Hvor der kæmpes mod Bolschevikerne

Film museum/danmark-paa-film Se Filmen

1919, 14 min., Stum

Efter den russiske revolution i 1917 brød det store russiske kejserrige sammen, og en række nationale mindretal i det tidligere Tsarrige øjnede nu muligheden for selvstændighed og frihed. I Estland og Letland førte selvstændighedsbestræbelserne til blodige uafhængighedskrige mod bolsjevik-Rusland i årene 1918-1920. På privat initiativ blev der i 1919 oprettet et korps af danske frivillige soldater, der skulle bistå de estiske og lettiske folk i deres kamp for frihed og selvstændighed. Mere end 2000 danskere meldte sig, men på grund af økonomiske problemer kom kun første kompagni afsted (ca. 200 mand). Under estisk overkommando deltog de danske frivillige i hårde kampe i Estland, Letland og Rusland. I korpsets kølvand fulgte to danske krigskorrespondenter og filmfotografer, løjtnant W. Møgeltoft-Jørgensen og assurandør Asbjørn Bech. Af den estiske hærledelse havde de to korrespondenter fået tilladelse til at færdes frit på fronten med deres filmkamera. Det blev til denne film, der er et portræt af de baltiske samfund under uafhængighedskrigene i 1919. I flere scener ses de danske frivillige, der er letgenkendelige på deres karakteristiske britiske hjelme. Filmen viser bl.a. danske frivillige i Tartu i Estland, hvor de samles for at rejse med tog til Pskov-fronten i Rusland. Her samarbejdede de danske tropper med de anti-bolsjevikiske russiske hvide styrker i Nordvesthæren, der var kommanderet af den berygtede kosakleder Stanislav Bulak-Balakhovitj, der også ses på filmen. Danske frivillige ses også fejre Valdemarsdagen i Tallinn, og i en af de små landsbyer, der udgjorde kampområdet i Rusland. Desuden ses en række stemningsoptagelser fra de baltiske hovedstæder Riga og Tallinn, samt den russisk by Pskov. Herunder dagligliv, ødelagte bygninger, fattige og krigsfanger. De danske filmfotografers optagelser er de eneste levende billeder der kendes fra den estiske uafhængighedskrig.

Emneord: 1910-1919, 1920-1929, Estland, Gadeliv, Krige, Letland, Riga, Selvstændighed, Soldater, Tallinn, Valdemarsdag

Fotograf: W. Møgeltoft-Jensen, Asbjørn Bech

Produktion: Nordisk Films Kompagni

Se alle credits i Filmdatabasen

Vis transskription

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Transskription

"Where the Bolshevists are fought". Translation of Danish intertitles:

1) The Bolshevism in Estonia is now almost eliminated. One of the first cities to be liberated was Tallinn, whose name means “The city of the Danes”.

2) Tallinn harbor

3) Street in Tallinn

4) Tall Hermann Tower

5) The 700 year old city wall whose construction was started by the Danish king Valdemar Sejr (Valdemar the Victorious)

6) The Danes in Tallinn celebrate “Valdemarsdagen” (King Valdemar's Day) on the very spot where the legend tells that the Danish national flag “Dannebrog” fell from the sky

7) The big bridge in Tartu. The first stonebridge to be built in Estonia.

8) Town square in Pskov

9) Food is limited but expensive! A lump of sugar… 10 roubles! One tiny piece of bread… 30 roubles!

10) The chapel in Pskov

11) In the entrance of the chapel absolution is purchased

12) The poor of the alley are sitting in the sun

13) Old Russian men

14) Russian youth

15) Riga

16) Daily life at the Daugava River

17) Parade in Pskov for the leader of the Russian volunteers, Colonel Balachovitz, who has participated in the Great War, and worked his way up from ordinary Cossack.

18) The public adore Colonel Balachovitz and refer to the brave horseman as “Daddy”

19) The commander of the Danish volunteer corps, Captain Gudme

20) The faithful companion of the corps

21) Artillery at “Pederstorv” in Tallinn

22) A company of soldiers in irregular outfits

23) A young officer in the volunteer corps

24) Also females participate in the fighting

25) Estonian patrol

26) The soldiers leave for battle

27) Soldiers in front of the railway station in Rotenpois (Ropaži, Latvia)

28) Wounded in Pskov

29) Powder magazine blown up by the enemy

30) Enemy shells with poisonous gasses

31) Exploded grenade

32) Bridge in Pskov blown to pieces by the enemy

33) Images of the enemy occupation of Riga

34) The destroyed theater in Riga

35) The interior of a school

36) The destruction of the church and graves in the town of Prudy

37) Captured Bolshevists in Pskov

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Kommentarer

Neeme from Estonia

29-11-2019

Great thanks for very-very intresting document ! Big RESPECT (Y)

D. Iversen

28-12-2019

Please correct the year 1920 to 1919 in the database, as indicated in the (correct!) commentary.

Just to dispel any doubts that 1919 is correct:
 — The scenes from Pskov were obviously shot during the Estonian occupation 25 May – 28 August 1919.
 — Likewise, those with "батька" ("daddy") Bułak-Bałachowicz are before end of August 1919 when he was arrested and expelled from the Northwest Army.
 — Those where the Danish Corps celebrates Valdemar's Day (15 June) cannot be from 1920; the peace treaty of Tartu was signed 2 February 1920.

Redaktionen

07-01-2020

Dear D. Iversen
Thank you for your comment. The year has been corrected.
Best regards Maria Knude Oldhøj Nielsen

Alexander from Pskov

01-09-2020

Great to see my hometown in that period. Thank you so much!

Andri Ksenofontov

31-01-2021

The description is not precise. As an Estonian citizen and a descendant of the participants of the WW I and post-WW I events I speak only on the part of the Estonian history here. The events of 1914-1921 ran different courses in different territories of the ex-Russian Empire.

Yes, the Estonian War for Independence demanded great sacrifice but the main battle was with the local Baltic German nobility which had organised into the Baltic Landeswehr, the army that subordinated itself to the German Headquarters and set its aim to Establish a Baltic German State in Estland, Lifland and Kurland.

The Eastern Front of the Estonian War for Independence coincided with the Russian Western Front of WW I and the Soviet Russian defence line against the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War that the Danish troops, shown in this film, were part of. Although the Estonian Army with its allied support and armoured trains managed to occupy Pskov (ger. Pleskau), we left Pskov soon and left it to the Russian government. Why so?

The two sides of the Russian Civil War had different views on the Estonian independence. Breaking the Czarist Russian Empire into national republics was a left wing project, promoted most consistently by the various territorial national organisations of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, later known as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. They were pro Estonian independence that they proved both by signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918 and the Tartu Peace Treaty in 1920. Their adversaries, the Russian Whites who were supported by their foreign allies, against the secession from the Russian Empire, they wanted to restore the empire in its pre WW I borders without a compromise. This is why the Estonian military did not push further from Pskov, although they were capable for it with the Western support they had, and waited until the Russian Whites were defeated and the Russian Reds recognised the independence of the Republic of Estonia.

It sounds unheard because it tends not to be told. Estonian national independence is largely a Socialist political project, directed against both the Baltic German and the Russian nobility who oppressed Estonians. Both Juhan Kukk, who wrote the text of the Estonian Declaration for Independence, and Jüri Vilms, who declared the independence, were members of the Estonian Labour Party and cooperative activists. There were disagreements and some mistrust inside the Socialist ranks in Estland and Lifland, mostly due to the Bolshevik-Menshevik division, but these disagreements found peaceful resolution and the Estonian Red Riflemen left the theatre of the War for Independence to fight against the Whites in Russia, who were the mortal enemies of the Estonian independence. This is why the Estonian War for Independence never became a civil war between Reds and Whites.

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