (2001) “The Baltic Sea region in international relations of the twentieth century: The seminal nature of the interwar period”, Journal of Baltic Studies, 32:3, 267—288, 273 and Kuldkepp (2010), 53.
  7. Karlis Kangeris, (1988), “Die Schwedische Baltikumpolitik 1918—1925”. In: The Baltic in international relations between the two world wars. Studia Baltica Stockholmiensa, 1988, 187—207,187.
  8. , 190—91.
  9. Ulf Larsson, (2009), “Hjalmar Branting och Nationernas förbund”. [Hjalmar Branting and the League of Nations], in red. Ulf Bjereld, Socialdemokratin i krig och fred: Ingvar Carlsson 75 år. [Social Democracy in war and peace: Ingvar Carlsson 75 years] (Hedemora; Gidlund), 19—31; Grigaravičiūtė (2002), 261; Sandra Grigaravičiūtė, (2002), ”Lietuvos diplomatija Skandinavijojes prendžiant Vilniaus problemą XX amžiaus 4-ame dešimtmetyje”, 2002, Nr. 51, 38—43.
  10. Per Wieselgren, (1942), Från hammaren till hakkorset. Estland 1939—1941. [From the hammerto the swastika. Estonia 1939—1941].(Stockholm: Idé och Form), 9.
  11. Sverker Oredsson, (2017), Nils Edén. Demokratinsstatsminister. [Nils Edén. The Prime Mininster of Democracy] (Stockholm: Ekerlid), 261.
  12. Elis Håstad, (E.H.), (1939), ”Sverige och Balticum, Dagens Frågor den 14 oktober” [Sweden and the Baltic area. Questions of the day October 15, Svensk Tidskrift 1939, 535—538, 538. The article is signed E.H. Elis Håstad was editor in chief of Svensk Tidskrift 1936—1949.
  13. (Grigaravičiūtė 2002: 257; Remigius Motuzas, (2011), Lietuvos diplomatinisats tovavimas Švedijoje. (Vilnius: Versus Aureus),133, 647. The Swedish government was first contacted for recognition on October 22, 1918. This was done by a member of the Council of Lithuania, M. Yčas, but the application was not formalized. Sometime later, at the end of November 1918, the Lithuanian representative in Berlin J. Šaulys asked for recognition through the Swedish envoy in Berlin. Historiography does not provide information on when exactly he applied to Norway, but the dates of de facto recognition by Sweden and Norway have been recorded. Sweden was the first country that recognized Lithuania de facto. The note of the envoy in Berlin is dated December 12, 1918, when Lithuania had not yet become a state. (Motuzas, 647, Lietuvos Respublikos Seimas: The state of Lithuania placing itself on the international stage in 1918—1924.[2018-05-23]. Information from Sandra Grigaravičiūtė on April 4, 2019, is that the newest research of Pivoras shows that in the historiography of Lithuania there are two dates of de facto recognition, December 3, 1918, and December 12, 1918.
  14. Torsten Undén (1877—1962) was the brother of Östen Undén, (jurist, important academic at Uppsala University, and government minister 1917—1920, 1924—1926, 1932—1936, and 1945—1962).
  15. Saulius Pivoras, (2000), “Die Haltung Schwedens zur Angliederung des Memelgebietes an Litauen, 1923—1924”, Annaberger Annalen Jahrbuch über Litauen und deutsch-litauische Beziehungen 2000. (Heidelberg: Baltisch Christlicher Studentenbund).
  16. Grigaravičiūtė (2015) 75; 80.
  17. [20], 60.
  18. Carlgren 1993, 50; Eric von Sydow, (1988), “Diplomatiska relationer mellan Estland och Sverige under mellankrigstiden” [Diplomatic relations between Estonia and Sweden during the inter-wartime], in Red. Raimo Raag och Harald Runblom, Estländare i Sverige: Historia, språk, kultur.[Estonians in Sweden: History, language, culture.] (Uppsala: Centre for Multiethnic Research, Uppsala University), 49—53.
  19. Motuzas 2011, 400 f, 652.
  20. Carl Lindhagen (1860—1946) was a jurist and politician and was a member of the Stockholm City Council (1903—1941), a member of Parliament’s second chamber (1897—1917) and first chamber (1919—40) as a Liberal until 1907, turning Social Democrat in 1909, and joining the leftist breakout in 1917 but returning in 1923. Johannes Lehmann, 1960, Carl Lindhagen, (København: Arne Frost-Hansens Forlag); Torbjörn Lundqvist, (1995), Industrialismens kritiker: utopism, ämbetsmannaideal och samvetspolitik i Carl Lindhagens ideologi. [The critic of industrialism: utopism, the ideal of the public officers and the politics of conscience in Carl Lindhagen’s ideology] Uppsala University: Dept. of Economic History. Uppsala papers in economic history. Research report, 0281—4560; 36. Lehmann (1896—1980), a Danish cultural and industrial historian, in his almost hagiographical booklet on Lindhagen, in passing mentions Lindhagen as being the first in Sweden to urge the country to pay attention to the small Baltic lands (p.58) and his wish that Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania be included among the Nordic countries (p. 76). Lundqvist describes Lindhagen’s ideological orientation and its development but does not cover his internationalist ideas. The booklet has, however, a valuable list of his enormous number of parliamentary bills, including almost 10 covering Swedish relations to the Baltic States and Poland (see Appendix).
  21. Algo Rämmer, (2016), Haritlased ja Baltikultuurikoostöö. 1920—1930. Aastatel.(Tartu ülikoolkirjastus. 2016). Summary: Intellectuals and Baltic cultural collaboration in the 1920s—1930, 50—51; Kuldkepp, 2010, 50—60; Jaanson 2001, 275, mistakenly referring to him as Lindgren.
  22. Saulius Pivoras, (2009), “Juozas Gabrys, Karlas Lindhagen asirlietuvių — švedųryšiai XX a. pradžioje”, Summary: “Juozas Gabrys’ and Carl Lindhagen’s Contribution to the Lithuanian — Swedish Connections at the Beginning of the 20th  Century”, Istorija: Lietuvos aukstuju mokyklu mokslo darbai, Issue 74, 23—32. tomas [2019-02-04].
  23. Carl Lindhagen, (1939), Carl Lindhagens memoarer, III, [The memoirs of Carl Lindhagen III]. (Stockholm: Bonniers), 377—383. Juozas Gabrys or Juozas Gabrys-Paršaitis (1880, Russian Empire—1951, Switzerland) was a Lithuanian politician and diplomat best remembered for his efforts to popularize the idea of Lithuania’s independence in the West during World War I. Secretary of the Union of Nationalities in 1918 and author of books and maps on nationalities. Martynas Yčas (1885, Russian Empire—1941, Rio de Janeiro), member of the Russian Duma 1912—1917, minister and active in the Lithuanian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and border negotiator with Latvia in 1921. Stasys Šilingas (1885—1962) was a prominent lawyer and statesman in interwar Lithuania who was detained in Siberia from 1941 to 1953.
  24. Lindhagen (1939), 377—383.
  25. Aleksander Kesküla, (1882 Estonia, Russian Empire—1963, Spain) was an Estonian nationalist, enthusiast for Baltic-Swedish cooperation and possible agent, and founder of the Estonian Office in Stockholm 1918, but discarded by the official Estonian delegation. See Kuldkepp (2015), 257—58.
  26. Grigaravičiūtė 2015: 44, Motuzas 2011:53. Ignas Jurkunas Šeinius (in Sweden Scheynius) (1889, Russian Empire–1959, Sweden) came to Sweden in 1915, and after J. Aukštuolis (January 12, 1919—March 3, 1921) and the temporary move of the legation to Copenhagen, became the Envoy of Lithuania in Stockholm (January 1, 1924— June 27, 1927) (also in Helsinki and Copenhagen).He returned to Lithuania in 1927, but upon the annexation in 1940 he returned to Sweden.
  27. Remigijus Misiūnas, (2004), Informacinių kovų kryžkelėse: JAV lietuvių informacinės kovos XIX a. pabaigoje — 1922 m. (Vilnius: Versus Aurius), 76; Motuzas 2011, 646.
  28. Pivoras (2009); Motuzas (2011), 62—74.
  29. Lindhagen (1939), 378
  30. Grigaravičiūtė (2002), 259
  31. Bill 1:200, signed January 21.(Lindhagen, [Carl]. 1933 Första kammaren Motion nr 200).
  32. Lindhagen, 1933, p.19.
  33. Lindhagen (1939), 381—83
  34. Sten De Geer, (1928), “Das geologische Fennoskandia und das geographische Baltoskandia”, Geografiska Annaler 10, 119—139. Sten De Geer received his PhD in physical geography in 1911 and was appointed docent in geography at Uppsala University the same year. He became a teacher at Stockholm University College in 1912, the same year his article Storstäderna vid Östersjön [The cities of the Baltic Sea], Ymer 1912, 41—48 was published based on research and visits to the Baltic cities (see Thomas Lundén, et al. (2012) “A hundred years later: Street cars are still rattling in Baltic cities”, Baltic Worlds 2012 vol .V: 3—4, 37—44). In 1929 he was appointed professor of “geography with mercantile geography and ethnography” at the Göteborg University College. He had a vast field of contacts with influences from US social ecology and European geography, including Estonia, Latvia, and Finland (Eric De Geer, 1997—1999). Sten De Geer died on June 2, 1933.
  35. See e.g. Kuldkepp, 2010, 46
  36. De Geer discusses the problems of the method chosen, while Kant (1934) points at the disadvantages of seeking boundaries, comparing to (J.G.) Granö’s method of indicating core areas. Kant still sees De Geer’s delineation as the most acceptable (Kant 1934: 6—7).
  37. Eric De Geer (1997—1999), Förteckning över Professorn, frih. Sten De Geers samling av manuskript, kartor, foton, korrespondens, addresskartotek, m.m. sammanställd 1997—1999 av Eric De Geer [Catalogue of Professor, baron Sten De Geer’s collection of manuscripts, maps, photos, corrspondences, addresslists, compiled in 1997—1999 by Eric De Geer] (Unpublished manuscript, Uppsala and Göteborg University libraries), 9.
  38. Jonatan Grufman, (1923), ”Estniska republikens geografi”, [The Geography of the Estonian republic] Ymer 1923:4, 452—491, 452.
  39. Jonathan Grufman, (1935), ”Lettlands natur”[Latvia’s nature]. In: Birger Nerman, /Henke, Jerker/Kempff, C./Schück, Adolf (Red.), Svensk-Lettiska Föreningen i Stockholm: till dess tio-års jubileum 18.11.1935, [The Swedish-Latvian Association in Stockholm: at its tenth anniversary Nov. 11 1935] Stockholm.
  40. Sten De Geer’s idea of Baltoskandia was mentioned by Swedish—Estonian writer and geographer Andres Küng (2002), Ett liv för Baltikum, Journalistiska memoarer. [A life for the Baltic area: Jounalistic memoirs].(Stockholm: Timbro).
  41. Kazys Pakštas, (1942), The Baltoscandian Confederation. (Chicago: The Lithuanian Cultural Institute), reprint Academia Baltoscandia, Kaunas 1994.
  42. Jaanson, (2001), 268; Torkel Jansson (2011), Estland — Schwedens erstes Mallorca in den 1930er Jahren“, Nordost-Archiv Zeitschrift für Regionalgeschichte Tourismus im Ostseeraum [Tourism in the Baltic Region] (Wissenschaftlich verantwortlich: Karsten Brüggemann, Tallinn 20. Jahrgang), 111—145, 114—115.
  43. In the machine-typed minutes of the board §10, this is stated with a hand-written continuation, evidently written by the secretary, Hans W:son Ahlmann, stating med anledning av hans föredrag i Stockholm den 20 febr [on the occasion of his lecture in Stockholm on February 20th]. The medal, initiated in 1905, was given to prominent lecturers at SSAG meetings, but there is no mention of an SSAG meeting on that day. In Ymer, the Society’s journal, on p. 154 is written that the Board of SSAG at its meeting on February 16 has awarded Prof. Pakstas the medal. According to Prof. Saulis Pivoras, he gave two lectures, on February 16 and February 20, organized by the Swedish–Lithuanian Society. Pakštas was president of the Swedish–Lithuanian Society from 1933 to 1938 and promoted the establishment of a lectureship in Swedish at Vytautas Magnus University (Pivoras e-mail July 21, 2018, Svenska Dagbladet December 4, 1934). Pakštas was mentioned in Lithuanian history when he was summoned in 1938 by the police for being mentioned as a rival candidate to the authoritarian president Smetonas during the latter’s “re-election”. Alfred Erich Senn, (2007), Lithuania 1940. Revolution From Above. (Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi), 208.
  44. In Pakštas (1942), he is mentioned on the title page as the receiver of the SSAG medal and also as Knight of the Order of Vasa by HM the King of Sweden, 1939. This is evidently the Vasatecknet bestowed to foreign nationals for their merits to Sweden.
  45. Marko Lehti, (1998): “Non-Reciprocal Region-Building: Baltoscandia as a National Coordinate for the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians”, NORDEUROPA Forum , 19—47, 19—23; Algo Rämmer, (2016), “Intellectual Partnerships and the Creation of a Baltic Cultural Body”, Trames, 2015, 19 (69/64), 2, 109—137, 120; Kuldkepp 2010, 65; Anne Buttimer, (1994), “Edgar Kant and Balto-Skandia: Heimatkunde and regional identity”, In: Ed. David Hooson, Geography and National Identity, (Oxford UK & Cambridge USA: Blackwells), 161—183. Lehti (1998) gives a correct description (albeit with a partly misleading reference to De Geer’s paper) and a plausible explanation for an interpretation of a(n East) Baltic nationalistic discourse (p.23), but in a later reference from 2006 (Marko Lehti,; Paradigm en ostseeregionaler Geschichte: Von Nationalgeschichten zur multinationalen Historiographie, 494—510, in Nordeuropaals Geschichtsregion. Jörg Hackmann und Robert Schweitzer, (Helsinki & Lübeck: Aue-Stiftung u. Schmidt-Römhild), 495, he omits De Geer altogether. Sami Moisio (2003), “Back to Baltoscandia? European Union and Geo-Conceptual Remaking of the European North”, Geopolitics, 8:1, 72—100, refers to De Geer as a geomorphologist but seems to base this reference on Lehti 1998.
  46. The Danish geographer and geopolitical commentator professor Gudmund Hatt had a low evaluation of Nordic or Baltic co-operation and saw the inter-war period in the Baltic Sea region as a triangular imbalance of “English” ,“Russian”, and “German” influences at the expense of the smaller states (Gudmund Hatt (1941), Østersøproblemer. [Baltic Sea problems] (København: Fergo).
  47. Edgar Kant (1926), Tartu Linn kuiümbris ja organism. The reference is to De Geer, Storstäderna vid Östersjön, Ymer 1912, 41—87. The reference to organism seems to refer to Rudolf Kjellén, but there is no indication of this in this book. However, in his booklet Estland och Baltoskandia. Bidrag till Östersjöländernas geografi och sociografi. Särtryck ur Svio-Estonica, Tartu 1935, mentioned above, he refers to Kjellén’s Der Staatals Lebensform 1917 citing (p.99) his ideas about a Sweden with or without a Baltic influence (cf. Marklund 2014). In 1940 Kant wrote an introduction to the Estonian version of Kjellén’s Staten som lifsform (1916).
  48. Edgar Kant, (1934), Estlands Zugehörigkeit zu Baltoskandia. (Tartu: Tartu ülikooli majandusgeograafia seminari toimetised nr. 9).
  49. Personal communication with Eric De Geer (born 1927) on May 28, 2018.
  50. Olavi Granö, (2009), Opening of the 3rd Nordic Meeting of Geographers, Turku 8. 11.6.2009, (Unpublished manuscript, Turun Yliopisto), 2.
  51. Carlgren 1993, 38.
  52. Yngve Möller, (1990), Rickard Sandler Folkbildare — Utrikesminister.[Rickars Sandler Adult educator–Minister of Foreign Affairs] (Stockholm: Norstedts), 324.
  53. Adolf Schück (1897—1958), historian, in an article in 1936 discussed the internal relations between the East Baltic States and the problems and prospects for “a Baltoscandian cooperation”, pointing at the need for a deeper understanding of cultural and economic factors as well as the geopolitical situation. Adolf Schück, (1936), “Narvamonumentet” [The Narva monument], Ord och Bild 1936, 561—570, 568—70.
  54. From Curman’s archive, copied and transmitted by Prof. SaulisPivoras.
  55. Motuzas, 2011, 344—345.
  56. Grigaravičiūtė 2002, 262; 2015: 55—56.
  57. Möller, 1990: 324.
  58. Katarina Leppänen (2011),“Education for internationalism at the Nordic school for adult education in Geneva 1931—1939”, History of Education: Journal of the History of Education Society, 40:5, 635—649, 642.
  59. Jansson (2011),111—145.
  60. Grigaravičiūtė 2002, 261
  61. Per Bolin, (2012), Between National and Academic Agendas: Ethnic Policies and ‘National Disciplines’ at the University of Latvia, 1919–1940. (Huddinge: Södertörns högskola), 283; Aleksander Loit, (1988), “Kulturförbindelser mellan Sverige och Estland efter andra världskriget”[Cultural connections between Sweden and Estonia after World War II], In eds., Raimo Raag och Harald Runblom. Estländare i Sverige: Historia, språk, kultur, (Uppsala: Centre for Multiethnic Research, Uppsala University), 65—86, 80.
  62. Rämmer, 2015, 122, 133.
  63. Kuldkepp, 2010, 61.
  64. Sten Karling, (1988), “Kulturförbindelser mellan Estland och Sverige”. Estländare i Sverige: Historia, språk, kultur, eds., Raimo Raag och Harald Runblom. Uppsala: Centre for Multiethnic Research, Uppsala University, 55—64, 55—59; Sveriges Riksdag Motion 1990/91: U519. En professur i svenska språket och litteraturen vid universitetet i Tartu; Wieselgren 1942.
  65. Bolin 2012, 253.
  66. Bolin 2012, 279.
  67. Knut Olof Falk, (1936), Kort promemoria rörande den svenska kulturpropagandan i Baltikum. Type-written paper, [Curman’sarchive], 3.
  68. Karling, 1988, 60; Jansson 2014, 119.
  69. Bolin 2012, 283.
  70. Thomas Lundén, (2016), “Rickard Sandler — en praktiserande geograf”, [Rickard Sandler — a practising geographer] Geografiska Notiser LXXIV:4, 194—196.
  71. Lars Ekdahl, (2018),“Humanitär hjälp och internationell solidaritet. Arbetarrörelsens stödinsatser i inbördeskrigets skugga”. [Humanitarian help and international solidarity. Labor movement support contributions in the shadow of the Civil War.] Den röda våren 1918. Finska inbördeskriget i nordisk samhällsutveckling, [The red spring of 1918. The Finnish Civil War in Nordic socialdevelopment] red. Kjersti Bosdotter et al., Huddinge: ARAB och AKS, 301—329, 313.



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