Tiden arbejder for os: DKP og Vietnamkrigen 1963-1973.

Translated title of the contribution: Time is on our side : The Communist Party of Denmark and the Vietnam War 1963-1973

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearch


From 1963 to 1973 the Vietnam War had a major impact on the structure
and politics of the Danish leftwing and social movements. Particularly one
party, the Communist Party of Denmark (DKP), played a key role in
build-up of the protests against the war. Within few years the DKP succeeded,
in cooperation with a number of centre-left and reformist socialist
parties, in developing the Vietnam Movement from a marginalised and
radical forum to a broad anti-war coalition, which eventually successfully
influenced the official foreign policy of the social democratic government
that came into power in 1972.
On the basis of systematic research in the existing archives, this thesis
provides a description and a range of explanations on the interrelation between
the Vietnam Movement and the DKP in the period. As a specific
study of the DKP and as a contribution to the ongoing debate concerning
the Cold War and historical research in the Danish communist movement,
this thesis argues that the DKP had a range of political reasons for promoting
and backing the Vietnam Movement, which had more to do with
national political agendas than it had to do with the war itself. At the fore213
front of this agenda stood a political desire to influence the Social Democratic
Party, which was pursued mainly through a united front-strategy. The
importance of this strategy was underscored by the willingness of the
party to break away from a strong radical leftwing, which eventually in
1969 caused a break-up of the movement, which afterwards continued
along two separate political tracks.
Although the party in the period largely followed the soviet political
line in relation to the Vietnam-movement and war, this was not the product
of direct political instructions from the Kremlin, but primarily of
their own priorities in the parties Central Committee. Although the breakup
and following decline from 1969 and onwards seriously reduced the
party’s influence in the movement, the political experience and connections
gained in the protests against the war nevertheless played an important
role in explaining the relative success, which the party had in the first
half of the 1970’s in breaking 13 years of political isolation and absence
from parliament. Furthermore, the party played a crucial role in the campaign
against Danish membership of the European Community in 1972,
which again primarily a product of the experience gained in the Vietnam
As such, the general expansion and growth of leftwing politics and
protest movements in the Danish society throughout the 1970’s can only
be understood on a basis of the Vietnam Movement and the role played by
the DKP.
Translated title of the contributionTime is on our side : The Communist Party of Denmark and the Vietnam War 1963-1973
Original languageDanish
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
Number of pages248
ISBN (Print)978-87-7917-198-5
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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