Monday, December 1, 2014

Minnesota Day 17 August 2014



This year's Minnesota day celebration on August 17 took place as usual in Ljuder Church near Lessebo  in an area with tradition of emigrating to Minnesota and also home to the Author Vilhelm Moberg. According to tradition, The Swedish -American of the Year was presented by the Vasa Order of America Swedish lodges. The 2014 Swedish-American is the  renowned economist C. Fred Bergsten, until recently director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC.
Fred Bergsten thanked for the award and spoke of his contacts with Sweden and its Swedish heritage from his grandfather's homestead in Närke.
The picture below shows C. Fred Bergsten and the Vasa Order of America Swedish Representative Catherine Bringselius-Nilsson rivalry between them list the previous year's year's Swedish-Americans.


This year's speaker was  Dag Blanck manage The Swenson Center at Augustana College,
and the Swedish Institute for North American Studies at the University of Uppsala .He spoke of Swedish-Americans and the construction of a Swedish-American identity in the United States and how it has changed through time. He has. written a book on the subject The Creation of an Ethnic Identity. Being Swedish American in the Augustana Synod, 1860-1917.
The picture below shows Dag Blanck conversing with C Fred Bergsten.


Even Swedish Emigrant Institute former chief Ulf Beijbom attended launching his memoirs
Oförglömligt (Unforgettable) which provides many interesting insights into his activities as head of the Emigrant Institute, his research and travel.


Exciting Archeolocical discovery on the Island of Öland "Unveiling the Sandborg Massacre"

On the Island of Öland just outside the coast of Småland and the city of Kalmar. Swedish Archeologists from the Kalmar county Museum  have made a remarkable discovery in a late iron age fortress in Sandborg  from around 500 AD-They discovered remants of a violent past . Now they want to explore it further !

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Titanic: The Exhibition on Halmstad Arena

I have now visited an interesting   Titanic Exhibition   at Halmstad  Arena  in Halmstad  in Halland
The Exhibition lasts until August 31 and it is very interesting. It contains both pictures . models and reconstructions of the Titanic such as  models of the ships cabins and some original items from the ship and its  passengers.

The exhibition is a traveling exhibition that has  travelled around  the world to several places since 2012


Especially interesting in the Swedish version of the show in Halmstad is the focus on the Swedish passengers 123 Swedes and Swedish Americans traveled with Titanic 89 of them were killed and 34 survived   My blogpost from 2012 about Titanic and its Scandinavian passengers

Some Swedish passengers for the Titanic

Map of  were the Swedish passengers  came from

Do as I board the Titanic!


A good book in english about the Swedish passengers on the Titanic:

Not my time  to die:Titanic and the Swedes on Board   by Lilly  Setterdahl

Great Links about Titanic and its passengers

Titanic Norden (Titanic site with with focus on the Scandinavian passengers)

Encyclopedia Titanica (in English one of the most complete sites about  the Titanic)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Växjö and Småland in Wold War 1 part 2

World WarVäxjö and Småland, part 2

A man from  Kristdala  in the U.S. Army

Although Sweden by its neutrality never became directly involved in the fighting in the First World War was still Swedes who fought in the war. The largest group was probably the Swedish emigrants who emigrated to the United States and that more or less voluntarily  joined the U.S. Army.

Among them was Carl Edward Carlsson 1891-1985 from Kristdala in Kalmar County. Carl Edward
emigrated in 1912 to America where he settled in the vicinity of Oneida, Illinois.
In April 1917 the United States declared war on Germany, and in December against Austria-Hungary.
In June 1917  Carl Edward  was drafted along with many other young men.Just  before
midsummer 1918, they were sent to  Camp Grant near Rockford, Illinois.
The new Military Service Act in the U.S. in 1917 obliged even those who have begun the application process to become a citizen to stand at  the army's disposal. Carl Edward became  a  U.S. citizen Aug. 1, 1918 while at Camp Grant. Not everyone in Rockford's neighborhood wanted to join the army in June 1917 120 Swedes were arrested in Rockford for conscientious objection.
Carl Edwards company were  after a short time training   went to New York and then on to Liverpool and from England by boat to Bordaux to join the rest of the American Expeditionary Force In France
Parts of Carl Edwards field equipment helmet, canteen, knapsack, etc.


The trip to the front in France  was undertaken in cattle cars. Carl Edwards Companywere quartered in a farmhouse soon the  the Spanish flu broke  out and most of the men fell ill.Carl Edward and the few other healthy soldiers escaped the disease but were sent  to the front to fill in the gaps after the armys losses .The fighting  at the front was hard and  after a week, there were only 76 men  of 265 left in the company  the rest were dead or wounded. Overall  Carl Edward spend 4 times at the front the total days spend fighting was 28 . He served mainly in the  28th Infantry Division.
After the hard battles  General Pershing called  the division for his "Iron Division" .
Papers relating Carl Edwards time in the field and pictures of him in uniform.


After the Armistice in  November 11th  1918 the  U.S. troops to stayed  another 6 months in France In n March 1919 Carl Edward and his  company was  located in Bagneux. The demobilization took place outside Le Mans and on  May 1th  the  return journey by boat  to Philadelphia began , The final demobilization. took place May 17 at Camp Dix, New Jersey
Below Carl Edward and his comrades in the 28th  Infantry Division in Bagneux in March 1919

After his return from the war Carl Edward decided to visit his family in Sweden  His passport application  is  dated October 8th  1919. December 6th he sailed from New York  to Sweden.
He later returned to U.S A  and stayed there until the early 1930 thies  when he definitely returned to Sweden, where he married and had two daughters, He died in 1985.Towards the end of his life he wrote down his  experiences in t World War 1.

 Carl Edwards daughters have put their  father's belongings to Kulturparken Småland s disposal  for the  exhibition. The picture below shows Carl Edward Carlsons  daughters Irene Enoksson and Ingrid Kronvall along with the CEO of Kulturparken Småland  Lennart Johansson.

Växjö and Småland in the World War 1 part 1

This year marks 100 year Anniversary  since Archduke Franz Ferdinand  of Austria -Hungary and his wife  were  assassinated in Sarajevo. An event that marked  the  beginning of the worst catastrophe that humanity had yet seen -  World War  1For this reason, the Kulturparken Småland (the Kronoberg county Museum) runs an  exibition about the  the outbreak of the war and how it directly and indirectly  affected the population  in Växjö,  KronobergCounty by the food shortages and high prizes on food.
The exhibition runs until November 11th.

The Outbreak of the war reported in the somewhat-German friendly  local newspaper

Sweden, together with the other Nordic countries declared themselves neutral. The Home Guard
was mobilized shortly after the outbreak of war  conscript and veteran reserve set. Their  equipment
was apparently not  of the latest model. Triangular felt hats l had probably been
poor protection against bullets and grenades and  the quality of the  weapons  also left a lot to be desired.

In Autumn of 1914 the swedish  municipalities were given  the right to establish Foad Boards  to regulate   the distibution of food . In Växjö one was  established in December 1914. The first meeting was held on December 21 In February 1916 The last meeting was held in 1921. Its  task was  to obtain the foods needed for municipal supply being stored and distributed properly , and to ensure that current regulations  for food rationing were  followed.
Below a Record book from the Vaxjo Food board from 1917.


Despite rationing there were food shortages and food speculation so called "profiteering",a particularly difficult situation was in the winter of 1916-1917. In connection with the Russian February  Revolution in March 1917 there  were demonstrations and even food riots in several parts of the country. In Växjö  sometimes women at the entrance to town and stopped  the farmers carts with groceries and followed them into the city  to make sure they were sold to the city's population. In April 23rd 1917  The workers held a meeting  in the People's House then about 1,000 people marched  to the Main Square where engineer Ernst Johansson read out the resolutionthe meeting had   adopted for  the mayor  of Växjö Bergendahl  who listened  to their demands  the People  then sang  the song "The Sons of Labour”  after which they cheered for the mayor.
Here a banner probably used by the demonstrator tion April 23, 1917. The texts on it says “More Bread End food speculation”.

On April 22 1917 , had some of the conscripts of  the Kronoberg regiments  twelfth company refused to show up at a church service  Ten  of the  conscripts were then arrested and put into custody . Later that day  conscripts and some members of the public  went to the the Bäckaslövs  school  then used as military camp for Conscripts  where the company was located to get the arrested free. Colonel Cavallin ordered the conscripts to return to the barracks the crowd dispersed only after "military pressure" had been used.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Swedes and scandinavians on the Titanic 1

By F.G.O. Stuart (1843-1923) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Just a few days ago it was 100 years since the sinking of Titanic
Of the passagers several were from Scandinavia.

Swedes and Swedish -Americans 123

Saved 34
Perished 89

Danes and Danish-Americans 14

Saved 2
Perished 11

Finnish and Finnish- Americans 63

Saved 20
Perished 43

Norwegians and Noregian-Americans 31

Saved 10

Perished 21

In all 231 Scandinavians on the ship only 66 survived

Around 28% saved. And 72 % lost

Most of the scandinavians were emigrants travelling in second and sterage class.

They were around 17.6 % of Titanics around 1310 passagers
and only 13,3 of its saved passagers. Only one of Titanics crew were
Scandinavian ( a Dane) and he went down the ship.

Do any of My readers have any connections to Titanic and its passagers
Or do you want to hear more about the scandinavians on Titanic.

Sources for this post: Titanic. By Claes-Göran Wetterholm 1999 (in Swedish)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The most Dangerous animal in Sweden ! The Gloso (the glowing Sow) ;);)

Swedish folklore has many strange beings. one of them is the feared Gloso.
A Terrible sow with burning red eyes and a razorsharp back. She is believed to reside near cemeteries or cross roads.
She usually tries to run between peoples legs thus dividing or scratching them up completely. Nowadays she is not seen that often but since there seem to be so many people with split personalities she must still be around.

At the yearly Christmas Fair at the Smalands Museum in Växjö this year a little Gloso piglet was shown.

Historian Håkan Nordmark acted as its keeper
apparently the little beast has taken a liking to him.
The little animal seemed calm when I saw it but who knows
what will become of it when it becomes bigger !

The little gloso was feed by giving it decorated swedish ginger breads eagerly decorated by the visitors to the
Christmas Fair. In the future the inhabitants of Växjö
obviously have to keep their legs crossed ! ;)