Legionärerna / The Legionnaires (1968)

On January 25, 1946 Sweden extradited 146 Baltic military internees to the USSR. At the last moment a Latvian lieutenant stabbed a knife in his own throat and bled to death on the dock in Trelleborg. It was the dramatic finale to a winter filled with violent protests against the Balt extradition. Even today the deportation is viewed as one of the largest Swedish political scandals of modern times. In Legionärerna Per Olov Enquist portrays this story, based on extensive research.

International Editions:

Denmark – Samleren 1968, 1986

Finland – Werner Söderström 1968

Norway – Gyldendal 1968

Germany – Hoffman & Campe 1968, Hanser 2011

The Netherlands – Boekerij 1969

USA – Seymour Lawrence/Dell 1969

Great Britain – Cape 1970

France – Julliard/Bourgois 1970/ Actes Sud 1984

Latvia – Liesma 1993


Press Voices:

”A masterpiece of documentary literature.” Süddeutsche Zeitung

”A parable about the difficult boundary between guilt and innocence, politics and conscience: Per Olov Enquist’s documentary novel is more important than ever.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Legionärerna is such a powerful work, because its author is always aware that the more detailed knowledge he has the greater is the confusion he finds himself in.” BR2 Diwan

“Enquist documentary text is not just about this complicated historical event. He also deals with his own creation.” Die Zeit

”In Legionärerna Per Olov Enquist takes on the Swedish debt after the Second World War in a way one would have wished for the Swiss literature.” NZZ am Sonntag