Six indigenous people of Greenland, belonging to the Inuit group, are demanding compensation from the Danish state for a failed social experiment in 1951, in which a group of 22 Inuit children were taken from their families and tried to raise into “little Danes” in mainland Denmark – reports on Tuesday BBC.
Experiment on children, many of them died. The Danish prime minister apologizes
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen apologized for the social experiment on the children of Greenland’s indigenous peoples. In 1951 they were taken from …
Six Inuit demands compensation from the Danish State in the amount of 37.8 thousand. dollars per person – their lawyer informed them.
The Danish authorities have not yet commented on the subject of the claim. Last year, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen formally apologized on behalf of the Danish state for the harm done.
– We cannot change what has already happened, but we can take responsibility and apologize to those we should have cared for and we did not do, said the head of the government.
How was the experiment going?
In the early 1950s, a group of teachers and priests was asked to selecting Inuit children who could take part in the experiment to give them re-education, a “better life” in Denmark and a return to Greenland as “good role models”, writes the British station. In May 1951, MS Disko left the island’s capital, Nuuk, with 22 children on board.
Upon arrival, the children were there deprived of contact with relatives and placed in foster families.
Helene Thiesen, one of the children taken away from their families and one of the applicants, told the BBC in 2015 that “an apology means a lot.” A woman who was 7 years old when she was separated from her relatives remembers hearing from her mother, a single widow raising three children, that “Denmark is paradise” and “no need to be sad” because of the breakup.
It wasn’t until 1996 that Thiesen found out why she had been transferred from her native community in Greenland to a foster family in mainland Denmark. She never managed to rebuild her relationship with her biological mother and siblings.
Greenland is an autonomous territory dependent on Denmark. Of the more than 56 thousand inhabitants of the island, about 89 percent. are Inuit.