The relations between the Nordic countries and Germany during WW II form a fascinating but not always comfortable subject. The national narratives place Denmark, Norway and Sweden as small democracies at the mercy of evil nazis (Finland is a trickier subject) – and in a way it is true: These states were small and in the event of a German attack they would face the choice between self-destruction or an extreme degree of acquiescence as no foreign powers would support them.
During the war this led to a lot of contacts with Germany which did not look good even at the time and which after the end of the war would be embarrassing at the best and potentially dangerous after the war (cf. the Finnish case).
In a way the Norwegians were the lucky ones – even if they probably didn’t feel that way – as the country was occupied and effectively put under direct German rule: After getting rid of Quisling and his entourage, Norway would easily find its way into the society of righteous nations.
Sweden and Denmark looked more dubious: Officially, the Swedes stayed neutral while selling iron ore to Germany and allowing German military transports to Norway, while the Danes were occupied – well, sort of -, self-governing and selling agricultural products to Germany during the war. (One problem was of cause that the vital British market for obvious reasons was unavailable between 1940 and 1945). The operation to rescue of most of the Danish jews in 1943 also helped rescue Denmark’s and to some degree Sweden’s international reputation.
This meant that in 1945, Sweden and Denmark had a lot of skeletons that had to be disposed of in suitable cupboards but as skeletons will be skeletons, they would eventually come out into the light of day at more or less appropriate moments. One casualty of this is Berlingske Tidende which invoked the wrath of powerful industrialist Mærsk McKinney Møller in the late 1990s by publishing articles about Riffelsyndikatet’s trade with Germany. Riffelsyndikatet was partly owned by companies in the A.P. Møller conglomerate and McKinney Møller retaliated by forcing a sale of the Berlingske publishing house to the Norwegian Orkla group. (Today Berlingske is owned by a British investment company).
But if someone had suggested a story with the headline Danish state authority tested vaccines on German KZ prisoners, your first reaction would be: Surely, you’ve been eating something.
Unfortunately, the answer is no. And yes, the archives have been sanitized.