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Greenlanders sue the Danish state

Knock, Greenland.  Photo gallery.
Knock, Greenland. Photo gallery.

A group of Greenlanders is demanding money from the Danish state to conduct a social experiment in the 1950s, writes Politiken.

Twenty-two Greenland children between the ages of 4 and 9 were separated from their families in 1951. They were taken to Denmark to be assimilated, to learn Danish and to abandon their background. The plan was for the latter to be able to return to Greenland as Danish-speaking leaders.

When they then returned to Greenland, they were placed in an orphanage in Nuuk and were forbidden to speak their mother tongue.

The six surviving, aged between 75 and 78, are now claiming a case of DKK 250,000 each.

They lost their family life, language, culture and affiliation. Their lawyer, Mads Krueger Bramming, tells Politiken that it is a violation of their right to a private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The experiment had serious consequences for the children. Many of them had mental health problems and suffered from substance abuse

In December last year, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) made a public apology.

Later, many experts and politicians in Greenland said that the survivors should receive reparations. But Social Affairs Minister Astrid Craig (S) rejected the financial compensation in May.

In a written response on Sunday, Astrid Kragh wrote to Politiken that “recognizing the mistakes of the past” is the central thing.